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Investigating participation in Advanced level mathematics: a study of student drop out

Noyes, Andrew; Sealey, Paula

Authors

Andrew Noyes andrew.noyes@nottingham.ac.uk

Paula Sealey

Abstract

There has for some years been a growing concern about participation in university-entrance level mathematics in England and across the developed world. Extensive statistical analyses present the decline but offer little to help us understand the causes. In this paper we explore a concern which cannot be explored through national datasets, namely the retention of mathematics students on Advanced level mathematics courses. Drawing on survey data from fifteen secondary schools in the Midlands of England, we examine subject differences in decisions to study, withdraw from, and continue in a range of A level subjects. Not only is the rate of attrition from mathematics higher than most other subjects, but there are substantial differences between schools. In order to explore this high rate of attrition further we consider one school – Queensbury Park - in which a large proportion of students decided not to continue with their study of mathematics from year 12 to 13. Drawing on performance data and focus group interviews we explore some of the reasons for the students’ decisions.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 10, 2009
Journal Research Papers in Education
Print ISSN 0267-1522
Electronic ISSN 1470-1146
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 1
Institution Citation Noyes, A., & Sealey, P. (2009). Investigating participation in Advanced level mathematics: a study of student drop out. Research Papers in Education, 27(1), doi:10.1080/02671520903288885
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/02671520903288885
Keywords mathematics education, A-level, participation, mixed methods
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02671520903288885
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Research Papers in Education on 10/11/2009, available online: http://www.tandfonline.....1080/02671520903288885

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf




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