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ERIC Number: EJ1209137
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Closing the Circuit on Function Concepts
Pérez, Arnulfo; Braaten, Bailey; MacConnell, Robert
Mathematics Teacher, v112 n5 p366-373 Mar 2019
Students tend to see mathematical functions as static, mysterious objects that must be approached according to a set of rules and procedures laid out in mathematics textbooks (Clement 2001). Because learners so rarely experience functions as a meaning-making tool that matters to their understanding of the world, they miss critical opportunities to experience the significance of mathematics within and beyond school. By contrast, real-world inquiry in the mathematics classroom creates opportunities for learners to see mathematics as a dynamic system--and as a vital conduit to other STEM fields (NRC 2013). In this article, the authors describe a project-based unit that integrated functions and modeling into an exploration of circuitry. This unit of six 50-minute lessons was developed as part of a three-year study and was incorporated into the curriculum taught in eighteen secondary mathematics classrooms in a diverse suburban school district in the Midwest. The unit was implemented in courses from eighth-grade mathematics to precalculus, serving as a hands-on introduction to linear functions in some cases and an opportunity to revisit and deepen core function concepts in others.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A