Learning opportunities offered by a classical calculus textbooky
Mira Randahl and Barbro Grevholm
In this paper we present results of an analysis of what the textbook used by the first year engineering students offers the students, when they take a basic calculus course. The aim of this analysis is to examine as an entirety what students are offered by the book to learn about the concept of derivative. The results show that the presentation of the concept is formal and depends on students’ previous knowledge. The treatment of the concept emphasises procedural knowledge. It is not easy for students using the book to make connections between conceptual and procedural knowledge of the concept of derivative.
Mira Randahl has worked at Narvik University College and is enrolled in the doctoral programme at University of Agder. Earlier she has been mathematics teacher in compulsory school, upper secondary school and in teacher education in Norway.
Barbro Grevholm is professor of mathematics education at University of Agder and leader of the doctoral programme there. She is also professor II at Narvik University College.