Scholarship in Mathematics Support Services

Peter Samuels, Chetna Patel


Mathematics Support is a recognised collective term for a variety of extracurricular mathematics and statistics teaching and learning services and resources provided by many Tertiary Educational Institutions. Typical services currently provided in the UK are described. Even with scholarly Mathematics teaching, the authors argue that, in the current UK Tertiary Educational climate, there is still a need for Mathematics Support services. This paper provides evidence of maturity and scholarly practice within the UK Higher Education Mathematics Support community of practice. Three areas where scholarship can be demonstrated in mathematics support services are explored. Firstly, scholarship in the Mathematics Support community of practice in the UK since the early 1990s is demonstrated through surveys of the extent of Mathematics Support provision. Secondly, scholarly practice in Mathematics Support is explored through case studies of good practice. In particular, a detailed case study of the use of electronic record-keeping in Mathematics Support tutoring to improve support effectiveness is provided. Thirdly, the Mathematics Support excellence rewarded by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning status given to Coventry and Loughborough Universities is investigated. Evidence is provided of scholarship both leading to this award and in developments in Mathematics Support services provided after it was made. 

This paper concludes by evaluating how far scholarship has gone within the discipline of Mathematics Support and anticipating how the community of practice will develop in the future.


Mathematics Support, scholarship, community of practice

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ISSN: 1759-667X