THE EFFECT OF GRAPHIC CALCULATORS ON NEGEV ARAB PUPILS’ LEARNING OF THE TOPIC “MEANING OF PARAMETERS IN FUNCTIONS OF FAMILIES”

M. Abu-Naja

Kaye Academic College of Education (ISRAEL)
This research examines the influence of graphic calculators on ninth-grade Arab pupils in the Negev district of Israel learn the topic “meaning of parameters in families of functions”. It was hypothesized that introducing graphic calculators into their classes would help them improve their knowledge and understanding. I performed a comparison between two groups of pupils. Experimental group (n = 95) studied the topic ‘families of functions’ using graphic calculators. The control group (n = 89) studied the same topic in the usual way. For the purpose of this research, a questionnaire based on the material studied in class was devised. Questionnaires based on the standard curriculum were developed that could be answered with or without graphic calculators and administered identically to both groups. The pupils' responses were qualitatively analyzed to characterize patterns and categorize answers and then quantitative methods were applied. The results did reveal significant cognitive difference between the two groups. They did show that the graphic calculators helped those pupils who used them to execute tasks of mathematical inference, such as finding the characteristic properties of family of functions graph that fixed by parameter, finding the communal point of given straight number, determine the difference between graphs forms of two groups of quadratic functions, finding the parameter in the parabola equation that determines her graphical form.