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Students’ interpretations and reasoning about phenomena with negative rates of change throughout a model development sequence
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5013-8890
Department of Mathematics, Syracuse University, Syracuse, USA.
2018 (English)In: ZDM - the International Journal on Mathematics Education, ISSN 1863-9690, E-ISSN 1863-9704, Vol. 50, no 1-2, p. 187-200Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we examine how a sequence of modeling activities supported the development of students’ interpretations and reasoning about phenomena with nega- tive average rates of change in different physical phenomena. Research has shown that creating and interpreting models of changing physical phenomena is difficult, even for university level students. Furthermore, students’ reasoning about mod- els of phenomena with negative rates of change has received little attention in the research literature. In this study, 35 students preparing to study engineering participated in a 6-week instructional unit on average rate of change that used a sequence of modeling activities. Using an analysis of the students’ work, our results show that the sequence of mod- eling activities was effective for nearly all students in reason- ing about motion with negative rates along a straight path. Almost all students were successful in constructing graphs of changing phenomena and their associated rate graphs in the contexts of motion, light dispersion and a discharging capacitor. Some students encountered new difficulties in interpreting and reasoning with negative rates in the con- texts of light dispersion, and new graphical representations emerged in students’ work in the context of the discharg- ing capacitor with its underlying exponential structure. The results suggest that sequences of modeling activities offer a structured approach for the instruction of advanced math- ematical content.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018. Vol. 50, no 1-2, p. 187-200
Keywords [en]
Model development sequences, Modeling, Negative rates of change, Physical phenomena
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Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-150893DOI: 10.1007/s11858-017-0881-5ISI: 000430868400015Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85046545659OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-150893DiVA, id: diva2:1244957
Available from: 2018-09-03 Created: 2018-09-03 Last updated: 2018-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Bergman Ärlebäck, Jonas

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
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  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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