Abstract Presented at the 10th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics
December 12-19, 2005, South Korea

After Using Computer Algebra System, Change of Students' Rationale and Writing

Mathematics Education
Korea National University of Education


Adopting the perspective of activity theory, Mellin-Olsen(1981) argues the case for the significance of a student's rationale for engaging in classroom activity. He identifies two rationales for learning. These are the S-rationale (Socially significant) and the I-rationale (instrumental). And then, Goodchild(2002) adds the P-rationale (practice) and the N-rationale (no rationale). First, this study surveys the student have which one of four rationales. After students use Computer Algebra System in class, this paper investigates to change students' rationale.

Ball & Stacey(2003) say what should students record when solving problems with CAS. They say that record need reasons, information, the plan, and some answers. Based on this theory, I teach to use Computer Algebra System and to write their answers in class. After students received that class, this paper investigates to change students' writing by assessment.

The subject is one class of an urban high school. First, I had an interview with their classroom teacher and mathematics teacher briefly. And then, I taught that class using Computer Algebra System. That class carried out four times. It took one hour each time. I did assessment to students and investigation to students' rationales using a questionnaire before and after whole class.

The result showed significant change about students' rationale and writing. Significant numbers of students change to S-rationale. After those classes, several students have good attitude though they didn't have it before that class. And several students' writing also change for the better.

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