ERIC Number: ED348229
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
The Use of Contextual Problems and Multi-Representational Software To Teach the Concept of Functions. Final Project Report.
Confrey, Jere; And Others
The "Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (1989)" calls for the revision of existing secondary mathematics curricula which include an emphasis on contextual problems, multiple representations, and the use of computers. The focus of this revision significantly involves the acknowledgment of the key role of the concept of function as an organizing concept around which other important mathematical ideas revolve. This report describes a 2-year project centered around the issue of teaching function concepts utilizing a context-based curriculum in a technology-rich secondary mathematics classroom. The goal of the project was the production, through applied research, of an intermediate-range vision of what mathematics instruction in schools might be like if classrooms were provided with adequate technological resources and appropriate teacher development. The report addresses the following topics: (1) the rationale and purpose of the project; (2) an overall theoretical approach to functions, teaching, learning, and small-group interactions; (3) the design principles, interaction processes, and pedagogical impact of the multi-representational software tool called Function Probe; (4) the use of prototypes within contextual problem settings; (5) the particulars within the implementation process of this project; (6) data collection techniques and research methodology; and (7) research results for the teachers, the students, and small groups of problem solvers. A final chapter offers conclusions about, and implications of, the role of technology in teaching mathematics. An appendix describes the software features, requirements, and availability of the Function Probe tool. (58 references) (Author/JJK)
Descriptors: Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Software Evaluation, Context Effect, Functions (Mathematics), Mathematics Education, Mathematics Instruction, Problem Solving, Program Descriptions, Secondary Education, Secondary School Mathematics, Small Group Instruction, Symbols (Mathematics), Tables (Data)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Practitioners
Sponsor: Apple Computer, Inc., Cupertino, CA.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY. Dept. of Education.