
06670856
j
Maciejewski, Wes
Star, Jon R.
Developing flexible procedural knowledge in undergraduate calculus.
Res. Math. Educ. 18, No. 3, 299316 (2016).
2016
Taylor \& Francis (Routledge), Abingdon, Oxfordshire; British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM)
EN
D35
C35
D55
undergraduate mathematics education
flexible procedural knowledge
calculus education
doi:10.1080/14794802.2016.1148626
Summary: Mathematics experts often choose appropriate procedures to produce an efficient or elegant solution to a mathematical task. This {\it flexible procedural knowledge} distinguishes novice and expert procedural performances. This article reports on an intervention intended to aid the development of undergraduate calculus students' flexible use of procedures. Two sections of the same course were randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions. Treatment students completed an assignment on which they resolved derivativefinding problems with alternative methods and compared the two resulting solutions. Control students were assigned a list of functions to differentiate. On the postintervention test, treatment students were more likely to use a variety of solution methods without prompting than the control. Moreover, the set of treatment section solutions were closer to those of a group of mathematics experts. This study presents evidence that not only is flexible procedural knowledge a key skill in tertiary mathematics, it can be taught.