Influences from Pathways College Algebra on Students’ Initial Understanding and Reasoning about Calculus Limits

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Abstract/Description:

The Pathways to College Algebra curriculum aims to build concepts that cohere with the big ideas in Calculus, and initial results suggest improved readiness for Calculus by students who have taken a Pathways class. However, less is known about how Pathways might influence students’ initial understanding and reasoning about calculus concepts. Our study examines similarities and differences in how Pathways and non-Pathways students initially understand and reason about the calculus concept of the limit. Our findings suggest that Pathways students may engage a little more in quantitative reasoning and in higher covariational reasoning, and have more correct and consistent initial understandings. Further, the Pathways students were explicitly aware of how their Pathways class may have benefited their understanding of limits.


Location: 22nd Annual Conference on Research on Undergraduate Mathematics Education, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Presenter:

Brianna Levia, Navy Borrowman, Dawn Teuscher, and Steven Jones, Brigham Young University