Ryan Shannon

Connections in Secondary School Mathematics (EMAT 6500)

Dr. Kevin Moore

November 29, 2011

A Conceptual Analysis of Trigonometric

Functions Fore Shadow

By reading texts and tutoring students, I have noticed that students face challenges in understanding trigonometric functions. Here I explore the challenges students face and show how students’ educational backgrounds can leave them with gaps in their understanding of trigonometric functions. Here too, I suggest ways these gaps can be filled and avoided. Gaps in student understanding can be created by the textbook definitions used to teach trigonometric functions; and by disproportionate applications of trigonometric functions to triangles and circles. Also, by using these functions without a strong understanding of radians and the unit circle students will have find issues in understanding. Students need definitions they can apply to understanding and solving trigonometric problems.

Text in Word Doc.

Text as PDF

Return to Home Page