Prior knowledge of a calculus course: The impact of prior knowledge on students’ errors
Regina Mahadewsing 1 * , Diana Getrouw 1 , Sharon M. Calor 2 3 4
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1 Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo, SURINAME2 Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS3 VU Teachers’ Academy, Free University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS4 Faculty of Education, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS* Corresponding Author


We conducted a descriptive study among first-year engineering students at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname. We analyzed students’ errors regarding necessary prior knowledge in a calculus A exam. We found that the stage of the solution in which prior knowledge is required impacts the importance of prior knowledge. We also found that many errors concerned basic algebra and trigonometry concepts and skills. We concluded that even though the required prior knowledge concerns basic algebra and trigonometry, the stage of the solution in which prior knowledge is needed is of great importance.


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Article Type: Research Article

INT ELECT J MATH ED, Volume 19, Issue 3, August 2024, Article No: em0786

Publication date: 01 Jul 2024

Online publication date: 26 Jun 2024

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