Mathematics Education Students’ Understanding of Equal Sign and Equivalent Equation

  •  Baiduri Baiduri    


The objective of this paper is to analyse matemathics education students‘ understanding of the equal sign, their strategies in solving the equivalent equations and the relationship between the two. Data were collected through responses from 167 first year students of mathematics education in University of Muhammadiyah Malang, East Java, Indonesia to the assigned tasks and the data were descriptively analysed using a Chi-square statistics. The results of the analysis showed that their operational understanding of the equal sign is more dominant than their relational conception. In solving equivalent equations, they tended to adopt operational procedures by making solutions, comparisons and substitutions, instead of paying attention to the existing relations in equivalence, called a strategy to recognize equivalence. No significant relations exist between students’ understanding of the equal sign and their strategies in solving equivalent equations. Then gender and repondents‘ origin of areas are also discussed.

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