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Some calculus affordances of a graphics calculator

Kissane, B. and Kemp, M. (2008) Some calculus affordances of a graphics calculator. Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, 22 (2). pp. 15-27.

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Calculus at the secondary school level has traditionally represented the peak of school mathematics in Australia, and has been available only to the most capable students. Until recently, many calculus curricula have focused on developing standard techniques, such as those concerned with differentiation and integration, with an emphasis on symbolic procedures for carrying these out in a range of situations. These characteristics have sometimes been inadvertently reinforced by external assessment agencies. This paper is concerned with exploring the possible ways in which one kind of technology, the graphics calculator, might be productively used by calculus students and their teachers. The paper provides an analysis to describe some affordances provided by graphics calculators: opportunities for significant changes to the teaching and learning of calculus. It is recognized that access to such affordances is not by itself sufficient to bring about changes in practice. However, the paper provides an outline of the main possibilities offered by the calculator, with some examples to illustrate these.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers
Copyright: 2008 AAMT
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