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Teaching and learning elementary calculus concepts with a graphics calculator

Kissane, B. (2007) Teaching and learning elementary calculus concepts with a graphics calculator. In: 4th East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education, 18 - 22 June 2007, Universiti Sains, Penang, Malaysia pp. 243-250.

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The availability of ICT offers opportunities to reconsider teaching and learning in the calculus curriculum. In this paper, some potential contributions of one form of ICT, the hand-held graphics calculator, are described and evaluated. Although algebraic calculators, graphics calculators with symbolic manipulation capabilities, have been available for some years now, attention in the paper is restricted to calculators without algebraic capabilities. These are more likely to be available on a wide scale in many East Asian countries than are algebraic calculators, and significant experience with them in schools has now accumulated. The paper will consider a number of key calculus concepts, such as the derivative of a function at a point, the derivative function, continuity, asymptotic behaviour, convergence, limits, integration and differential equations, to develop the argument that ICT offers an opportunity to help students understand the concepts behind the calculus, upon which standard techniques and symbolic procedures depend. A quality mathematics education needs to focus attention on these key concepts, and the paper demonstrates how ICT offers new ways of doing this successfully. Work is needed to take advantage of these opportunities in educationally effective ways.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Conference Website:
Notes: Appears In: Meeting the challenges of developing a quality mathematics education: Proceedings of the 4th East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education
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