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Understanding of limits and differentiation as threshold concepts in a first-year mathematics course


Oates, GN and Reaburn, RL and Brideson, MA and Dharmadasa, HK, Understanding of limits and differentiation as threshold concepts in a first-year mathematics course, Proceedings of the Eleventh Southern Hemisphere Conference on the Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics, 26 November - 1 December 2017, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, pp. 108-120. ISBN 978-85-8167-237-3 (2018) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Threshold concepts remain relatively unexplored in mathematics, despite suggestions that the troublesome nature of such concepts pose a critical barrier to student understanding of mathematics. Many studies have identified student difficulties with limits, and their findings point to a strong likelihood that limits do indeed constitute a threshold concept in mathematics. This paper describes the initial results in a study that sought to investigate studentsí understanding of limits and differentiation from the prospective of Threshold Concepts. While the findings to date do not provide conclusive evidence for limits as a threshold concept, they do reinforce the troublesome nature of the limit concept, and suggest some important implications for the teaching of limits consistent with previous studies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:calculus, threshold concepts, misconceptions
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Mathematics and numeracy curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Pedagogy
UTAS Author:Oates, GN (Associate Professor Greg Oates)
UTAS Author:Reaburn, RL (Dr Robyn Reaburn)
UTAS Author:Brideson, MA (Dr Michael Brideson)
UTAS Author:Dharmadasa, HK (Dr Kumudini Dharmadasa)
ID Code:121940
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2017-10-23
Last Modified:2019-02-01
Downloads:172 View Download Statistics

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