Use and Abuse of Calculators: Implications for Mathematics Education

José M. Chamoso, Maria José Cáceres


Fostering mathematical understanding and sense for numbers is an objective for current mathematics education. This paper presents a historical vision of the use of numbers and of calculation processes and reflects about the current need of electronic calculators. The coexistence of two different mathematical systems, one based on the Greek axiomatic mathematics and another, the floating point system, used in electronic calculators, can lead to some confusions that which affects the teaching of mathematics, especially in the numerical sense development. The paper also presents common mistakes caused by the missing verification of the results from calculations or lack of awareness about the limitations of calculators. Finally, the implications those elements have on the mathematical education are presented together with some conclusions.


Number sense. Calculators. Mathematics education. Scholar calculation

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Direitos autorais 2018 José M. Chamoso, Maria José Cáceres

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