A multilevel structural model of mathematical thinking in derivative concept

Özdil, Utkun
The purpose of the study was threefold: (1) to determine the factor structure of mathematical thinking at the within-classroom and at the between-classroom level; (2) to investigate the extent of variation in the relationships among different mathematical thinking constructs at the within- and between-classroom levels; and (3) to examine the cross-level interactions among different types of mathematical thinking. Previous research was extended by investigating the factor structure of mathematical thinking in derivative at the within- and between-classroom levels, and further examining the direct, indirect, and cross-level relations among different types of mathematical thinking. Multilevel analyses of a cross-sectional dataset containing two independent samples of undergraduate students nested within classrooms showed that the within-structure of mathematical thinking includes enactive, iconic, algorithmic, algebraic, formal, and axiomatic thinking, whereas the between-structure contains formal-axiomatic, proceptual-symbolic, and conceptual-embodied thinking. Major findings from the two-level mathematical thinking model revealed that: (1) enactive, iconic, algebraic, and axiomatic thinking varied primarily as a function of formal and algorithmic thinking; (2) the strongest direct effect of formal-axiomatic thinking was on proceptual-symbolic thinking; (3) the nature of the relationships was cyclic at the between-classroom level; (4) the within-classroom mathematical thinking constructs significantly moderate the relationships among conceptual-embodied, proceptual-symbolic, and formal-axiomatic thinking; and (5) the between-classroom mathematical thinking constructs moderate the relationships among enactive, iconic, algorithmic, algebraic, formal, and axiomatic thinking. The challenges when using multilevel exploratory factor analysis, multilevel confirmatory factor analysis, and multilevel structural equation modeling with categorical variables are emphasized. Methodological and educational implications of findings are discussed.


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Citation Formats
U. Özdil, “A multilevel structural model of mathematical thinking in derivative concept,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2012.