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Archive for Friday, September 23, 2011

25 years ago: Math educators favor use of calculators in schools

September 23, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Sept. 23, 1986:

In 1986, few math teachers in Kansas and none in Lawrence's school district were regularly using calculators as learning tools. The latest math textbooks were just beginning to include calculator exercises, a trend approved by Mary Hatfield, math coordinator for USD 497. "We're talking about 21st century kids here," said Ms. Hatfield. "Eventually I hope to get a calculator in the hands of every student." To parents who objected that students wouldn't learn proper math skills if they could "cheat" with a calculator, educators pointed out that they were to be used as tools for problems when "long computation is not the end result of a problem." Anne Auman, math education specialist for the Kansas State Department of Education, said that the years of drills on multiplication, division, addition and subtraction were wasted time after students grasped the concepts.

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