TECHNOLOGY USE IN SECONDARY MATHEMATICS EDUCATION: IS THERE A SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS DIVIDE?

Open Access
Author:
Coletta, Sarah Anne
Area of Honors:
Educational Psychology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Robert J Stevens, Thesis Supervisor
  • Robert James Stevens, Thesis Supervisor
  • Rayne Audrey Sperling, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • educational psychology
  • secondary education
  • mathematics education
  • technology use
Abstract:
The increase in standardized testing in light of No Child Left Behind begs the question of how testing affects instructional decisions. This is especially true in subjects like mathematics, a primary focus of state standardized testing. This article examines whether there are differences in instructional technology choices in Pennsylvania secondary mathematics education based on school poverty-level and pressure to succeed on state standardized assessments. The author conducted a survey of mathematics department heads in Pennsylvania public high schools, in which she asked the department heads to report about technology use in mathematics education at their schools. Findings indicate that affluent schools report using software programs more than their disadvantaged counterparts, possibly to explore higher-order tasks. Urban schools report using calculators more than suburban or rural schools, possibly to compensate for low computation skills. Finally, this article proposes that urban schools may be using computers more than suburban or rural schools for remediation for state standardized tests, based on reports of increased importance of computers for test preparation. Overall, this article suggests that there may be some instructional differences in technology use in Pennsylvania secondary mathematics education based on school poverty level and locale.