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Tang, W. K., & Lim-Teo, S. K. (1999). Students’ abilities in solving non-routine problems in calculus. In S. P. Loo (Ed.), Proceeds of the MERA-ERA Joint conference 1999: Educational Challenges in the New Millennium (pp. 953-961). Malacca, Malaysia.
Calculus is one of the branches of Mathematics in which the concepts are difficult to
understand but the techniques are easy to apply. Students who have been taking an “applying
algorithmic skills” approach before coming to the University thus have problems with
University level Calculus where the approach is rather more abstract. This paper reports on a
study conducted to find out if first year undergraduate students from the National Institute of
Education, Singapore, were able to solve novel problems in Calculus by applying their
understanding of Calculus concepts. Our study shows that students with good grades in
traditional examinations need not be good in solving of novel problems. Conversely, students
with lower grades can solve novel problem with correct understanding of the concepts.
This paper was published in the 1999 Proceedings of the MERA-ERA Joint Conference held at Malacca, Malaysia from 1-3 December 1999
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