ERIC Number: ED373963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Calculators in Primary Mathematics.
Stacey, Kaye; Groves, Susie
The Calculators in Primary Mathematics Project was a long-term investigation into the effects of the introduction of calculators on the learning and teaching of primary mathematics. The Australian project commenced with children who were in kindergarten and grade 1 in 1990, moving up through the schools to grade 4 level by 1993. Children were given their own calculators to use when they wished, while teachers were provided with some systematic professional support. Over 60 teachers and 1,000 children participated in the project. This paper gives an overview of the project, with particular emphasis on the ways in which teachers incorporated calculators into their classrooms and the resulting long-term learning outcomes for the students. It first reports on a survey of 700 primary, 7th-, and 8th-grade teachers which established that teachers now support calculator use, even in the first grades, but that actual use falls far behind the support expressed. A brief description is given of the major ways in which the calculator was used in project schools--as a computational device, as a recording device, to count, and as an object to explore. Testing of 3rd- and 4th-grade students (n=225) established that children did understand the number system better after sustained calculator use and that they were better able to choose an appropriate operation in a word problem. A series of interviews showed that calculator use had assisted children to develop number sense and skills of mental computation. Contains 20 references. (MKR)
Descriptors: Arithmetic, Calculators, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Elementary School Teachers, Foreign Countries, Interviews, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Skills, Mental Computation, Number Systems, Observation, Questionnaires, Teacher Attitudes, Word Problems (Mathematics)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia (Melbourne); Calculators in Primary Mathematics Project; Number Sense
Note: For related papers, see SE 054 559-560. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (72nd, Indianapolis, IN, April 1994).