APPLIED MATHEMATICS TO SOCIAL SCIENCES AT UNIVERSITY ACCESS EXAMS SINCE THE LAST CURRICULAR REFORM IN SPAIN
1 Universidad de Oviedo, Departamento de Matemáticas (SPAIN)
2 Universidad de Oviedo, Departamento de Estadística, I.O. y Didáctica de la Matemática (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:In this communication we describe curricular aspects in several Autonomous Communities in Spain of the Applied Mathematics to Social Sciences at University Access Exams, after the reform instantiated from the Organic Law of Education. Those exams are compulsory for every student after Baccalaureate to enter University, and they are based on the syllabus of every subject in the second year of Baccalaureate.
In the case of the subject Applied Mathematics to Social Sciences, the syllabus in the second year of Baccalaureate comprises the following three major items: Algebra, Analysis and Probability & Statistics. Minimum curriculum in each one of the items is fixed by the National Government, but the Autonomous Communities can also add items and/or extend them in greater depth.
In every Autonomous Community, University Access Exams are posed by experts designated by a mixed Commission, both Secondary Education Administration and University belonging to it. Since the curricula are usually too vast, experts tend to constraint the exam model, by agreeing it together with Secondary teachers.
After three years of implementation (2010 was the first time this curriculum was evaluated in Spain at University Access Exams), we perform a descriptive analysis of occurrences of curricular units in the exams, considering several Autonomous Communities so as to detect prevalence units, similarities and differences. Our purpose is to check whether all curricular units are being considered equally important in order to appear in an exam to enter university and to study how can different prevalence influence the mathematical learning/teaching process at Secondary School, because it is well known that those general evaluations determine the way the teachers orientate their work in the classroom.
This analysis can also show if there are significant differences among the Autonomous Communities studied. Despite University Access Exams are performed at every Autonomous Community, scores are used to provide a general access to all public university system in Spain, no matter in which Autonomous Community is the university the students apply for. Thus, those differences not only in the curricula but also (in the most frequent questions in exams) are very significant to detect weakness in the system, and to prevent failure of incoming students, since some of them can enter university with notable mathematical lacks depending on which of the three big items (Algebra, Analysis, Probability & Statistics) has been more deeply studied in their classroom.
Keywords: Applied Mathematics, Social Sciences, Baccalaureate, University Access Exams.