Title

E-cycles of developing mathematical thinking

Date of Award

6-2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Prof. Anjum Halai

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Harcharan Pardhan

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Pakistan

Abstract

This is a report on an action research I carried out at a private high school 1in Karachi, Pakistan. The essence of the study was to explore 'how the use of computer software - Microsoft Excel spreadsheets - contributes towards the development of Mathematical thinking (DMT).' In this research, I played the role of the researcher as well as the teacher focusing on students DMT. I found that the action research processes were overlapping with the four cycles of teaching and learning, that is, elicitation, exploration, employment and evaluation. Key findings of the study show that Excel enabled DMT through motivating the learners, reducing the tedium and drudgery, creating 'microworlds' where students could model mathematical solutions, by allowing students to extend their ideas further than a given question and by fostering an environment of reflection and metacognition. However, there were also certain issues with the use of Excel. Some of the problems students faced were; having to cope with a large number of instructions, using graphing facilities to create relevant graphs, and their lack of familiarity and practice in the use of Excel in general. The study also raises other issues, such as the role of a teacher in a computer based environment and the nature of task design that fosters the efficient learning through the use of a computer software. The study how also raises an important point about the place of a school's existing culture in introducing the use of computer software in classroom teaching and learning.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library

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