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Mathematical Beliefs and Conceptual Understanding of the Limit of a Function
Jennifer Earles Szydlik
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Vol. 31, No. 3 (May, 2000), pp. 258-276
Published by: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/749807
Page Count: 19
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Mathematical functions, Mathematical problems, Calculus, Mathematics education, Students, Infinity, Empirical evidence, Real numbers, Educational research
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In this study, I investigated 27 university calculus students' mathematical beliefs and connections between those beliefs and their understandings of limit. Participants were selected on the basis of questionnaire and interview responses to real-number, infinity, function, and sources-of-conviction items. Data obtained in a subsequent limit interview suggest a relationship between sources of conviction and understanding of limit; students with external sources of conviction gave more incoherent or inappropriate definitions of limit, held more misconceptions of limit as bound or unreachable, and were less able to justify limit calculations than those with internal sources of conviction. The influence of content beliefs on understanding of limit is less evident.
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education © 2000 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics