The good, the bad, and the ugly
Serkan, Christopher Giovanni
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This study investigated different calculus professors’ conceptions about mathematics and mathematical learning, calculus teaching with or without the use of computing technology, and the experiences in which those conceptions were grounded. Through the qualitative research methodology called grounded theory, six college professors were purposefully selected and studied. The results showed the professors’ perceptions of the effects of technology use on pedagogy and students’ learning; their perceptions of barriers and challenges to the adoption and use of technology for teaching and learning calculus; and their experience, knowledge, and motivation for adopting instructional technology that made unique and significant contributions to explaining faculty use of technology for teaching and learning calculus. Some professors were categorically opposed to the use of computing technology in calculus, but others envisioned that computing technology could play a multitude of roles in their calculus classrooms. The more that the calculus professors wanted to focus on real-world applications and wanted students to apply calculus concepts in their academic disciplines, the more they were concerned about their own ability to facilitate such learning and the need to integrate computing technology into calculus. The more that the calculus professors focused on procedural understanding in mathematics and on teacher-centered lessons, the more they were concerned about students misusing computing technology and failing to develop a proper understanding of calculus concepts.