Publication Details

Wilkins, L. (2013). Synergising mathematics support within a university setting. In A. Hector-Mason & D. Coben (Eds.), Synergy: Working Together to Achieve More Than the Sum of the Parts. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics - A Research Forum (ALM-19) (pp. 163-174). New Zealand: University of Waikato.


Students enter university with a variety of mathematical backgrounds. Some are not adequately prepared for the mathematics involved in their preferred, non-specialist mathematics courses. Many bring emotional conflicts about mathematics which affect their ability to learn. University of Wollongong recently appointed a Mathematics Support Lecturer to its Learning Development team whose role is to provide assistance to students who find the mathematics involved in their courses "challenging". This paper looks at the development of this role with emphasis on the requirement of mathematics to "synergise" with other courses, contexts and competencies within university studies and examines the broad cultural contexts of students seeking support and the issues - often affective and motivational - faced by students who seek support at this level.