White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Investigating the appropriation of graphical calculators by mathematics students

Sheryn, Sarah Louise (2006) Investigating the appropriation of graphical calculators by mathematics students. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


Download (8Mb) | Preview


The primary aim of this researchis to investigate students' use of graphical calculators for high school mathematics. I see appropriation of the technology to be central to this and therefore I discuss the term appropriation and outline the definition of appropriation I will adhere to. In particular I followed six students through the academic year September 2003 to July 2004 with a view to establishing how, why and when they used their graphical calculators and what benefits they gained from its use. I selected the two schools from where the students came and the students volunteered to take part in my project. My research is broadly socio-cultural as I collected data not only from the students but also about the context in which the students learn. I used a case study approach, focussing on a small number of cases -a case being a student-with-a-GC-in-school. Overall I adopted a naturalistic paradigm for my study and collected qualitative data about the 'natural setting' – the classrooms and schools - and made every attempt to minimise the disruption to the students during their daily routines. The data was collected through a variety of methods- interviews, observations journals and key-stroke data from the students' graphical calculators. The key-stroke data are central to my work. The key-stroke capture software used provides an exact record of a student's use of the graphical calculator. This method of collecting data is not widely used or known and I have dedicated a chapter to outline its main features and make a critical analysis of it as a data collection tool. I see appropriation as a central issue to students using a graphical calculator and as such I reflect on the evidence with this at the forefront. I report on what are the signs that a student has appropriated their graphical calculator and what are the barriers to appropriation. I found that the six students appropriated their GC to varying degrees. The extent of their appropriation was influenced by a variety of factors including the tension between the old tool and the new tool, the teacher, the institution, the curriculum and personal aspirations. I examine these factors in detail and examine the stages of appropriation of each student.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.438598
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2013 11:01
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2013 11:01
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4417

You do not need to contact us to get a copy of this thesis. Please use the 'Download' link(s) above to get a copy.
You can contact us about this thesis. If you need to make a general enquiry, please see the Contact us page.

Actions (repository staff only: login required)