The attitudes of high school mathematics teachers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, toward using calculators in teaching mathematics
Khalid S. Alzahrani, Ohio University, United States
Ohio University . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes of high school mathematics teachers in Jeddah toward using calculators in teaching mathematics, the teachers' training about using calculators in teaching mathematics, the teachers' actual use of calculators in teaching mathematics, and the factors that influence the use of calculators in teaching mathematics.
The research data were compiled from a questionnaire designed for this purpose. The questionnaire was composed of five parts. The researcher developed the Calculator Attitude Scale to measure teachers' attitudes toward calculators. The sample of this study consisted of 149 high school mathematics teachers.
In addition to descriptive statistics, two-way Multivariate Analysis of variance (MANOVA), and an independent t-test were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that teachers held moderate attitudes toward calculators, and they seemed to be concerned that calculators would cause a decline in student's basic algebraic skills and ability to think mathematically. The inferential statistics revealed that there was no significant difference between male and female teachers regarding their attitudes toward calculators. However, there was a significant difference between educators (those who graduated from education colleges) and scientists (those who graduated from science colleges) regarding their attitudes toward calculators, favoring educators. An independent t-test indicated that there was a relationship between teachers' attitudes toward calculators and their frequency of using calculators.
Descriptive statistics from this study revealed that only a small number (18%) of teachers had received training about the use of calculators in teaching mathematics. On the other hand, the majority of teachers (78%) reported using calculators as instructional tools.
Four factors were classified as the most important factors influencing the use of calculators in teaching mathematics. These factors were: teacher training, mathematics curriculum, school district support, and teacher knowledge. There was a difference between male and female teachers regarding these factors. While all four factors were identified to be important for female teachers, only two of them were identified to be important for male teachers. These two factors were: teachers training and school district support.
Alzahrani, K.S. The attitudes of high school mathematics teachers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, toward using calculators in teaching mathematics. Ph.D. thesis, Ohio University.
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