LEARNING MATHEMATICS WITH TECHNOLOGY FROM A SOCIAL PERSPECTIVE: A STUDY OF SECONDARY STUDENTS’ INDIVIDUAL AND COLLABORATIVE PRACTICES IN A TECHNOLOGICALLY RICH MATHEMATICS CLASSROOM

Geiger, Vincent (2008). LEARNING MATHEMATICS WITH TECHNOLOGY FROM A SOCIAL PERSPECTIVE: A STUDY OF SECONDARY STUDENTS’ INDIVIDUAL AND COLLABORATIVE PRACTICES IN A TECHNOLOGICALLY RICH MATHEMATICS CLASSROOM PhD Thesis, School of Education, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Geiger, Vincent
Thesis Title LEARNING MATHEMATICS WITH TECHNOLOGY FROM A SOCIAL PERSPECTIVE: A STUDY OF SECONDARY STUDENTS’ INDIVIDUAL AND COLLABORATIVE PRACTICES IN A TECHNOLOGICALLY RICH MATHEMATICS CLASSROOM
School, Centre or Institute School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2008-08
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Merrilyn Goos
Peter Galbraith
Total pages 369
Subjects 330000 Education
Formatted abstract  The role of collaborative classroom practices, and of technology, in students’ learning of mathematics, is now receiving increased attention in curriculum and policy documents in Australia and internationally. The implementation of pedagogical reforms associated with these areas, however, has been limited due to a range of theoretical and practical concerns. An issue which has emerged from separate interests in technology and collaborative practice is the role of digital tools in enhancing meaningful learning in both individual and collaborative group settings. While the corpus of research literature in the area of technology mediated learning in mathematics is now significant, much of the focus of studies in this area has been concerned with the effect of technology on individual learning outcomes within specific topic domains. Research is needed into the role of digital tools within collaborative classroom environments.

This study investigated the various roles of technology in mediating students’ learning, from both individual and collective perspectives, within an authentic, senior secondary classroom setting and sought to identify patterns of student behaviour within this environment.

The theoretical framework for the study drew on two bodies of educational research. Firstly, social theories of learning, including Vygotskian socio-cultural ideas, the field of learning discourses, and distributed cognition, were considered. Secondly, research literature associated with approaches to learning mathematics with the assistance of digital technologies, including ideas related to tool co-construction and instrumental genesis, are examined.

Because the focus of this study is on authentic systems of activity rather than individual student outcomes, a naturalistic approach to data collection and analysis was employed. Research was conducted in two senior secondary classrooms over a two and a half year period (1997 – 1999). This involved a pilot study (1997 – 1998) and overlapping main study (1998 – 1999) which were conducted with two different cohorts of students. The investigation was carried out by a teacher-researcher with the support of a research assistant. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected using: student surveys; individual and whole class student interviews; stimulated recall procedures; videotaping of episodes of students working as individuals, in small groups and in whole class settings; and longitudinal participant observation. Data analysis techniques were chosen to match the form and nature of available data and were sensitive to the generation and confirmation of categories of emergent student behaviour. This process was iterative and included an additional phase devoted to category refinement and eventually to theory development.

Patterns of behaviour for students working with digital technologies were identified and the metaphors of Master, Servant, Partner and Extension-of-self were chosen to describe the categories that emerged. These categories were further developed into a framework which describes students’ interaction with technology while learning mathematics in individual, small group and whole class settings.

The theoretical and practical implications of this study include: the identification of the role of digital technologies in mediating the social practices within authentic mathematics classrooms; the potential of technology to empower students as individuals and as collectives of co-dependent learners; and the potential shift in power structures between teachers and students within mainstream classroom when students are so empowered.
Keyword Technology
Learning
Computer
Calculator
Collaboration
Community
Inquiry
Practice
Digital
Tools
Additional Notes Landscape p 260 (as in numbered pages) Appendix 4 pp 360 - 365 (as per adobe reader - appendices aren't numbered as pages)

Document type: Thesis
Collections: UQ Theses (RHD) - Official
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
 
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