In this thesis we explore, from the perspective of the software engineer, the application of computer to the teaching of secondary school mathematics. We identify ways in which the uptake of computers in mathematics teaching can be encouraged, and show how the software engineer , working in partnership with the teacher, can play a pivotal role in enhancing teachers’ use of technology.
By conducting a number of interviews and undertaking several case studies with practising secondary school mathematics teachers, we identify what we believe to be the key factors influencing the integration of computers into the classroom. These factors range from the adequacy of teacher training through to the design of appropriate didactic software. Our emphasis throughout is on the role the software engineer can play in the creation of software that will be used successfully by the teacher and will make a significant contribution to the overall teaching of mathematics. Cooperative teacher and software engineer partnership are trialled in depth through the case studies. The outcome is the development of a software architecture aimed at creating educational software products that are adaptable to the pedagogical and epistemological orientations, and consequently the teaching practices, of individual teachers.
In the course of our investigation we
· Explore the various views mathematics teachers have of integrating technology;
· Model the major factors influencing the integration of technology by mathematics teachers, and explore how these factors interrelate;
· Explore processes of co-developing educational software with mathematics teachers;
· Suggest how teacher training can be modified to more effectively encourage and assist mathematics teachers to integrate computers;
· Categorise the various types of mathematics educational software;
· Categorise the carious educational tasks found in mathematics software; and
· Develop an underlying reference architecture to create mathematics educational software than can be readily adapted to meet teachers’ individual needs.