Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1939

Full Length Research Paper

Students’ perceptions and development of conceptual understanding regarding trigonometry and trigonometric function

Omer Faruk CETIN
  • Omer Faruk CETIN
  • Erzincan University Education Faculty, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 25 November 2014
  •  Accepted: 29 January 2015
  •  Published: 10 February 2015


This study aims to analyse university level mathematics education students’ perceptions on conceptual understanding of trigonometry and trigonometric functions and their content development of these concepts. A case study was conducted with 90 freshman students of Elementary Mathematics Department. The data were gathered via a scale; they included ten questions related to perceptions of concept knowledge and a knowledge test with five open ended questions related to  the mathematical content that students use. Descriptive and content analyses were applied within the frame of the research goal. Findings showed that though students had a high level of perception about the fundamental concepts of trigonometry and trigonometric functions, specifically angle-angle measurement and arc-arc measurement, they were not successful in understanding their conceptual development.  But, they were aware of this issue. In addition, though the students had the visual images of these concepts, their mathematical content usage in the development of conceptual understanding of these concepts were far from the original issues of content development of these concepts. Based on the findings, some suggestions were given about angle, arc and their measurements to lessen the problems hindering the teaching of trigonometry and trigonometric functions in Mathematics education.

Key words: Angle measurement, arc measurement, conceptual understanding, content development.