Mathematical connections skills associated with the concept of quadratic equation established by prospective Mexican mathematics teachers
[Objective] This investigation seeks to identify the mathematical connections established by prospective mathematics teachers related to the concept of the quadratic equation. [Methodology] A focal group interview was used to collect information. It consisted of assigning five tasks to eight prospective mathematics teachers who are pursuing a Licentiate’s degree in Mathematics in the area of Educational Mathematics. The participants are from the city of Chilpancingo in the state of Guerrero in Mexico, and were from 21 to 23 years old. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the four group sessions were held virtually, each lasting 80 minutes. Data were analyzed using a thematic approach. [Results] The written and verbal responses of prospective mathematics teachers indicated that each of them used mathematical connections skills in a different way. In general, the most frequent skills were related to procedures, characteristics, and meaning, and less frequently to part-whole, modeling, and implication. These connections correspond to those specified in the theoretical framework; therefore, it can be argued that this framework is valid and relevant for exploring the mathematical connections among prospective mathematics teachers when solving mathematical tasks. [Conclusions] The participants assigned meaning to the concept of quadratic equation in terms of what it represents in real contexts, and were able to present the quadratic function in different forms in the algebraic and graphical terms. However, most of them did not make the intended mathematical connections.
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