International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research

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International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research

Challenges in the use of Scientific Calculators in the Teaching and Learning Mathematics in Secondary School Education

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Author(s) Florence Y. Odera, J. Ochanda
On Pages 230-238
Volume No. 1
Issue No. 5
Issue Date September 01, 2011
Publishing Date September 01, 2011
Keywords Mathematics, Scientific calculators, utilization, secondary schools, Emuhaya District, Kenya


Scientific calculators have emerged as useful tools for mathematical procedures and manipulations. From the year 2002, the ministry of education approved the use scientific calculators in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination and in the classroom, as a tool to aid in computations. This was intended to avoid wastage of time in solving mathematical problems and improve studentsí performance. This has raised questions as to the potential contribution of scientific calculators to the teaching and learning of mathematics (benefits) in secondary schools. It is also not clear what challenges may be faced by teachers and learners when using scientific calculators in mathematics. The purpose of this study therefore was to establish challenges presented to the learners in the use of scientific calculators in learning of mathematics in public secondary schools in Emuhaya District, Kenya. The study was based on descriptive survey design. The study population consisted of 44 mathematics teachers, two Quality Assurance and Standards Officers in the district, 24 Head teachers and 1680 form 4 students in all 24 secondary schools in the district. The study was carried out in Emuhaya district because the district is well staffed in terms of teaching force with a teacher- learner ratio of 1:38.1 as compared to the government recommended ratio of 1:40, yet the performance in mathematics remains low. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, i.e., frequency counts, percentages and means. Qualitative data was received in verbatim form, transcribed and reported according to emergent themes. Data analyzed was presented using tables and graphs.  

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