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ERIC Number: EJ806646
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
Algorithmic Contexts and Learning Potentiality: A Case Study of Students' Understanding of Calculus
Pettersson, Kerstin; Scheja, Max
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v39 n6 p767-784 Sep 2008
The study explores the nature of students' conceptual understanding of calculus. Twenty students of engineering were asked to reflect in writing on the meaning of the concepts of limit and integral. A sub-sample of four students was selected for subsequent interviews, which explored in detail the students' understandings of the two concepts. Intentional analysis of the students' written and oral accounts revealed that the students were expressing their understanding of limit and integral within an "algorithmic context," in which the very "operations" of these concepts were seen as crucial. The students also displayed great confidence in their ability to deal with these concepts. Implications for the development of a conceptual understanding of calculus are discussed, and it is argued that developing understanding within an algorithmic context can be seen as a stepping stone towards a more complete conceptual understanding of calculus. (Contains 3 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden