A couple of new articles have been published online in International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology:
- “Improving senior secondary school students’ attitude towards mathematics through self and cooperative-instructional strategies” by S. A. Ifamuyiwa and M. K. Akinsola. Abstract: This study investigated the effects of self and cooperative-instructional strategies on senior secondary school students’ attitude towards Mathematics. The moderating effects of locus of control and gender were also investigated. The study adopted pre-test and post-test, control group quasi-experimental design using a 3 × 2 × 2 factorial matrix with two experimental groups and one control group. Three hundred and fifty SSS II students from six purposively selected secondary schools in Ijebu-North Local Government Area of Ogun State were the subjects. Three instruments were developed, validated and used for data collection. Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and Scheffé post hoc analysis were the statistics used for data analysis. Findings showed that the treatments had significant main effect on students’ attitude towards Mathematics. The participants exposed to self-instructional strategy had the highest post-test mean attitude score. The study found no significant main effects of locus of control and gender on the participants’ attitude towards Mathematics. It was concluded that Mathematics teachers should be trained to use self and cooperative learning packages in the classroom, since the strategies are more effective in improving students’ attitude towards Mathematics than the conventional method.
- “Algorithmic contexts and learning potentiality: a case study of students’ understanding of calculus” by Kerstin Pettersson and Max Scheja. Abstract: The study explores the nature of students’ conceptual understanding of calculus. Twenty students of engineering were asked to reflect in writing on the meaning of the concepts of limit and integral. A sub-sample of four students was selected for subsequent interviews, which explored in detail the students’ understandings of the two concepts. Intentional analysis of the students’ written and oral accounts revealed that the students were expressing their understanding of limit and integral within an algorithmic context, in which the very ‘operations’ of these concepts were seen as crucial. The students also displayed great confidence in their ability to deal with these concepts. Implications for the development of a conceptual understanding of calculus are discussed, and it is argued that developing understanding within an algorithmic context can be seen as a stepping stone towards a more complete conceptual understanding of calculus.