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Prospective teachers’ views on the use of calculators with Computer Algebra System in algebra instruction

Abstract

Although growing numbers of secondary school mathematics teachers and students use calculators to study graphs, they mainly rely on paper-and-pencil when manipulating algebraic symbols. However, the Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) on computers or handheld calculators create new possibilities for teaching and learning algebraic manipulation. This study investigated the views of Turkish prospective secondary mathematics teachers on the use of advanced calculators with CAS in algebra instruction. An open-ended questionnaire and group interviews revealed prospective teachers’ views and beliefs about when and why they prefer three possible uses of CAS—black box, white box, or Symbolic Math Guide (SMG). The results showed that participants mainly preferred the white box methods and especially SMG to the black box method. They suggested that while the black box method could be used after students mastered the skills, the general white box method and SMG could be used to teach symbolic manipulation.

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Correspondence to S. Aslι Özgün-Koca.

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Özgün-Koca, S.A. Prospective teachers’ views on the use of calculators with Computer Algebra System in algebra instruction. J Math Teacher Educ 13, 49–71 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10857-009-9126-z

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Keywords

  • Prospective teachers
  • Graphing calculators
  • Computer Algebra Systems
  • Algebra instruction
  • Secondary mathematics education