Investigation of Eighth-Grade Students Understanding of the Slope of the Linear FunctionReport as inadecuate

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Online Submission, BOLEMA: Mathematics Education Bulletin v26 n42A p139-162 2012

This study aimed to investigate eighth-grade students' difficulties and misconceptions and their performance of translation between the different representation modes related to the slope of linear functions. The participants were 115 Turkish eighth-grade students in a city in the eastern part of the Black Sea region of Turkey. Data was collected with an instrument consisting of seven written questions and a semi-structured interview protocol conducted with six students. Students' responses to questions were categorized and scored. Quantitative data was analyzed using the SPSS 17.0 statistical packet program with cross tables and one-way ANOVA. Qualitative data obtained from interviews was analyzed using descriptive analytical techniques. It was found that students' performance in articulating the slope of the linear function using its algebraic representation form was higher than their performance in using transformation between graphical and algebraic representation forms. It was also determined that some of them had difficulties and misunderstood linear function equations, graphs, and slopes and could not comprehend the connection between slope and the x-and y-intercepts. (Contains 4 tables and 3 figures.)

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Middle School Students, Grade 8, Secondary School Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Mathematical Concepts, Questionnaires, Semi Structured Interviews, Statistical Analysis, Algebra, Misconceptions, Public Schools, Mathematics Instruction, Comprehension, Mathematics Skills, Accuracy, Scores, Qualitative Research

Author: Birgin, Osman


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