Seattle, Washington
June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
978-0-692-50180-1
2153-5965
Mathematics
16
26.401.1 - 26.401.16
10.18260/p.23740
https://peer.asee.org/23740
740
Khalid El Gaidi, PhD. lecturer and a pedagogical developer at the Staff Development Centre at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden (KTH). He has worked for fifteen years with pedagogical courses for different types of teachers and is also responsible for the Research Supervision course that more than five hundred supervisors have taken. He has published in the areas of teaching and learning and supervision. His current field of interest is postgraduate supervision and the learning and teaching of mathematics in engineering education.
Tomas Ekholm
Department of Mathematics
The Royal Institute of Technology
Contextualizing Calculus with Everyday Examples to enhance conceptual learning Abstract Many engineering students in most western countries have difficulties passing the initial mathematics courses. Teachers complain that students are ill prepared in pre- calculus and even the best students only can solve standard problems using standard procedures. The aim of teaching in mathematics is to develop deep understanding and conceptually trained students who creatively can solve unforeseen problems. But how do you educate such students? The answer is not given. The adopted approach in this study is to introduce contextualized teaching of mathematics trough everyday examples to scaffold students develop the conceptual understanding sought for. The general idea is to start from the most concrete examples, everyday examples, and work the way towards more abstract mathematics. Everyday examples are examples that can instantly be understood by the students based on life experience only. Each new concept in the course is introduced, verbally, numerically, graphically and algebraically. Everyday examples are introduced in the verbal phase of the sequence. The root of the problem of students´ unpreparedness in mathematics is hypothetically to be sought in the decontextualized abstract teaching. Everyday examples were introduced in in the first calculus course of an engineering program with 160 students during the fall off 2012. The results of course exam show that the students succeeded somewhat better than the control groups. And most importantly everyday examples played a major role in their developing conceptual understanding and were found to be motivating. Results from a diagnostic test and the exam are used as quantitative data and qualitative data are gathered by questionnaires. A pragmatic theory of meaning based on Wittgenstein’s language theory is used to analyse the construction of knowledge in mathematics.
El Gaidi, K., & Ekholm, T. (2015, June), Contextualizing Calculus with Everyday Examples to Enhance Conceptual Learning Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23740
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