Education Project Topics

An Evaluation of the Usage of Electronic Calculators and Its Effect on Mathematics Learning Outcomes of Female Students.




Background of the study

The importance of mathematics in any country’s development cannot be overstated. According to Demana and Waits (2011), Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education (STME) has long been seen as the yardstick by which to measure a country’s social, economic, and geopolitical progress. Mathematics is a branch of science that deals with ideas like amount, structure, space, and change. Mathematics has progressed beyond counting, computation, and measuring to be integrated into many sectors such as science, health, economics, and everyday life through abstract reasoning and logic. Mathematics theories were established to address issues in trade, to explain numerical connections, to measure land, and to anticipate celestial phenomena.

Today, mathematics is taught in all industrialized nations’ educational systems. Students between the ages of five and seven are usually taught addition and subtraction in most schools. As they proceed through the grades, students take mathematics courses that focus on various subdivisions of mathematics. The major branches of mathematics, such as algebra, geometry, and calculus, will have been taught by the time the student graduates from high school or any secondary education institution (Aminu, 2015).

According to Akinsola and Ogunleye (2013), because mathematics encompasses all aspects of human life, it is unquestionably important in education to help students and people from all walks of life perform daily tasks efficiently and become productive, well-informed, functional, independent individuals and members of a society, thus luring curriculum planners to develop new methods of instruction to enable effective teaching-learning of mathematics that covers all aspects of human life, thus luring curriculum planners to develop new methods of instruction to enable effective teaching Shuard (2012) claims that using media in the classroom inspires students by grabbing their attention and piqueing their interest in the subject. In addition to integrating learners vicariously but meaningfully in the learning experience, media also explains and illustrates subject content and performance skills, as well as providing opportunities for self-analysis of individual performance and behavior, leading to the invention of innovative calculating devices that aided in the expansion of mathematical concepts’ understanding.

NCTM (1986), referenced in Stacey (2004), endorsed “integration of the calculator into the school mathematics program at all grade levels in classwork, homework, and evaluation” in a position statement on calculator use in the classroom. NCTM also recommended that all students be allowed to use calculators so that they can focus on the problem-solving process rather than the calculations that come with it, gain access to mathematics beyond their level of computational skill, and perform tedious computations that arise when working with real data in problem-solving situations. Many students find that entering even easy problems into the calculator is easier and faster than solving the issue in their brains. Some calculators are sufficiently strong that they can solve complicated calculus problems and provide an instantaneous response. Because electronic prices are continually lowering, tiny, quick, and powerful calculators are widely available. As a result, many students contend that they will have access to a calculator in some form or another at all times. Computers are particularly ubiquitous in the office, and most cellular phones have a calculator. Microsoft Excel, as well as other spreadsheet applications, makes financial computations fairly simple. Why would anyone need to study mathematics without the help of a calculator with all of these wonderful tools? As a result, the purpose of this study is to assess the use of electronic calculators and their impact on female students’ subsequent mathematics learning results.


   Statement of the problem

Scientific calculators have become popular as instruments for doing mathematical calculations and manipulations. This was done to save time while solving mathematical problems and to help student perform better. In their study, Odili and Vincent (2011) found calculators to be useful aids in the problem-solving process. Students who use calculators have “superior problem-solving skills and substantially better attitudes toward mathematics” when they leave school.

On the contrary, professionals such as Obodo, (2010), Florence, and Odera, (2011), however, wondered if the calculator had become a debilitating rather than an enabling gadget at the turn of the twenty-first century. This is because they discovered that using calculators in math class might influence a student’s understanding of mathematical concepts. Furthermore, students may not need to master some basic operations and methodologies since the calculator will do the work for them. Rather of learning multiplication tables for quick memory, a student may just type an equation into the calculator and get the proper result.

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According to Derringer (2007), these student are unlikely to carry a calculator with them at all times of their lifetimes. It is unavoidable that these pupils will be required to do mathematical operations without the help of a calculator at some time, and they may be unable to do so. This has prompted concerns about the possible contribution of scientific calculators to secondary school mathematics teaching and learning (benefits). It’s also unclear what difficulties teachers and students would experience while employing scientific calculators in mathematics. This study intends to give an evaluation of the use of electronic calculators and its influence on mathematics learning outcomes of female students based on variations in perspectives on the importance of calculator usage on student academic accomplishment.

Objective of the study

The broad objective of this study is to evaluate  the usage of electronic calculators and its effect on mathematics learning outcomes of female students. Specifically the study seeks:

1. Investigate the importance of further mathematics subject in secondary school education.

2. Determine if the use or non-use of calculators affects student performance in further  mathematics calculations and measurements

3. Ascertain the perceived benefits of female study usage of electronic calculator during mathematical instruction.

4. Explore if the usage of electronic calculators would have any effect on mathematics learning outcomes of female students

Research Question

The research is guided by the following research questions:

1.        What are the importance of further mathematics subject in secondary school education?

2.        What are the perceived benefits of female study usage of electronic calculator during mathematical instruction?

3.        Is there any significant difference in performance of female student who used calculator and those who did not use calculator during further  mathematics calculations and measurements?

4.        What are the problems associated  to usage of electronic calculator during mathematics instruction?

5.        Does the usage of electronic calculators have any significant effect on mathematics learning outcomes of female students

  Significance of the study

Findings from the study will provide a framework for government, curriculum planner, stakeholders in education to come up with strategies on how to improve further mathematics instruction. The result of the study will reveal the pros and cons associated to electronic calculator usage during mathematics instruction hence will be useful to teachers as it emphasizes the need fro them to improve teaching method and utilize instructional strategies so as to ensure effective teaching and learning of further mathematics in secondary schools. Empirically, the study will contribute to the general body of knowledge and serve as a reference material to both scholars and student who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.

Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on an evaluation of  usage of electronic calculators and its effect on mathematics learning outcomes of female students. The study will focus on the potential negative ramifications of using calculators instead of teaching students the fundamentals of mathematics.The study is however delimited to  selected Girls secondary schools in Rivers State.

  Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited  as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other secondary schools. However, despite the constraint  encountered during the  research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.

 Definition of terms

Further Mathematics: Mathematics includes the study of such topics as numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. Further Mathematics is the title given to a number of advanced secondary mathematics courses.

Learning outcome: Learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge or skills students should acquire by the end of a particular assignment, class, course, or program, and help students understand why that knowledge and those skills will be useful to them.



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