The variation concept: In the elementary school and college

Research Article

Elena Fabiola Ruiz Ledesma


In this paper is shown that the students have their first approach to the variation concept at the basic level; however, they only work upon directly proportional variation. When the student reaches, university level, it is this form of working upon the concept of variation that prevails, which represents an obstacle –among other things– to the analysis of the global behavior of different functions, a knowledge which is essential in Calculus courses. This situation motivated our design and the consequent application of activities which include the analysis of different functions, which were worked upon by students in the classroom through group discussions. 28 Mexican students at university level participated, since it is essential that those who enter university level are able to identify that the relationship between the variables of a problem is not always proportional. The activity being documented in this article, it was identified that the use of a value chart and the graphic exploration favored students’ reflection.

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