International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 1243–1267

TOOL USE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FUNCTION CONCEPT: FROM REPEATED CALCULATIONS TO FUNCTIONAL THINKING

Authors

    • Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics EducationUtrecht University
  • Paul Drijvers
    • Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics EducationUtrecht University
  • Koeno Gravemeijer
    • Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics EducationUtrecht University
  • Peter Boon
    • Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics EducationUtrecht University
  • Helen Reed
    • Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics EducationUtrecht University
Open AccessArticle

DOI: 10.1007/s10763-012-9329-0

Cite this article as:
Doorman, M., Drijvers, P., Gravemeijer, K. et al. Int J of Sci and Math Educ (2012) 10: 1243. doi:10.1007/s10763-012-9329-0

ABSTRACT

The concept of function is a central but difficult topic in secondary school mathematics curricula, which encompasses a transition from an operational to a structural view. The question in this paper is how the use of computer tools may foster this transition. With domain-specific pedagogical knowledge on the learning of function as a point of departure and the notions of emergent modeling and instrumentation as design heuristics, a potentially rich technology-intensive learning arrangement for grade 8 students was designed and field-tested. The results suggest that the relationship between tool use and conceptual development benefits from preliminary activities, from tools offering representations that allow for progressively increasing levels of reasoning, and from intertwinement with paper-and-pencil work.

KEY WORDS

emergent modeling function concept instrumentation mathematics education technology

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012