Electronic Proceedings of the Eighth Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

Houston, Texas, November 16-19, 1995

Paper C007

Reluctant Reformers' Instructional Practice and Conceptions of Teaching Calculus When Using Supercalculators

Susan Barton

Brigham Young University-Hawaii
Box 1967
Laie, HI 96762
Phone: (808) 293-3811
Fax: (808) 293-3825

list of all papers by this author

Click to access this paper: paper.pdf


This paper is based upon a dissertation study which examined classroom instructional practices and teachers' conceptions about teaching calculus in relationship to the implementation of supercalculators (TI-85 and HP-48). The study occurred at a university not affiliated with any reform project. The participants were not the catalysts seeking to implement calculus reform, but had expressed a willingness to teach the first quarter calculus course with the calculators.

Although the teachers did not perceive a dramatic change in their instructional practices, the new graphing approach curriculum and technology were assimilated into the teachers' normal teaching practices. Initially, all of the teachers without prior experience using supercalculators indicated concern and skepticism about the usefulness of the technology in teaching calculus and were uncertain how to utilize the calculator. During the study the teachers became less skeptical about the calculator's usefulness and believed it had been beneficial to them in teaching and to their students' in learning the calculus.

Use of the calculator by the teachers was influenced by several factors including: inexperience with the calculator, time constraints, the classroom display calculator, preferred teaching styles and emphasis, and a willingness to risk experimenting with established teaching practices and habits.

Keyword(s): TI-85, HP48G, calculus, teacher training