Journal article

Revealing educationally critical aspects of rate

S Herbert, R Pierce

Educational Studies in Mathematics | Springer | Published : 2012


Rate (of change) is an important but complicated mathematical concept describing a ratio comparing two different numeric, measurable quantities. Research referring to students' difficulties with this concept spans more than 20 years. It suggests that problems experienced by some calculus students are likely a result of pre-existing limited or incorrect conceptions of rate. This study investigated 20 Australian Year 10 students' understanding of rate as revealed by phenomenographic analysis of interviews. Eight conceptions of rate emerged, leading to the identification of four educationally critical aspects of the concept which address gaps in students' thinking. In addition, the employment o..

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