ERIC Number: ED392598
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Rate of Change Knowledge in High School and College Students.
Hauger, Garnet Smith
Rate of change has its basis in everyday experience like growth and motion and is a fundamental organizing idea for relationships between varying quantities. In this paper three types of rate of change knowledge for functions are discussed: global, interval, and point-wise. Each of these types of rate of change knowledge can be examined using various function representations including graphs, tables of values, equations, and verbal descriptions. There were two major goals for the larger study from which the smaller study reported here comes. Thirty-seven students at 3 different levels of mathematical experience participated in this study--12 from high school precalculus classes, 15 from second semester college classes, and 10 upper division college mathematics majors. One goal was to describe strategies students use to address global, interval, and point-wise (instantaneous) rates of change. The other goal was to infer how knowledge of one type of rate of change supports students' construction of other types of rate of change knowledge. Findings from this study indicate that high school and college students use changes over intervals to support their thinking in situations represented by graphs and tables of values and use this interval knowledge to address instantaneous rate of change. Contains 17 references. (MKR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Precalculus; Rate (Mathematics)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April, 1995).