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ERIC Number: EJ1147896
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1029-8457
Pre-Service Teachers' Mental Constructions of Concepts in Matrix Algebra
Ndlovu, Zanele; Brijlall, Deonarain
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v19 n2 p156-171 2015
This study is part of ongoing research in undergraduate mathematics education. The study was guided by the belief that understanding the mental constructions the pre-service teachers make when learning matrix algebra concepts leads to improved instructional methods. In this preliminary study the data was collected from 85 pre-service teachers through a structured activity sheet. The aim was to explore their mental constructions of matrix algebra concepts and how they concur with a preliminary genetic decomposition. The study is underpinned by APOS theory (action-process-object-schema). The findings revealed that the mental constructions made by pre-service teachers in most cases concur with the preliminary genetic decomposition. In terms of APOS theory, the responses revealed that most pre-service teachers were operating at action and process stages, with few operating at the object stage. It was observed that the schemata for basic algebra and real number are necessary for the conceptual development of matrix algebra, and that familiarity of the correct use of terminology and notations promotes the earning of matrix algebra. On the basis of the detailed response analysis, modified genetic decompositions are proposed for the matrix order concept, matrix transpose concept and for matrix operations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A