A socio-cultural approach to resilience in students’ mathematical transition to college and university
This paper is part of two projects (Transmaths) that are studying how different practices during transition from School to College and from College to University mediate students? mathematical learning and identities. As part of these projects we conducted biographical interviews with around 65 students in total before and after their transition. Amongst this cohort of students we found that some of them, in spite of many difficulties faced during transition and, against the odds, persisted and completed the transition successfully. We look for a theory of resilience to try to explain what is that made these students persist. However, we found that the vast majority of the literature within the field of resilience theory comes from a psychological or psychosocial perspective, paying too much attention to the individual?s characteristics (personal trait theories) or “environmental” factors („risk? or „protective? factors) that influence individual “personalities”. In our search to explain resilience from a socio-cultural point of view, we found Holland et al?s (1998) concept of „Figured Worlds? particularly useful. Here we analyse the narratives of two of our „resilient? students from this viewpoint.