chapter  4
22 Pages

Moving On and Moving Up? Entering the World of the Undergraduate Mathematics Student

In this chapter and the two that follow, I move to an exploration of the nature and range of learner identities among undergraduate mathematics students, an interesting group because, unlike the students who are the focus of Chapters 2 and 3, they have chosen to study mathematics, and chosen to do so within a high-status and high-stakes context. Their choice of degree-level study indicates a belief that they are at least at some level “good at maths,” but what are the available identities within this group? What discourses do they draw on, and what makes for “success” in such a group? Can we trace individual trajectories in undergraduate students’ positionings within their particular communities of practice? What is the role of the institution and the teacher in these positionings now that learning takes place in the university, not school? Are there connections to be made between their experiences and those of the students in the last chapter?