eJMT Abstract

Title The Preparation of Secondary Pre- and Inservice Mathematics Teachers on the Integration of Technology in Topics Foundational to Calculus
Author Antonio R. QUESADA and Laurie DUNLAP
Volume 5
Number 1

Because the graphing calculator has been on the market for 25 years, it is fair to ask whether we are taking full advantage of the capabilities that hand-held graphing technology (HHGT) offers, without Computer Algebra Systems (CAS). In particular, are we using HHGT to provide students with the best possible preparation for calculus? To answer this question in the USA, we first established criteria on how the integration of technology expands the study of families of continuous functions at this level. Then, we proceeded to explore the knowledge on the integration of HHGT that secondary pre- and inservice teachers have. A test based on the established criteria was administered to three intact groups consisting of 46 preservice secondary teachers from three universities in the Midwest of the USA. The same test was also given to a group of 74 secondary inservice teachers representing 40 school districts from the same geographical area. The test results were very low. The teachers were also asked to answer a survey where they rated their knowledge on the established criteria, immediately before taking the test. The self-evaluation of both groups on the chosen topics ranged from “very little” to “some” knowledge, corroborating their self-awareness on their lack of preparation on these topics. This issue does not appear to be limited to precalculus topics. Another group of inservice teachers were tested over using HHGT in probability, statistics, data analysis, matrices and discrete mathematics. The results in this case were even lower than for the precalculus topics.