Abstract by Cami Mecham
The Gap in Student Understanding of Exponential Functions
Exponential functions are notoriously difficult for both students and teachers alike. The change from an algebraic to a logarithmic way of thinking can be challenging for students to do and challenging for teachers to explain. Not only that, but many teachers will instruct students procedurally, and so the cycle continues. Through research into the links between human psychology and logarithms and the current schooling system, I hope to gain insight to the consistent lack of conceptual understanding of exponentials, specifically different unit growth factors. I will also be observing students in a college algebra class, as well as identifying misconceptions in homework, to try and find a way of discussing unit growth factors that students can better understand.