Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching, Mathematics



First Reader/Committee Chair

Susan Addington


This study examines why students have difficulty with inverse functions (inverse functions is the process of doing and undoing operations) and what we can do to support their learning. This was a quasi-experimental design in a math classroom in an urban comprehensive high school in California. After two weeks of instruction one group of students was taught the traditional way of inverse functions and another group was taught conceptually. About (N=80) mathematics students in the sampling were assessed before and after the study. Students were given a test to measure their learning of inverse functions and a questionnaire to measure their perspectives on the unit of study of inverse functions. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the data. The results will be discussed hoping that in this study students taught conceptually would perform better than the controlled. Also, this study will be useful for teachers and educators to recognize that conceptual teaching yields better results than direct instruction of rote instruction