Bolema: Boletim de Educação Matemática
On-line version ISSN 1980-4415
BIRGIN, Osman. Investigation of eighth-grade students' understanding of the slope of the linear function. Bolema [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.42a, pp. 139-162. ISSN 1980-4415. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-636X2012000100008.
This study aimed to investigate eighth-grade students' difficulties and misconceptions and their performance of translation between the different representation modes related to the slope of linear functions. The participants were 115 Turkish eighth-grade students in a city in the eastern part of the Black Sea region of Turkey. Data was collected with an instrument consisting of seven written questions and a semi-structured interview protocol conducted with six students. Students' responses to questions were categorized and scored. Quantitative data was analyzed using the SPSS 17.0 statistical packet program with cross tables and one-way ANOVA. Qualitative data obtained from interviews was analyzed using descriptive analytical techniques. It was found that students' performance in articulating the slope of the linear function using its algebraic representation form was higher than their performance in using transformation between graphical and algebraic representation forms. It was also determined that some of them had difficulties and misunderstood linear function equations, graphs, and slopes and could not comprehend the connection between slope and the x- and y-intercepts.
Keywords : Mathematics Education; Eighth-grade Students; Linear Functions; Slope; Misunderstandings.