Date on Honors Thesis

Fall 11-17-2016


Mathematics and Statistics

Examining Committee Member

Craig Collins, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

David Gibson, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

David Roach, Committee Member


The way functions are taught in school needs improvement. Many times when students are introduced to functions in Algebra 2, the definition is glossed over, the instruction is lacking, and deeper understanding of the concept is lost. This causes problems when students are required to use this knowledge of functions in later classes, particularly, in Precalculus and Calculus. First, this paper will give the definition of a function and its role in mathematics. Second, this paper will delve into the problems of teaching functions the standard way. Finally, it will present multiple alternative methods for teaching functions. Specifically, it will talk about teaching the student using visual, kinesthetic, auditory, technological, and whole class immersion techniques. While there is no specific “best way” to teach functions, this paper will show new and creative ways to teach a subject that students often times dislike. Ultimately, this paper will persuade current and future teachers to choose an alternative way to teach not only functions, but also any concept, mathematical or otherwise.