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Title:Experiences of middle school mathematics teachers in Korea with materials involving calculator and microcomputer activities: Three case studies
Author(s):Hwang, Hye Jeang
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Travers, Kenneth J.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Mathematics
Education, Secondary
Education, Technology of
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to explore Korean teachers' perspectives and attitudes when they were given the opportunity to use technologically based elements in their classes and labs. The study investigated three selected teachers' reactions to using calculators and microcomputers as instructional aids in their ninth grade math classes. The teachers were given an experimental module covering quadratic and cubic functions and their graphs (including maximum and minimum values and roots), with classroom activities to be complemented by computer lab activities. The methodology used was a case study approach. Data consisted of audiotaped and videotaped lectures and lab periods, as well as audiotaped informal discussions with the teachers after class and pre- and post-interviews. Classes and labs were observed during approximately two months in the fall of 1990. Analysis focused on the total reactions of each teacher, and on possible implications of what was seen in these teachers for future implementation.
Major findings of the study were that, although on the whole each teacher had a positive reaction to using calculators and computers in their instruction, the teachers had some common difficulties in their experience with them and rather divergent views about them as instructional tools. The difficulties were related to the teachers' lack of recognition of the proper roles of computers and calculators as instructional tools in mathematics classes, and their lack of skill in effectively managing classes or labs in which they were used. Each teacher had his individual, deeply rooted orientations and priorities in teaching mathematics and directing school life. These factors explained most of the teachers' attitudes and reactions during the research and even the changes in attitudes that they went through during the research period. Another problem exposed by the research experience was the mismatch between new technology and existing curriculum resources. The current textbooks do not feature much material which is suited to calculator and computer use. Teachers must be encouraged to select appropriate mathematical situations that exemplify such use and apply them to their classes.
The study's instructional materials were relatively well matched to the different needs of the three teachers. Through their experience, the teachers began to develop concrete knowledge and critical views regarding situations in which calculators and computers would be needed or advantageous and how they should be utilized. This study concludes that teacher reactions to new technology might be positive with some limitations. It raises interesting questions about how teacher interest in and familiarity with the implementation of new technology might be generated.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Hwang, Hye Jeang
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210845
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210845

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