Inverse function: Pre-service teachers’ techniques and meanings

Teo Paoletti, Irma E. Stevens, Natalie L.F. Hobson, Kevin C. Moore, Kevin R. LaForest

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Abstract

Researchers have argued teachers and students are not developing connected meanings for function inverse, thus calling for a closer examination of teachers’ and students’ inverse function meanings. Responding to this call, we characterize 25 pre-service teachers’ inverse function meanings as inferred from our analysis of clinical interviews. After summarizing relevant research, we describe the methodology and theoretical framework we used to interpret the pre-service teachers’ activities. We then present data highlighting the techniques the pre-service teachers used when responding to tasks that involved analytical and graphical representations of functions and inverse functions in both decontextualized and contextualized situations and discuss our inferences of their meanings based on their activities. We conclude with implications for the teaching and learning of inverse function and areas for future research.

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Keywords

  • Function
  • Inverse function
  • Meanings
  • Pre-service secondary teachers

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