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University students’ mental construction when learning the Convergence of a Series concept


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Title University students’ mental construction when learning the Convergence of a Series concept
Creator Chagwia, Conilius J. Maharaj, Aneshkumar Brijlall, Deonarain
Subject Mathematics; Mathematics Education action; process; object; schema; limit; series
Description This article uses action-process-object-schema theory to study the mental constructions about the limit of series during a Calculus 1 course at a university. The researchers also used the theory’s teaching methodology to teach the topic. A plethora of research on the limit concept is available and suggests that the concept is on record as being difficult for students to learn and comprehend. The study proposed a genetic decomposition on how undergraduate students might demonstrate their mental constructions in learning the limit of a series. Students were taken through the activities-classroom discussions-exercises cycle. Thirty students participated in answering questions based on the convergence of a series. The students’ written responses together with the interviews were analysed and based on the findings a revision of the preliminary genetic decomposition was done. We found that there were students who did not display the predicted mental construction indicated by the preliminary decomposition in the application of the definition for the convergence of a series, but displayed the predicted mental construction for the application of the series convergence tests. We also found that certain schema were necessary for the achievement of a complete understanding of the convergence of a series concept. The mental constructions within the missing schema were included in the modified genetic decomposition. This empirically enriched model is now expected to inform pedagogy on the convergence of a series concept.
Publisher AOSIS Publishing
Date 2020-12-15
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — qualitative; test; interviews
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/pythagoras.v41i1.567
Source Pythagoras; Vol 41, No 1 (2020); 13 pages 2223-7895 1012-2346
Language eng
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Coverage — — Gender
Rights Copyright (c) 2020 Conilius J. Chagwiza, Aneshkumar Maharaj, Deonarain Brijlall