So, the evidence from nearly 20 years of
classroom research is in:
calculator is a valuable
a calculator used in conjunction with
||Inclusion or Exclusion?
is a better use
of this learning tool
a calculator used in
conjunction with manipulatives
and an attitude which values children's efforts to
is a powerful teaching
and as a result Calculating Changes
or does it?
- Consider the
results of research by Paul Swan and Len Sparrow reported
- Impediments to the Use of
Calculators in the Primary School
- Paul Swan & Len Sparrow
- Mathematics: Creating The
- Australian Association of Mathematics
- 1995 survey of all schools in Western Australia
- Teachers of Years 1, 3, 5, 7
- Over 1000 responses
- Should all students use calculators?
- (The 1987 National Statement on Calculators signed by every
educational authority in Australia had already established that
- Response: Over three quarters answered "Yes"
- BUT ... "they were not referring to free access to
calculators, but rather limited use as decreed by the teacher" .
For example one teacher commented that the children are allowed to
use it to "check work, complete puzzles and to make words such as
Swan and Sparrow identified the following impediments to the
implementation of the National Statement recommendation to integrate
calculator use at all levels:
- availability of calculators
- texts and course documents did not integrate calculator use
- lack of teacher vision about how to use calculators other than
as they are used in industry
- perceiving calculators as a 'new topic' and asking how will I
have the time?
- dominance of written algorithms
- lack of 'ideas sources' for teachers
Swan and Sparrow suggested the following key changes needed to
happen if the potential learning value of calculators was to be
Next Chapter: Addressing
- development of a whole school policy
- allocating resources for calculators, professional development
and 'ideas sources'
- developing a dialogue between schools and parents to avoid
misunderstandings about calculator use
- encouraging children to develop number sense and make choices
about when to use estimation, mental methods, paper and pencil,
Calculating Changes ... is a division of ... Mathematics Centre