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The thinking styles of university mathematics students

Moutsios-Rentzos, A.; Simpson, A.

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A. Moutsios-Rentzos


In this paper, we focus on the relationship between studying university mathematics and the ‘thinking styles’ of both undergraduate and postgraduate mathematics students. A crosssectional quantitative study (N = 238) was conducted in a large Greek university, identifying the thinking styles of second, third and fourth year undergraduates, as well as those of students following a postgraduate degree in mathematics. The analysis revealed that the more experienced undergraduates and the postgraduates showed a stronger preference for originality and freedom in thinking, low degrees of structure, high levels of freedom and more complex information processing, combined with non-prioritised thinking. However, the postgraduates combine these preferences with a stronger preference for implementing rules and instructions. A discussion on these findings and on the factors that may account for them is presented.


Moutsios-Rentzos, A., & Simpson, A. (2010). The thinking styles of university mathematics students. Acta Didactica Napocensia, 3(4), 1-10

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2010
Deposit Date Mar 29, 2011
Publicly Available Date Mar 25, 2015
Journal Acta didactica Napocensia
Publisher Babes-Bolyai University
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 4
Pages 1-10
Keywords University mathematics, Thinking styles, Undergraduates, Postgraduates, MSC 97C30.
Publisher URL


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