Context, Connections and Communication: Using Journal Articles in Undergraduate Mathematics
AbstractMany undergraduate students fail to appreciate the deep connections between different areas of mathematics or the richness of links between mathematics and other disciplines. A compartmentalisation of mathematics into distinct and unrelated topics or a perceived lack of relevance to the real world or other university subjects can promote a surface approach to learning. These perceptions can be exacerbated by the different ways mathematics is communicated in different contexts or scientific fields. Units of study on mathematical modelling and applications provide opportunities to enhance transfer of mathematical concepts by showing students how mathematics is used in a variety of contexts and shared by different communities of scientists. Activities based around appropriately chosen journal articles can provide students authentic examples of context, connections and communication.