University of Oulu

Hästö, P., Palkki, R., Tuomela, D., Star J.R. (2019) Relationship between mathematical flexibility and success in national examinations. European journal of science and mathematics education, 7 (1), 1-13

Relationship between mathematical flexibility and success in national examinations

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Author: Hästö, Peter1,2; Palkki, Riikka2; Tuomela, Dimitri2;
Organizations: 1University of Turku, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
2University of Oulu, Department of Mathematical Sciences
3Harvard University, Faculty of Education
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Fahme Dabaj, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-04-15


Flexibility is an important element in learning mathematics. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether flexibility in linear equation solving predicts future academic achievement in mathematics and other subjects. Participants were 149 Finnish high-school students. Results show that flexibility was related to grades in both tracks of mathematics, chemistry, and mother tongue, as well as the total number of exams taken in the national matriculation examination. However, when controlling for accuracy in equation solving, only basic level mathematics and, to some degree, chemistry grade were related to flexibility. On the other hand, flexibility had an impact on students’ choice to participate in the mathematics and physics exams. A theoretical analysis shows that student selection may mask part of the relationship between flexibility and grade.

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Series: European journal of science and mathematics education
ISSN: 2301-251X
ISSN-L: 2301-251X
Volume: 7
Issue: 1
Pages: 1 - 13
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 111 Mathematics
516 Educational sciences
Funding: This research was supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2019 European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.