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Teachers’ views on dynamically linked multiple representations and relational understanding of mathematics - an investigation into the use of TI-Nspire in Scottish secondary schools 

Alternate Title

TI-Nspire Scotland 




University of Aberdeen 


Allan Duncan 




University of Aberdeen 




Aberdeen, Scotland 


In 80% of the 66 lesson evaluations received, The teachers concluded that the use of multiple representation with TI-Nspire enhances students’ relational understanding of the mathematics involved and they were willing to provide
extensive evidence to support their argument. Only 3% contained a negative response.




TI-Nspire, secondary maths, Scotland, Curriculum for Excellence, Qualitative 

Document Content

Among the evidence which teachers considered when making their decisions were; specific reference to the advantages of the use of multiple
representations for the particular lesson topic, verbal and written responses from students, improved discussion, ‘seeing’ students’ understanding and improved retention.
An equally large majority of the lessons involved a change of practice for the teachers. It appears that by being asked to use multiple representations with TI-Nspire, the teachers think of new and different ways to teach the particular topic, put more emphasis on links within and across topics, expect more involvement from students and in some instances teach topics earlier than what would be considered normal.
When considering changes to their practice in general, teachers highlighted a change in classroom dynamics giving students more freedom to investigate, allowing more discussion, making an effort to link topics and thinking of ways to use the technology to help deepen students’ understanding.
In more than half of the evaluations the teachers emphasised the positive impact that using TI-Nspire had on students’ motivation and engagement. A smaller number noted the positive contribution to pace and amount of learning. A variety of other positive comments were made and less than 10% of comments were negative. A convincing majority of almost two thirds argued that gaining mastery of the handhelds was not a problem for students and indeed that it was even perceived as
valuable and motivating. Less than 20% of comments related to the difficulties experienced and some indicated the temporary nature of these. In contrast to the students, it appears that gaining mastery of the software and handhelds is more of a problem for the teachers but still a majority of 70% argued that it was not a problem but valuable and motivating and worth the effort. With regard to the impact of TI-Nspire handhelds on formative assessment, teachers were almost unanimously positive in their comments. Other than direct observation of handheld screens, teachers stressed issues such as increased discussion, more questioning, more open questioning, more student self assessment and more instant
feedback both to students and teachers. Over 90% of the comments related to positive, beneficial observations regarding the use of handhelds for ongoing formative
assessment purposes.
Teachers were asked to indicate which Curriculum for Excellence indicators featured in each of their lessons. In more than 90% of the lessons, ‘Enthusiasm and motivation
for learning’ was chosen. More than three quarters highlighted ‘Openness to new thinking and ideas’, ‘Learn independently and as part of a group’, ‘Make reasoned
evaluations’ and ‘Solve problems’. Close runners up were ‘Relate to others and manage themselves’, ‘Think creatively and independently’ and ‘Apply critical thinking in
new contexts’.
AGDFinal Report 11Mar 2010.pdf    
Created at 6/17/2010 2:31 PM  by SP017\rfoshay 
Last modified at 6/17/2010 2:31 PM  by SP017\rfoshay