Investigation into the use of graphics calculators by mathematics teachers
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This thesis reports on the findings of four inter-related studies : a pilot study with three Post-graduate student-teachers, a longitudinal case study of a novice teacher, a cross sectional study of novice teachers and experienced teachers, and a study of a mathematics department just beginning to use graphics calculators. Four research tools were used in the main part of this research a: questionnaire lesson observations, interviews and log books. The questionnaire was designed to elicit participants' responses about their beliefs and attitudes about graphics calculators. The data from the questionnaires were triangulated with data collected from lesson observations and interviews. The questionnaire data suggested that the participants' beliefs and attitudes about graphics calculators were relatively stable and remained unchanged during the research. The interviews and observations provided much greater insight into the way teachers use graphics calculators. The fourth strand of the research asked a group of teachers to record their use of graphics calculators in a log book. The log book data were used to identify the types of tasks and activities that teachers present to their pupils. The log book data showed that teachers make limited use of graphics calculators in their teaching. A model to describe the way teachers use graphics calculators is proposed. The proposed model highlights the way that teachers use graphics calculators and describes four levels of use. The model also describes how teachers move from one level to the next by considering their professional development.
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