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ERIC Number: EJ875504
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0740-8404
Examining Students' Conceptions Using Sum Functions
Ratliff, Kevin; Garofalo, Joe
AMATYC Review, v28 n1 p45-56 Fall 2006
Students' understanding of functions is a topic that has been researched extensively. In this qualitative study, five university students of varying mathematical backgrounds were interviewed to reveal strategies and misconceptions as they struggled with graphical and analytical tasks relating to sum functions. Weaker students are seen to rely heavily on algebraic approaches to solving problems and to have a strong urge to average graphically. Selection of an appropriate scale is problematic, as is the confusion of slope and height. Understanding functions as objects emerges as beneficial for the stronger students while function as process seems preeminent for the weaker ones. Implications for teaching are presented.
American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. 5983 Macon Cove, Memphis, TN 38134. Tel: 901-333-4643; Fax: 901-333-4651; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A