Stimulating Conceptual Learning of Differentiation: A Graphic Calculator Integrated Curriculum

Ye Yoon Hong
hong@math.auckland.ac.nz
Department of Mathematics
The University of Auckland
Mathematics Education Unit
New Zealand

Michael O.J. Thomas
santos@math.auckland.ac.nz
Department of Mathematics
The University of Auckland

New Zealand

Abstract

One of the key aspects in a successful integration of technology in the secondary mathematics classroom is the inclusion of the classroom teacher in the process. Ideally this process should involve teachers in all stages, including planning, writing, and implementation. This paper describes the initial stages of a research project where a group of four committed and mostly experienced teachers in a secondary school are being mentored by a research team as they begin a year long programme to integrate the use of calculators (TI–89) with a computer algebra system (CAS) into their year 13 (age 17/18 years) mathematics curriculum. The students were given a procedural and conceptual test on differentiation prior to, and after completion of, the school module on differentiation. This module was taught using the calculators and the students had access to the calculators at all times during their learning. An analysis of the results of the test, discussion with the teachers, and observation of lessons suggest that while there appear to be some benefits from the use of the technology, the construction of an integrated approach to learning using a CAS which will assist inter-representational conceptual learning is not straightforward.


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