Title: Difficulties in the Passage from Secondary to Tertiary Education

For an important part of those students who take mathematics courses at the tertiary level, the transition from secondary to tertiary education presents major difficulties. This is true whether the students are specializing in mathematics or are registered in a program for which mathematics is a service subject. The purpose of this paper is to identify some relevant difficulties related to this passage and to examine possible causes. Such a study can be done from a broad spectrum of perspectives which will be commented briefly: epistemological and cognitive, sociological and cultural, didactical. We also consider actions which could help to improve the situation.

1991 Mathematics Subject Classification: 00

Keywords and Phrases: Mathematics education, tertiary education, secondary-tertiary transition, teaching and learning contexts.

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