Abstract by Navy Borrowman
Influences from Pathways College Algebra on Students’ Initial Understanding and Reasoning about Calculus Limits
The Pathways to College Algebra curriculum aims to build concepts that cohere with the big ideas in Calculus, and initial results suggest improved readiness for Calculus by students who have taken a Pathways course. However, less is known about how the Pathways curriculum might influence students’ initial understanding and reasoning about calculus concepts. I examined similarities and differences in how Pathways and non-Pathways students initially understand and reason about the calculus concept of the limit. The findings suggest that Pathways students may engage a little more in quantitative reasoning and in higher covariational reasoning, and have more correct and consistent initial understandings. Further, the Pathways students were explicitly aware of how their Pathways course connected with their understanding of limits.