ERIC Number: ED352017
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jul-14
Reference Count: N/A
From the Laboratory to the Classroom: A Technology-Intensive Curriculum for Functions and Graphs.
This paper speaks to the challenges, risks, and rewards of teaching about linear functions in a technology-rich environment from a constructivist perspective by describing a Foundations of Algebra class, which was designed and taught to junior high school students in such an environment in the summer of 1991. The design and implementation of the class were based on cognitive science research on linear functions and made use of computer software designed to help students make connections between the algebraic and graphical representations of functions. The introduction to this paper describes the Functions Research Group at the University of California at Berkeley and its research on how students learn about linear functions using the computer program "Grapher." Technology and constructivism are then briefly discussed and the course is described in detail, noting that it met for a total of 36 hours and the students were 22 racially and socioeconomically diverse adolescents in the eighth and ninth grades. A discussion of challenges posed by the constructivist approach in the classroom presents two vignettes that consider the teacher's role in two types of activities: computer labs and activities where students worked in small groups to explore, extend, and apply ideas, and whole class discussions where the results of these explorations were probed and extended. Some rewards of constructivism in the classroom are suggested, and a discussion of issues involved in constructivist teaching concludes the paper. (Contains 12 references.) (ALF)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A