Preservice secondary mathematics teachers' beliefs and practice regarding the use of graphing calculators in mathematics instruction
Banker, Teresa Gail
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated perservice teachers' decisions about use of the graphing calculator during instruction. Particularly, the study noted how the graphing calculator was used in instruction, why the preservice teachers chose to use or chose not to use the graphing calculator, what they found problematic about the use of the calculator, and with which mathematics they used the graphing calculator. Data were collected in the form of classroom observations, e-mail responses, individual interviews, and essays. Data were analyzed using the methods of grounded theory (Creswell, 1998; Merriam, 1998). |Two preservice secondary mathematics teachers completed student teaching in the spring of 2001. They were involved in all the duties and activities pursuant to the role of a high school mathematics teacher - planning, teaching, and accessing lessons for their course curricula; working with individual students' and designing projects for their classes. During student teaching, they also used the graphing calculator for mathematics instruction. |The preservice teachers' ways of using the graphing calculator were analyzed in terms of Elaine Simmt's (1997) categories of use from her study about graphing calculators. The preservice teachers' categories fo use aligned with the ones that Simmt identified. These categories revealed how the preservice teachers used the graphing calculator. The categories of use found for the two preservice teachers in this study were as a tool for 1) checking work, 2) finding graphical solutions, 3) exploring deeper, richer mathematics, 4) generating alternate solutions, 5) simulating real-world phenomena, 6) visualization, and 7) motivation. |Another focus of the study was what the preservice teachers found problematic when using graphing calculators in the mathematics classroom. The preservice teachers reported that problematic issues centered on time and materials for planning, on finding a balance in the appropriate amount of use, and on student resistance. |Understanding when the graphing calculators were used forced a review of the mathematics with which the preservice teachers worked. Two content areas were dominant: computation (i.e., atrithmetic operations, statistical, probabilistic, evaluative, and trigonometric) and algebra (i.e., solving one-and-two step equations and inequalities, lines - including linear regression problems, and creating T-tables).