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Grade 11 mathematics learner's concept images and mathematical reasoning on transformations of functions

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dc.contributor.advisor Mogari, David L. Mukono, Shadrick 2015-10-14T13:23:57Z 2015-10-14T13:23:57Z 2015-02
dc.identifier.citation Mukono, Shadrick (2015) Grade 11 mathematics learner's concept images and mathematical reasoning on transformations of functions, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract The study constituted an investigation for concept images and mathematical reasoning of Grade 11 learners on the concepts of reflection, translation and stretch of functions. The aim was to gain awareness of any conceptions that learners have about these transformations. The researcher’s experience in high school and university mathematics teaching had laid a basis to establish the research problem. The subjects of the study were 96 Grade 11 mathematics learners from three conveniently sampled South African high schools. The non-return of consent forms by some learners and absenteeism during the days of writing by other learners, resulted in the subsequent reduction of the amount of respondents below the anticipated 100. The preliminary investigation, which had 30 learners, was successful in validating instruments and projecting how the main results would be like. A mixed method exploratory design was employed for the study, for it was to give in-depth results after combining two data collection methods; a written diagnostic test and recorded follow-up interviews. All the 96 participants wrote the test and 14 of them were interviewed. It was found that learners’ reasoning was more based on their concept images than on formal definitions. The most interesting were verbal concept images, some of which were very accurate, others incomplete and yet others exhibited misconceptions. There were a lot of inconsistencies in the students’ constructed definitions and incompetency in using graphical and symbolical representations of reflection, translation and stretch of functions. For example, some learners were misled by negative sign on a horizontal translation to the right to think that it was a horizontal translation to the left. Others mistook stretch for enlargement both verbally and contextually. The research recommends that teachers should use more than one method when teaching transformations of functions, e.g., practically-oriented and process-oriented instructions, with practical examples, to improve the images of the concepts that learners develop. Within their methodologies, teachers should make concerted effort to be aware of the diversity of ways in which their learners think of the actions and processes of reflecting, translating and stretching, the terms they use to describe them, and how they compare the original objects to images after transformations. They should build upon incomplete definitions, misconceptions and other inconsistencies to facilitate development of accurate conceptions more schematically connected to the empirical world. There is also a need for accurate assessments of successes and shortcomings that learners display in the quest to define and master mathematical concepts but taking cognisance of their limitations of language proficiency in English, which is not their first language. Teachers need to draw a clear line between the properties of stretch and enlargement, and emphasize the need to include the invariant line in the definition of stretch. To remove confusion around the effect of “–” sign, more practice and spiral testing of this knowledge could be done to constantly remind learners of that property. Lastly, teachers should find out how to use smartphones, i-phones, i-pods, tablets and other technological devices for teaching and learning, and utilize them fully to their own and the learners’ advantage in learning these and other concepts and skills en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xxv, 314 leaves), color illustrations
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Concept images en
dc.subject Mathematical thinking en
dc.subject Mathematical reasoning en
dc.subject Coherence of concept images en
dc.subject Conceptual understanding en
dc.subject Conceptual representations en
dc.subject Function en
dc.subject Functional representation en
dc.subject Transformation en
dc.subject Transformations of functions en
dc.subject.ddc 512.960968
dc.subject.lcsh Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Logic, Symbolic and mathematical
dc.subject.lcsh Reasoning
dc.subject.lcsh Algebraic functions
dc.subject.lcsh Concept learning
dc.title Grade 11 mathematics learner's concept images and mathematical reasoning on transformations of functions en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Mathematics Education en D.Phil. (Mathematics, Science and Technology Education)

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