The Development Of Freshman Precalculus Students' Understanding Of Exponential (Exp)
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentMathematics and Science Education Program
ProgramDoctor of Education
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This action research examined the effectiveness of APOS Theory/ACE teaching method and whether it improves student conceptual understanding of exp/log functions and my instructional practices. The study implemented APOS Theory/ACE as an action research by performing a genetic decomposition of what students must know to understand the concept of exp/log functions and what mental structures they must construct in terms of APOS. Next, instructional treatments were designed based on ACE teaching method. The instructions involved class activities, discussions and exercises (ACE) in a cooperative learning environment. The implementation of APOS Theory and ACE teaching method as an action research created cycles of observations, reflections and assessments. Student progress was measured in terms of APOS using quantitative pre-test, post-test scores and qualitative data. The participants were 90 freshman students enrolled in three sections of precalculus classes at a Historically Black University (HBCU) in North Eastern, United States. Results revealed that implementation of APOS/ACE had a positive impact on improving students' conceptual understanding of exp/log functions. The interpretation of the results revealed the possible causes of students' difficulties with conceptual understanding of exp/log functions. The study offers recommendations for further research and how to implement the findings to improve student conceptual understanding of exp/log functions and instructional practices. Keywords: Action Research, APOS, ACE, Exponential, Logarithmic Functions