Common Core State Standards: Calculator Usage In Math Education

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The math education field carries so much weight in American education today. United States achievement is measured and compared to other nations, states and districts are measured against one another, and every student is pushed to meet a slew of proficiency standards on state and local tests. This is not a new phenomenon in math education; every decade an innovative initiative comes along to refocus math education. Most recently, the Common Core State Standards have pushed math educators to cover a greater depth and breadth of content with younger learners. At the middle school level students begin to internalize the pressure and teachers cover a wide variety of concepts in rapid succession. In all of this frenzy, it is still the individual student …show more content…

One meta-study sought to clarify the most contentious topic: the helpfulness or drawbacks of calculators in middle level education. Aimee Ellington (2003) found over 80 studies about the effects of calculator usage in math education, narrowing it down to the 54 most applicable studies. She analyzed data from all of these studies, studies involving every variety of school, student, testing instrument, and so forth. These students were from elementary to high school, with 70% being in grades 8-12. Researcher found that calculators improved operational and problem-solving skills on tests. They also improved positivity towards mathematics and gave no sign of hindering mathematics skill development. This study is strong because of its wide base of data. By using so much research from so many different researchers, Ellington is able to see wider trends. It confirms earlier claims that students will be more successful in math when they feel empowered and when the level of work does not stretch them to the point of exasperation (Walk, L. & Lassak, M., 2017; Adelson, J. & McCoach, B.,

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