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Title: The use of spreadsheets as a tool for the development of problem solving skills in the mathematics curriculum in a primary school in Cyprus
Author: Papadopoulos, Christos
ISNI:       0000 0001 3466 8592
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1999
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The purpose of this research project is to examine the use of spreadsheets for the development of problem solving skills in primary school pupils. This study is based on the notion that advanced skills of comprehension, reasoning, composition, and experimentation are acquired not through the transmission of facts but through the learner's interaction with content. This constructivist view of learning calls for teaching basic skills within authentic contexts for modelling thought processes. To gather the information 1 needed I worked for three months with a group of 12 pupils (six boys and six girls). A pre-test, a post-test and a post post-test one year later were used to gather quantitative data emerge from the research while I was taking part as a participant observer to record the qualitative data from the research. The statistical analysis was carried out by SPSS-X. Percentages, means, standard deviations and medians were used to illustrate the variables. The Kolmogorov-Smimov test was used for the Inferential Statistical Analysis. The main findings of my research that emerged from the tests the pupils undertake and from my observations during the lessons are: Regarding progress in problem solving ability: Pupils have increased their abilities in problem solving after using a spreadsheet to solve a series of problems. Regarding progress in problem solving ability after one year: Pupils did not increase or decrease their ability in problem solving as emerged from the post post-test. There were no problems of communication between the pupils during their work in the groups while collaborative work enabled pupils to apply facts and skills already acquired; encourage discussion and investigative activity to show that mathematics can be useful, meaningful and valuable. Teacher’s work was more demanding with a major change in his role, from a knowledge dispenser to a facilitator. It is argued that there is an implicit need for curriculum change with the use of problem solving as a cross curriculum object and further, there are implications for the implementation of a general use of computers in primary education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1501 Primary Education