Secondary and early tertiary student's understanding of graphs of motion
This dissertation deals with typical, widespread student errors with respect to kinematic graphs as revealed by a literature survey, as well as an own empirical investigation into the nature and extent of these misconceptions. The fact that certain misconceptions turned out to be more widespread than initially believed, has serious consequences for educators' assumptions about students' understanding of graphs in general, as well as their ideas on how to minimise some generally occurring "alternative views on graphs". Students' graphing skills are analysed and described in terms of a number of translations between various representations of physical events involving motion. A special focus is placed on graph transformations, which are translations from one graphical representation to another. It turned out that this provides valuable information about a learner's graphing skills, as well as his understanding of the relevant kinematic quantities and conventions required to make successful transformations.