The development of increased and accessible computing power has been a major agent in the current emphasis placed upon the presentation of data in graphical form as a means of informing or persuading. However research in Science and Mathematics Education has shown that skills in the interpretation and production of graphs are relatively difficult for Secondary school pupils. Exploratory studies have suggested that the use of spreadsheets might have the potential to change fundamentally how children learn graphing skills. We describe research using a pedagogic strategy developed during this exploratory work, which we call Active Graphing, in which access to spread sheets allows graphs to be used as analytic tools within practical experiments. Through a study of pairs of 8 and 9 year old pupils working on such tasks, we have been able to identify aspects of their interaction with the experiment itself, the data collected and the graphs, and so trace the emergence of meanings for trend.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning
|Published - 2000