The use of computers in the teaching of mathematics in Libyan primary schools.
This study shows how schools in the United Kingdom, make use of leT in the
primary school classroom, and compares these experiences with the potential for
schools in an economically developing country, Libya, which has yet to introduce
computers into primary education. Based on a triangulation of empilical study,
classroom observation and a review of the literature, this study considers the merits
of introducing computers into primary school mathematics teaching in Libya.
Empirical field studies involved questionnaires and interviews for teachers in both
countries, and testing the effect of introducing mathematical software to pupils in
Libya who had not used a computer.
The study considers initial and in-service training requirements for teachers,
including the need for teachers to be able to select appropriate software. The study
considers a list of criteria for teachers to use. In examining the UK situation,
observing what took place in Libyan classrooms during the fieldwork experiment,
and through subsequent interviews with Libyan teachers, the study identifies that the
introduction of leT into primary school classrooms would impact significantly on
traditional teaching methods used in Libya; challenging continuous whole-class
teaching, moving to the use of small groups; challenging traditional gender-roles of
boys and girls; challenging teachers to act as facilitators allowing pupils to determine
in part their own learning.
An evaluation of the experiment suggests that the computer can enhance
mathematics learning in a non-computing literate culture. The study concludes that
the introduction of leT into Libyan education involves far-reaching issues of
resourcing and teacher training.