One important function of school mathematics curriculum is to prepare high school students with the knowledge and skills needed for university education. Identifying them empirically will help making sound decisions about the contents of high school mathematics curriculum. It will also help students to make informed choices in course selection at high school. In this study, we surveyed university faculty who teach first year university students about the mathematical knowledge and skills that they would like to see in incoming high school graduates.
Materials and methods:
Data were collected from 122 faculty from social science (history, law, psychology) and engineering departments (electrical/electronics and computer engineering). Participants were asked to indicate which high school mathematics topics and skills they thought were important to be successful at university education in their field. Results were compared across social science and engineering departments.
There were 34 topics that were rated important by engineering departments but not the social science departments. Mathematical skills were rated high by both types of academic disciplines.
National high school mathematics curriculum at present falls short of providing high school students the necessary mathematical background for prospective social science students at university.