This study aims to explore the conceptualisations of function that some students express when they are responding to fictitious students’ statements about functions. We also asked them what is meant by “function” and many voluntarily used examples in their responses. The task was developed in collaboration with teachers from two curriculum systems, England and Israel. It was given to 10 high-achieving English students from each of the years 10–13 and to 10 high-achieving Israeli students from comparable years (total of 80 students). Data analysis included identifying students’ dominant ideas for functions as expressed in their responses, and analysing the types of examples that students used to explain their responses. Differences found between the samples from the countries led to conjectures about the influence of curriculum and teaching, and in particular, about the role of word, in this case “function”, in concept image development. Whereas most students showed that they had a meaning for the word, those students whose relevant experience of earlier concepts had been organised around the word “function” generally showed stronger understanding of function as object.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics.
- conceptualisations of function
- example spaces
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mathematics (all)