Abstract by Haley Jeppson
Developing studentsâ€™ meaning for the chain rule, related rates, and implicit differentiation through contextual exploration
Students struggle to conceptualize and correctly use powerful concepts in calculus such as the chain rule, implicit differentiation, and related rates. It has been suggested that contextual problems and examples can provide a way for students to gain a more conceptual understanding of mathematics by helping them to create mental images for abstract ideas, like those found in calculus. In this presentation, I first provide a conceptual framework for the mathematical concept I have come to believe underlies the chain rule, implicit differentiation, and related rates problems. I will then describe a focused teaching experiment with a small number of college calculus students in which I attempt to introduce mathematics tasks that are focused on context and understanding in order to see what meanings students gain about chain rule, implicit differentiation, and related rates problems.