Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Alistair McIntosh

Abstract

This study investigated the attitudes and achievements of year one students using calculators to facilitate their pattern development. The investigation also involved the attitudes of the classroom teacher and parents to the use of calculators in mathematics education for year one students. A class of 22 year one students (10 males and 12 females) was chosen for the study. The class was involved in one forty-minute lesson per week using calculators for ten weeks. The lessons focused on the topic of patterns. The calculators were also available for the child ran to use in their free time. The effects on student performance were evaluated based on pre- and posttests. Changes in student attitudes were evaluated based on questionnaires given before and after the study, observations recorded in a researcher journal, and interviews with six selected students. Change in the teacher's attitude to using calculators was investigated using interviews before and after the study. Parent attitudes were evaluated using a questionnaire form at the completion of the instructional phase of the study. It was concluded that student performance had improved after the study, with students more able to correctly identify, continue and make up their own patterns. Student attitudes were also improved, with the calculators acting as a motivating tool for the students. The classroom teacher became much more positive and enthusiastic about the use of calculators with young children after she had observed her class using calculators. The investigation also revealed that parents do not receive much information about using calculators with young children, but would like more information about this topic. At present, however, the parents feel that there could be detrimental effects from using calculators before students have mastered number work using traditional paper and pencil methods.

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