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Title: An investigation of how dynamic geometry software (DGS) supports the development of students' higher-order thinking in learning mathematics (for the topic of loci)
Author: Szeto, Po Mee
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 1862
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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The need for fostering students' higher-order thinking as one of the twenty-first century mathematics education goals was the motivation for this study. Additionally, mathematics (especially geometry) teaching has gone through continuous changes incorporating the use of technology since the early 80s. The arrival of dynamic geometry software (DOS) like Geometer's Sketchpad (GSP) provides an incredible dynamic tool for exploring geometry. Thus, this study sought to investigate whether and how students' higher-order thinking (cognitive skills of applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating) can be supported by using DGS in learning mathematics (for the topic of loci). The methodology of the research consisted of a pretest-posttest with nonequivalent groups (consisting of an experimental group and a control group) quasi-experimental design. Furthermore, both quantitative and qualitative approaches and measures were used in the research for answering two research questions. A class of Form Five students from a secondary girl school in Hong Kong was selected for data collection. Half the class formed the experimental group (N = 20), engaging in learning using DGS, while the other half of the class formed the control group (N = 20), engaging in learning in a more traditional teaching approach. Quantitative results indicated that students in the experimental group achieved numerically, but not significantly, higher than students in the control group. However, qualitative results showed that using DOS for learning geometry provides a learning environment that supported students to enhance their higher-order thinking skills. Furthermore, a common underlying pattern consisting of two different possible problem solving processes (Making conjectures-Validating conjectures-Proving and Exploring- Making and Validating conjectures-Proving process) was developed. Besides, which GSP-specific features that tapped higher-order thinking of the students during the processes was also identified. Finally, implications for professional practitioners and further research are discussed at the end of the thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available