Students’ mental construction in cube and cuboid concepts based on mathematical ability differences

Imam Rofiki, Ahmad Choirul Anam, Putri Eka Sari, Wahyu Henky Irawan, Ika Santia


Understanding of cube and cuboid concepts is one of the essential goals of solid geometry learning. Most studies of students’ understanding of these concepts have posited a gap between the students’ surface area and volume conceptions of its and students’ understanding. The study aims to describe the students’ mental constructions in APOS (Action, Process, Object, and Schema) theory framework. This study used analysis of students as subject to three junior high school students who have differences in mathematical abilities with a qualitative approach. Data were collected by the task sheet and interview. The result of this study evidences that subject who has high mathematical ability could solve problems about cube and cuboid concepts correctly in the action stage. In the process and object stage, subject could provide detailed explanations of how steps to assess the surface area and volume of cube and cuboid. She compared two shapes with different sizes of cube and cuboid. In the schema stage, she made systematic understanding related to the concepts of surface area and volume of cube and cuboid. The subject who has medium mathematical ability explained her mental construction in action and process stage well, despite the error in the process stage. Next stage, she had compared two different shapes of cube and cuboid to found their ratio. The last stage, she had not completed her explanation. The subject has low mathematical ability could solve the problems about cube and cuboid concepts. At the process, object, and schema stage, she had not completed its indicators to show cube and cuboid concepts.


Understanding Concepts; Mental Construction; APOS Theory; Mathematical Ability

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