Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum



Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by Drexel University or The Math Forum.


Math Forum » Discussions » Inactive » mathchina

Topic: Re: Data?and Dr. Zhang
Replies: 1   Last Post: Mar 20, 2001 10:27 AM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View  
Tony Ralston

Posts: 17
Registered: 12/8/04
Re: Re: Data?and Dr. Zhang
Posted: Mar 20, 2001 10:27 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

On 14 March John Knight wrote:

> >If it took us 20 years to figure out that calculators "had a negative
effect
> >on students' learning of math", then we need to be careful about what
stage
> >of math education computer science instruction begins, or we will never
> >figure out that computers have the same effect on learning as calculators
> >did.


I never can resist replying to statements of this kind.

There is no substantial evidence (NAEP notwithstanding) that the use of
calculators has intrinsically *any* negative effect on students' learning of
math. Sure, there are studies that purport to show such negative effects
but there are many more that purport to show positive effects. All such
studies are subject to criticism but totally uncontrolled studies like those
using NAEP data just cannot be used to make such a sweeping claim.

Yes, of course, calculators can be, are being and will be used in ways to
create negative effects. But they can, are and must be used to produce
positive effects. What we should be doing in American math education is not
to get rid of calculators but to make strenuous efforts to reinforce their
good use and to root out their bad use.

See, for example, http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~ar9/abolpub.htm


Tony Ralston
Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Mathematics
SUNY at Buffalo

Academic Visitor
Department of Computing
Imperial College, London

email: ar9@doc.ic.ac.uk
phone and fax: (020) 7589 2195
Home Page: www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~ar9

Mailing address: Flat 4
58 Prince Consort Road
London SW7 2BA







Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© Drexel University 1994-2014. All Rights Reserved.
The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.