The Mathematics Enthusiast






This study explores conceptions for function amongst 164-second year students of the Department of Education at the University of Cyprus and their relationship with students’ abilities in dealing with tasks involving different modes of representations of function. The test that was administered to the students included recognition tasks given in various representations and questions requesting definition and examples of function’s applications in real life situations. Results have shown that students’ definitions and examples of the notion are closely related to their ability to use different modes of representations of function. These three factors, i.e., definitions given by the students, functions considered by them as examples of application in real life situations, and different representations of functions, seemed to contribute in their own unique way to students’ acquisition of this complex concept. Thus, support was provided for the use of a triarchic conceptual-semiotic model of the concept of function, which enables students’ thinking and understanding of the notion to be analyzed and described across these three features.

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