Abstract by Nate Smith
Learning the Derivative Quantitatively
The derivative is a key concept learned in a first-semester calculus course. The applications the derivative has in other STEM fields make it an important concept for many students to learn. However, past research has shown that students largely associate the derivative with memorized procedures or a slope of a tangent line. Such an understanding devoid of quantities makes it difficult for students to see how the derivative applies to their chosen fields of study. In my study, I am developing and implementing lesson plans in the labs I teach as a TA for a first-semester calculus course that focus on learning the derivative quantitatively with real-world contexts.