NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ796797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0732-3123
Secondary School Students' Levels of Understanding in Computing Exponents
Pitta-Pantazi, Demetra; Christou, Constantinos; Zachariades, Theodossios
Journal of Mathematical Behavior, v26 n4 p301-311 2007
The aim of this study is to describe and analyze students' levels of understanding of exponents within the context of procedural and conceptual learning via the conceptual change and prototypes' theory. The study was conducted with 202 secondary school students with the use of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The results suggest that three levels of understanding can be identified. At the first level students' interpretation of exponents is based upon exponents that symbolize natural numbers. At Level 2, students' knowledge acquisition process is a process of enrichment of the existing conceptual structures. Students at this level are able to compute exponents with negative numbers by extending the application of prototype examples. Finally, at Level 3 students not only extend the prototype examples but also reorganize their thinking in order to compute and compare exponents with roots, a concept which is quite different from the concept of exponents with natural numbers.
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A