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ERIC Number: EJ764974
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8251
Concepts and Skills in High School Calculus: An Examination of a Special Case in Japan and the United States
Judson, Thomas W.; Nishimori, Toshiyuki
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, v36 n1 p24-43 Jan 2005
In this study we investigated above-average high school calculus students from Japan and the United States in order to determine any differences in their conceptual understanding of calculus and their ability to use algebra to solve traditional calculus problems. We examined and interviewed 18 Calculus BC students in the United States and 26 Suugaku 3 (calculus) students in Japan. Each student completed two parts of a written examination. The first part (Part I) consisted of problems emphasizing conceptual understanding but requiring little or no algebraic computation. Problems on the second part (Part II) required sound algebraic skills in addition to good conceptual understanding. Following the examination, we interviewed each student in order to assess their mathematical and educational background, their college and career plans, their thinking on the examination problems, their understanding of concepts, and their computational and reasoning skills. We found little difference in the conceptual understanding of calculus between the two groups of students, but the Japanese students demonstrated much stronger algebra skills than their American counterparts. (Contains 1 table, 2 figures and 3 footnotes.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; United States