Evaluating problem-solving and procedural skills of first-year students in a Peruvian higher education institution
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Universidad Católica de Santa María, Arequipa, PERU
Universidad Católica San Pablo, Arequipa, PERU
Online publication date: 2024-01-25
Publication date: 2024-02-01
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2024;20(2):em2396
In this study, we aim to compare the procedural and problem-solving skills of university students during their transition to higher education. A diagnostic test was administered to 374 first-year students at a Peruvian university in March 2023, assessing both their mathematical knowledge and the aforementioned skills. The results reveal that university entrants exhibit a deficient level of mathematical proficiency, with significantly lower scores in problem-solving skills compared to procedural skills. It is noted that while procedural skills are part of problem-solving skills, the discrepancy in scores suggests challenges in the practical application of mathematical knowledge by students. The study sheds light on the situation faced by university entrants in Peru and provides recommendations for improving mathematical skills in higher education. However, it emphasizes the limitation of generalizing the results to all universities due to the limited sample size and the scarcity of research in the field of higher mathematics education in Peru. Disparities based on gender and type of school are observed, indicating that males slightly outperform females in both skills, and students from private schools outperform those from national schools. These differences are analyzed in the article, offering a more comprehensive understanding.
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