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Middle School Mathematics Teachers' Beliefs and Goals regarding GeoGebra: Four Cases from the Turkish Republic

Ipek Saralar
University of Nottingham
Date: 
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 13:00
Venue: 
B35a Exchange Bldg, Jubilee
This study attempted to investigate four middle school mathematics teachers’ beliefs and goals regarding dynamic mathematics software GeoGebra. Data were collected from four experienced mathematics teachers who work in public schools in four different regions of Turkey (Aegean, Marmara, Mediterranean, and Central Anatolia Regions) and teach to seventh-grade level by integrating GeoGebra into their math classes. Interviews, observation field notes, and surveys were the data collection tools used in the study.
 
Data analysis revealed that a common belief of middle school teachers is that GeoGebra is a useful tool for teaching units which link geometry and algebra. Specifically, the majority of the participants of the study think that the most appropriate units to integrate GeoGebra in the seventh grade are Circle and Circular Regions, Linearity and Analytic Geometry. Furthermore, three-fourth of the teachers stated that they incorporate GeoGebra in their classes by mostly using inquiry learning method, which provides a learning environment based more on students’ discovery. In addition to these, particular goals to use GeoGebra mentioned during the interviews were decreasing their workload, facilitating students’ learning, increasing students’ engagement, providing visual representations and saving time even though they listed a number of challenges including classroom management, planning, and technology infrastructure.
 
Findings of the study show that there is a need for in-service training and complementary workshops to handle existing challenges regarding the use of GeoGebra as it could be concluded that mathematics teachers need necessary competencies to use this software effectively into their classes. Since, most of the teachers reported that they would continue integrating GeoGebra even though, for instance, they had difficulty to plan and manage their classroom. In addition to these, all of the teachers also argue that using GeoGebra is time-consuming if technology-related problems, like the power outage and the Internet disconnection, occur. Therefore, it might be suggested to Ministry of National Education to expedite providing necessary technological infrastructure to provide equal opportunities to the students and teachers in different regions. Since, while the teachers from western regions reported that they all have interactive whiteboards and the Internet connection in their middle schools, albeit sometimes problematic, others highlighted the fact that they are still on the waiting list for the Internet connection and using their flash drives to integrate GeoGebra.
 
Keywords: Middle School Mathematics Teachers, Beliefs and Goals, Dynamic Mathematics Software, and GeoGebra
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