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Learner errors and misconceptions in elementary analysis: A case study of a grade 12 class in South Africa

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Author(s): Kakoma Luneta | Paul J. Makonye

Journal: Acta Didactica Napocensia
ISSN 2065-1430

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 36;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Errors | misconceptions | differential calculus

ABSTRACT
The paper focuses on analysing grade 12 learner1 errors and the misconceptions incalculus at a secondary school in Limpopo Province, South Africa. As part of the analysis thepaper outlines the nature of mathematics errors and misconceptions. Coding of learners’ errorswas done through the lens of a typological framework. The analysis showed that most of theerrors and misconceptions were due to knowledge gaps in basic algebra. Also noted was thaterrors and misconceptions in calculus were related to learners’ over-dependence on proceduralknowledge which had no conceptual basis. On the other hand, learners sometimes had soundconceptual knowledge for which they had not acquired allied procedural knowledge needed toperform in particular questions. Implications of the study to the wider mathematics educationcommunity are highlighted.
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