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The University of San Francisco

Science and Mathematics Education

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Investigation Of The Misconceptions Related To The Concepts Of Equivalence And Literal Symbols Held By Underprepared Community College Students, Terrence Joseph Maguire Jan 2012

Investigation Of The Misconceptions Related To The Concepts Of Equivalence And Literal Symbols Held By Underprepared Community College Students, Terrence Joseph Maguire

Doctoral Dissertations

Many students struggle to learn mathematics in K-8 grades. Research has shown that lower grade students often misconceive equivalence as an operation rather than a relation, and that students also form various misconceptions of literal symbols. Many students arrive at college seriously underprepared in mathematics, but there is scant research on the difficulties and misconceptions of these college students. The purpose of this research was to learn if underprepared community college students harbor misconceptions of equivalence and of literal symbols similar to K-8 students.

For this study, 191 underprepared college students were surveyed for misconceptions by a questionnaire of 43 ...