Using multiple representations of a problem can reveal the relationship between complex concepts by expressing the same mathematical condition differently and can contribute to the meaningful learning of mathematical concepts. The purpose of this study is to assess the performances of mathematics teacher-candidates on trigonometry problems represented in different formats and to examine the reasons for test failures.
Materials and methods:
This study uses a mixed-method approach and consists of 51 teacher-candidates enrolled in the Department of Mathematics Education at a state university. The data collection tools were a symbolic trigonometry test, a visual trigonometry test, and a verbal trigonometry test. Interviews were conducted with the teacher-candidates to reveal the reasons of their failures and the advantages and disadvantages of each representation style for the trigonometry problems.
This study found that the teacher-candidates were most successful on the symbolic test and least successful on the verbal test.
The teacher-candidates stated that seeing different representation forms helped them to understand the questions better and produce multiple solutions.