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Investigating a link between pre-calculus students’ uses of graphing calculators and their understanding of mathematical symbols. (English)
Int. J. Technol. Math. Educ. 21, No. 4, 157-166 (2014).
Summary: This study examined ways in which students make use of a graphing calculator and how use relates to comfort and understanding with mathematical symbols. Analysis involved examining students’ words and actions in problem solving to identify evidence of algebraic insight. Findings suggest that some symbols and symbolic structures had strong influences on students’ choices in problem solving, and that that difficulties in symbol sense can lead students to turn to a graphing calculator as a tool for prompting a way to start a problem, or for providing a guess or confirmation. Certain symbols also lead some students to believe that they cannot use a calculator at all. Implications for teaching with a graphing calculator are included.
Classification: U70 E40 D50 D70 I20
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