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ERIC Number: EJ1061198
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
Calculus Students' Early Concept Images of Tangent Lines
Vincent, Brittany; LaRue, Renee; Sealey, Vicki; Engelke, Nicole
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v46 n5 p641-657 2015
This study explored first-semester calculus students' understanding of tangent lines as well as how students used tangent lines within the context of Newton's method. Task-based interviews were conducted with twelve first-semester calculus students who were asked to verbally describe a tangent line, sketch tangent lines for multiple curves, and use tangent lines within the context of Newton's method. We examined students' graphical illustrations and the language they used to describe tangent lines and identified six prominent categories that described students' concept images of tangent lines. Our data show that individual students often possessed multiple concept images of tangent lines, and often these multiple concept images were conflicting. Furthermore, students were usually willing to modify their concept images of tangent lines depending on the task presented to the students.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: HRD-1007978