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Abstract

Research has shown that students' performance on college-level mathematics is poor across the globe and Qatar is no exception. Thus, there is a need to analyze in depth the weaknesses in the educational system, its pedagogical approaches and the materials it employs. The main purpose of this research is to assess the mathematics performance of college students in Qatar. There could be a number of reasons for this under-performance. However, based on our experience as mathematics instructor, our research will focus on the following two aspects: Firstly, college level mathematics cannot begin unless students have followed preliminary courses in appropriate sequences which could provide them with a solid foundation. Consequently, we will attempt to answer this first question: 1. Is students' under-performance due to a lack of understanding of the basic mathematics studied earlier in their schooling? Secondly, most materials used in Qatari colleges are written in English; for instance, the current textbook in use. Furthermore, many colleges in Qatar either require students to sit for American exams, such as SAT, ACT, either at the point of entry or at the end of their foundation program. Since the majority of students in Qatar learn English as a second language, a second pertinent question is: 2. What is the relationship between students' language ability and performance in mathematics? In order to address these two questions, we conducted a survey among students in our college and prepared the same questionnaires for similar institutions. To gather enough evidence about the students' performance, we analyzed 'Beginner' and 'Advanced' group students' results on entrance examinations and several end-of-term tests within the foundation program. To get more information about the participants, we will conduct interviews with a sample of the students that will address the two research questions more deeply. The results of this research will facilitate a better understanding of student's under-performance specifically in mathematics and, possibly, other subjects. Since the leadership in Qatar sees education as key to social and economic progress, the results of this research could be useful to all educationists in Qatar in informing their future decisions.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHP14
2012-10-01
2019-12-12
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHP14
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