NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ857932
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0020-739X
Constructive Development of the Solutions of Linear Equations in Introductory Ordinary Differential Equations
Mallet, D. G.; McCue, S. W.
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v40 n5 p587-595 2009
The solution of linear ordinary differential equations (ODEs) is commonly taught in first-year undergraduate mathematics classrooms, but the understanding of the concept of a solution is not always grasped by students until much later. Recognizing what it is to be a solution of a linear ODE and how to postulate such solutions, without resorting to tables of solutions, is an important skill for students to carry with them to advanced courses in mathematics. In this study, we describe a teaching and learning strategy that replaces the traditional algorithmic, transmission presentation style for solving ODEs with a constructive, discovery-based approach where students employ their existing skills as a framework for constructing the solutions of first and second-order linear ODEs. We elaborate on how the strategy was implemented and discuss the resulting impact on a first-year undergraduate class. Finally, we propose further improvements to the strategy as well as suggesting other topics which could be taught in a similar manner. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A