Integrating non-programmable calculators in the Nigerian 10th-grade mathematics curriculum: Effects on student achievement and attitudes

Pius Chukwuka Ejiofor, Fordham University

Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to explore the effects of non-programmable scientific calculators on mathematics achievement and attitudes toward mathematics and calculators of Class 1 Senior Secondary (SS I) students in Nigeria, and to offer suggestions, based on research, that would help educators to construct a calculator-based curriculum of instruction. ^ Ninety-six students from 3 SS I or 10th-grade intact classes in an all-boys urban private high school in Onitsha, Nigeria, participated in this study. Students were assigned through stratified randomization to the experimental and the control groups, each of which consisted of 48 students. In each of the two research groups, there were 12, 20, and 16 students in the low, medium, and high mathematics ability levels, respectively. ^ In this study, students were evaluated on five different tests, namely, (a) mathematics ability test—a preexperimental test; (b) questionnaire about calculator use before the commencement of the experiment; (c) attitudes toward mathematics (pretest and posttest); (d) reactions and attitudes toward the use of calculators (pretest and posttest); and (e) mathematics achievement test (posttest only). The preliminary findings of this study indicated that all the participating students were already familiar with calculator use. The overall assessment of students' attitudes toward the use of calculators in and outside the classroom was positive. The difference in gain scores on attitudes toward mathematics between the experimental and the control groups was not significant. The interactive effects between the two levels of calculator use and the three levels of mathematics ability were not statistically significant. ^ When students in the calculator group were allowed to use calculators, the group significantly outperformed those who did not use calculators in Section A of the mathematics achievement test. But when the use of calculators was disallowed in Section B of the test, no significant difference was found between the mean of the gain scores of the experimental and the control groups. Nevertheless, the use of calculators in the classrooms and for examinations appears to enhance mathematics achievement. A significant relationship was found between attitudes toward mathematics and mathematics achievement. ^

Subject Area

Education, Mathematics|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Pius Chukwuka Ejiofor, "Integrating non-programmable calculators in the Nigerian 10th-grade mathematics curriculum: Effects on student achievement and attitudes" (January 1, 2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3056137.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3056137

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