fatemah_hayyat
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I m going into my final year in September (studying Mathematics) and am trying to come up with my own ideas for my final year project (FYP).

As a future career path I would like to go into teaching; and was trying to come up with a FYP that can support me in that venture.

So I am thinking along the lines of: "Why students hate Mathematics so much?"/"Is mathematical thinking declining?" But I think the idea is very basic and the answer is somewhat obvious?

What do you think I should do?
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zetamcfc
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(Original post by fatemah_hayyat)
I m going into my final year in September (studying Mathematics) and am trying to come up with my own ideas for my final year project (FYP).

As a future career path I would like to go into teaching; and was trying to come up with a FYP that can support me in that venture.

So I am thinking along the lines of: "Why students hate Mathematics so much?"/"Is mathematical thinking declining?" But I think the idea is very basic and the answer is somewhat obvious?

What do you think I should do?
Why don't you do some actual mathematics and save mathematics education for your PGCE?
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fatemah_hayyat
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(Original post by zetamcfc)
Why don't you do some actual mathematics and save mathematics education for your PGCE?
I thought that doing a disso in education would further support my PGCE application, no?
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zetamcfc
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(Original post by fatemah_hayyat)
I thought that doing a disso in education would further support my PGCE application, no?
We desperately need maths teachers. Seen as there is a lot of maths teachers who have not got a mathematics degree I'm sure you'd be accepted anyway.
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RichE
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(Original post by fatemah_hayyat)
I thought that doing a disso in education would further support my PGCE application, no?
I am quite a fan of Lakatos' Proofs and Refutations, which argues for mathematical understanding evolving and refining in light of "local counterexamples", and is an argument against simplistic formalism. I don't know if it's more philosophy or education theory, but it might make for an interesting dissertation.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by fatemah_hayyat)
I m going into my final year in September (studying Mathematics) and am trying to come up with my own ideas for my final year project (FYP).

As a future career path I would like to go into teaching; and was trying to come up with a FYP that can support me in that venture.

So I am thinking along the lines of: "Why students hate Mathematics so much?"/"Is mathematical thinking declining?" But I think the idea is very basic and the answer is somewhat obvious?

What do you think I should do?
Your uni may well be able to support you doing a dissertation in some aspect of mathematics pedagogy. I would disagree with your assertion that the answer to those questions is obvious, and not wholly agree that the idea is "very basic"; on the contrary I think the questions are very broad and have no exact answer. That however is a problem in the context of an undergrad dissertation as you really need your topic to be much more specific and focused to ensure you can reach an appropriate level of depth in your exploration of it.

For maths education and pedagogy specifically, you may want to look at the research pages of the Mathematics Education Centre at Lougborough, which is a research institute specialising specifically in this area. Their web page is here: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/mec/, and may give you an idea of what researchers are broadly working on in that specific field (note that the MEC also researches on mathematics education at degree level as well as school level).

More generally, I'd recommend generally for research project ideas that you have a look at your department's research pages to see what people in the department are working on. This might help give you some ideas, and since usually your supervisor will be someone from the department it can be helpful to be doing something somewhat aligned with what they are working on. It may well be possible to find some way to connect what researchers specialising in mathematics education are working on with what mathematicians at your uni are working on!
Last edited by artful_lounger; 8 months ago
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fatemah_hayyat
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Your uni may well be able to support you doing a dissertation in some aspect of mathematics pedagogy. I would disagree with your assertion that the answer to those questions is obvious, and not wholly agree that the idea is "very basic"; on the contrary I think the questions are very broad and have no exact answer. That however is a problem in the context of an undergrad dissertation as you really need your topic to be much more specific and focused to ensure you can reach an appropriate level of depth in your exploration of it.

For maths education and pedagogy specifically, you may want to look at the research pages of the Mathematics Education Centre at Lougborough, which is a research institute specialising specifically in this area. Their web page is here: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/mec/, and may give you an idea of what researchers are broadly working on in that specific field (note that the MEC also researches on mathematics education at degree level as well as school level).

More generally, I'd recommend generally for research project ideas that you have a look at your department's research pages to see what people in the department are working on. This might help give you some ideas, and since usually your supervisor will be someone from the department it can be helpful to be doing something somewhat aligned with what they are working on. It may well be possible to find some way to connect what researchers specialising in mathematics education are working on with what mathematicians at your uni are working on!
Thank you for the advice! Will take it on board, I have a supervisor or two in mind that would be willing to take on this idea
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by fatemah_hayyat)
Thank you for the advice! Will take it on board, I have a supervisor or two in mind that would be willing to take on this idea
How would you even do a dissertation at undergrad on education in mathematics.... Unless your going to deep dive into a lack of attainment. Your best off doing something maths related and finding a cheeky caveat... You could possibly do something around the economics of mathematics education possibly and what that yields for society....

Undergrad dissertations can never be too complex.... I remember coming up with this elaborate idea for mine, walked out of my supervisor's office with a comparison project of the obvious.

At an undergrad dissertation you can only ever test the small bits of a topic....it's quite frustrating 😂. Your best of checking all the boxes though first, my supervisor told me... Anything extra is fine, but you won't change the world as a 3rd year lol.
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furryface12
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Gender differences is another obvious one. You could also investigate the ways to teach a particular concept that kids often struggle with (eg fractions), or even focus on maths teaching with a specific learning difficulty like dyscalculia.

There's loads of scope for a good project in this area, just make sure you don't go too wide as artful said. Also make sure it's related enough to your degree/meets the marking criteria for that. Your supervisor will help you with those though
Last edited by furryface12; 7 months ago
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