Mathematics Activities with CASIO CFX9850 at the
Secondary Level with Discussion of International Trends
and Didactical Concerns on Calculator Use
Chang, Kyung Yoon, Ed.D kchang@konkuk.ac.kr
College of Education Konkuk University KOREA
Abstract
Technologies are assumed to serve as tools to deepen and enrich
mathematics activities and mathematical thinking. Calculators are more
affordable to students because of their relatively cheap price compared
to computers. Since the 1980s, calculators have been introduced to mathematics
classes and much research has been carried out in this area.
According to the recent TIMSSR(Third International Mathematics
and Science Study) report, there is an enormous variation of calculator
use in mathematics classes across countries and a remarkable trend in
the emphasis on calculator use in mathematics classes: Except Hong Kong
and Singapore, the ratio of high emphasis on calculators among eighth
graders is much less than the international average in South and East
Asian participant countries; and there is a shift toward less frequent
use of calculators classes between 1995(TIMSS) and 1999(TIMSSR).
The lower level calculator use in some Asian countries
may be explained from several perspectives: financial limitation, cultural
characteristics, and evaluation system. The international decreasing trend
of high emphasis on frequency in calculator use may result from the quality
of mathematics activities dealt with in the mathematics classes and the
policy of MOE related to calculator use might be the factors of such trend.
In this paper, the current trends of calculator use in
mathematics classes shown in the TIMSSR report will be summarized focusing
on Asian countries and the results briefly analyzed. Then some sample
mathematics activities with the graphic calculator CASIO CFX9850 at the
secondary school level will be presented with didactical concerns. It
is assume that the improper use of calculators may cause the trend of
calculator use shown in the TIMSSR report. Calculatorbased activities
for alternative approaches to Korean traditional mathematics curriculum
contents or for exploration of new types of meaningful mathematics problems
will be presented.
