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The Elusive Slope

Journal article
Authors Thomas Lingefjärd
Djamshid Farahani
Published in International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Volume 16
Issue 6
Pages 1187–1206
ISSN 1571-0068
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Pages 1187–1206
Language en
Keywords Conceptual development ; Graphical representations; Interpretations; Intuitive ideas; Slope
Subject categories Other Mathematics


In understanding upper secondary school students’ interpretations of information in graphical representations of a distance–time graph and an ECG graph, little attention has been paid to the analysis of the condition of the conceptual development related to their utterances. Understanding this better can help improve the teaching of interpretations of information in graphical representations of different situations. This paper integrates results from 2 studies and 3 theoretical perspectives: Tall and Vinner’s theoretical perspectives on learning, Chi’s ontological perspectives on conceptual development and Friel’s theoretical perspectives on interpretation of graphical information. The findings provide evidence to support the conjecture that iconic interpretations could be stimulated and generated as a result of student categorisation of a distance–time graph as an event, when in fact the graph is being used to describe and communicate a process. The outcome further indicates that students found a resemblance between the ECG diagram and the periodic function of f(x) = sin(x).

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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