NOMAD 10(3-4), 2005. Limits of functions: traces of students' concept images

 

KRISTINA JUTER

Abstract
Students at a Swedish university were subjects in a study about learning limits of functions. The students' perceptions were investigated in terms of traces of concept images through interviews and problem solving. The results imply that most students' foundations were not sufficiently strong for them to understand the concept of limit well enough to be able to form coherent concept images. The traces of the students' concept images reveal confusion about different features of the limit concept.

Sammanfattning
Artikeln beskriver en del av en studie om studenters hantering av gränsvärden under sin första termin av matematikstudier. Femton studenter har löst problem och diskuterat gränsvärden i enskilda intervjuer. Resultaten visar att många studenters mentala representationer av gränsvärden är motsägelsefulla eller består av disjunkta delar som används i olika situationer. Studenterna behöver jobba mer med kopplingar mellan teori och problemlösning för att bli varse om gränsvärdesbegreppets fundamentala egenskaper.

KRISTINA JUTER
Kristina Juter is a doctoral student in mathematics education at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. Her working place is at Kristianstad University College, Sweden. Her main interests are students' concept developments at university level, particularly in calculus.