
06403527
j
2015b.00785
Mybert, Zingiswa
Jojo, Monica
Maharaj, Aneshkumar
Brijlall, Deonarain
From human activity to conceptual understanding of the chain rule.
REDIMAT, J. Res. Math. Educ. 2, No. 1, 7799, electronic only (2013).
2013
Hipatia Press, Barcelona
EN
I45
C35
calculus
chain rule
APOS
genetic decomposition
doi:10.4471/redimat.2013.21
Summary: This article reports on a study which investigated first year university engineering students' construction of the definition of the concept of the chain rule in differential calculus at a University of Technology in South Africa. An APOS (actionprocessobjectsschema) approach was used to explore conceptual understanding displayed by students in learning the chain rule in calculus. Structured worksheets based on instruction designed to induce construction of conceptual understanding of the chain rule were used. A number of students used the straight form technique in differentiating complicated tasks while very few used either the link and Leibniz form techniques. In this manner differentiation of each function within the composite function was accomplished. Students either operated in the inter or trans stages of the triad. It was found that even students who had inadequate understanding of composition of functions, performed well in the application of the chain rule.