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Abstract Title: The Ratio Table: Making Meaning with Ratios and Units Involving “Per”
Abstract: Arnold Arons described an inadequate understanding of ratios as "one of the most serious impediments to the study of science" (Arons, 1983). Yet, ample maths and physics education research demonstrates that STEM university students struggle with ratios. This study investigates a simple technique for both (a) working algebraically with ratios, and (b) making physical sense of units involving "per". For example, students are familiar with the notion of "meters per second", but many do not attribute meaning to the notion of "seconds per meter". This pre/post test study is based on a questionnaire developed by Kanim, Brahmia and Boudreaux (2015).  The results show that more than half of the 400 students in the study struggle with ratios, and demonstrate significant gains after a relatively small intervention involving the Ratio Table.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: B48
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dr. Philip Southey
Stellenbosch University
Physics Department
Merensky Building
Stellenbosch, Non U.S. 7600
Phone: 0732495757

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster