Making pupils think : the development of a microcomputer-inspired adaptation of the Standard 7 mathematics curriculum

Norman, Maxie (1992) Making pupils think : the development of a microcomputer-inspired adaptation of the Standard 7 mathematics curriculum. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

This half-thesis gives an overview of the influence of the microcomputer on the way in which mathematics is done, taught and learnt. The nature of mathematics and the nature of the tutor,tool and tutee modes of microcomputer usage are discussed as background. A case is made for the use of action research methods and a classroom-based curriculum development model to facilitate innovation and the integration of the microcomputer into the mathematics classroom. A curriculum development cycle of situation analysis. planning, trial and evaluation is advocated. This approach is used to develop a microcomputer-based course aimed at enhancing the reasoning skills of standard 7 pupils. Pupils, working in groups of three, interact with the PROLOG system to build up databases of facts and rules. The microcomputer is used in tutee mode. In "teaching" this tutee, pupils discover the need for formal language and logical reasoning. Active learning is promoted by pupils' interaction with the PROLOG system and by discussions within groups. In this environment the teacher becomes a consultant and constructive critic rather than a lecturer. Findings suggest that the microcomputer plays an important role in terms of pupil motivation and that the microcomputer-based course enables pupils to experience formal language usage and logical reasoning·as relevant activities. Pupil databases provide evidence of the pupils' ability to make appropriate use of rules and to distinguish between and-conditions and or-conditions. The objective of making pupils think was largely achieved. It is recommended that the course be incorporated in the standard 1 or standard 8 curriculum to complement or replace parts of the Euclidean geometry sections as a vehicle for developing logical reasoning skills. Suggestions for the further use of the microcomputer as an investigative tool in mathematics classes and for further microcomputer-inspired courses are also made. The provision of appropriate training to enable teachers to make effective and innovative use of the microcomputer in mathematics lessons is advocated.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mathematics, Education, Data processing, Secondary school, Computer-assisted instruction
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Supervisors:Marsh, Terry
ID Code:4221
Deposited By: Mrs Judith Cornwell
Deposited On:10 Dec 2012 12:37
Last Modified:10 Dec 2012 12:37
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