An investigation into students’ difficulties in numerical problem solving questions in high school biology using a numeracy framework

The ‘mathematics problem’ is a well-known source of difficulty for students attempting numerical problem solving questions in the context of science education. This paper illuminates this problem from a biology education perspective by invoking Hogan’s numeracy framework. In doing so, this study has revealed that the contextualisation of mathematics within the domain of biology is not the main source of difficulty for students but rather more fundamental mathematical skills.