Original Research

Social science students’ concept images and concept definitions of anti-derivatives

Eunice K. Moru, Makomosela Qhobela
Pythagoras | Vol 40, No 1 | a484 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v40i1.484 | © 2019 Eunice K. Moru, Makomosela Qhobela | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 April 2019 | Published: 13 November 2019

About the author(s)

Eunice K. Moru, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho
Makomosela Qhobela, Department of Science Education, National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho


The purpose of the reported study was to investigate the social science students’ concept images and concept definitions of anti-derivatives. Data were collected through asking students to answer 10 questions related to anti-derivatives and also by interviewing them. The theory of concept image and concept definition was used for data analysis. The results of the study show that the students’ definitions of anti-derivatives were personal reconstructions of the formal definition. Their concept images were coherent only to a certain extent as there were some conceptions of some ideas that were at variance with those of the mathematical community. These were more evident when students solved problems in the algebraic representation. Some students did not know which integration or differentiation methods they should apply in solving the problems. The significance of such findings is to enable the mathematics educators to pay attention not only to the use of signs and symbols representing mathematical concepts but also to their semantics.


anti-derivatives; concept definition; concept image; social science students; integration


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