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Understanding of limits and differentiation as threshold concepts in a first-year mathematics course

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Oates, GN ORCID: 0000-0001-7132-3198, Reaburn, RL ORCID: 0000-0002-4235-7732, Brideson, MA ORCID: 0000-0001-7547-5084 and Dharmadasa, HK ORCID: 0000-0003-2869-799X 2018 , 'Understanding of limits and differentiation as threshold concepts in a first-year mathematics course', in IM Hammes (ed.), Proceedings of the Eleventh Southern Hemisphere Conference on the Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics , Delta Conferences, Australia, pp. 108-120 .

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Abstract

Threshold concepts remain relatively unexplored in mathematics, despite suggestions that the troublesome nature of such concepts pose a critical barrier to student understanding of mathematics. Many studies have identified student difficulties with limits, and their findings point to a strong likelihood that limits do indeed constitute a threshold concept in mathematics. This paper describes the initial results in a study that sought to investigate students’ understanding of limits and differentiation from the prospective of Threshold Concepts. While the findings to date do not provide conclusive evidence for limits as a threshold concept, they do reinforce the troublesome nature of the limit concept, and suggest some important implications for the teaching of limits consistent with previous studies.

Item Type: Conference Publication
Authors/Creators:Oates, GN and Reaburn, RL and Brideson, MA and Dharmadasa, HK
Keywords: calculus, threshold concepts, misconceptions
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Eleventh Southern Hemisphere Conference on the Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics
Publisher: Delta Conferences
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Copyright 2017 the Author

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