Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Using Electronic Textbooks to Teach Mathematics in the Secondary Classroom: What Do the Students Say?

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Using Electronic Textbooks to Teach Mathematics in the Secondary Classroom: What Do the Students Say?

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Textbooks undoubtedly affect what is taught and what students learn (Stein, Remillard & Smith 2007; UNESCO 2016), and have been used to enhance the teaching of mathematics at all levels of schooling for many years. Of course teachers will use textbooks in different ways, but if it is well designed and based on the curriculum, it can offer useful resources to aid educators to design learning (Hill 2010). When used in this way, it has been reported as having a significant impact on teachers' lesson planning (Banilower et al 2013), with the role of the teacher in using the text as being critical in determining how students learn mathematics.

Many teachers rely on quality textbooks and teaching materials to successfully implement national curriculum standards (Polikoff 2012). Textbooks can scaffold a student's learning of essential discipline knowledge by using an organizational structure that is sequential, ordered, coherent, and connective (Chambliss & Calfee 1998; UNESCO 2016). Students draw connections and are guided by the textbook to apply, synthesise and evaluate problems in the discipline (Hill 2010). Traditionally, tools such as learner objectives, embedded questions, examples, solutions, and activities have been used to aid student learning by clarifying discipline concepts (Bryan & Slough 2009). Textbooks are essential learning tools that do the 'heavy lifting' of explaining discipline concepts (Horsley, Knight & Huntly 2010).

"Textbooks mediate the standards-to-practice continuum" (Polikoff 2015, p. 6), driving instruction in spite of the fact that curriculum resources and materials are increasingly available online (Chingos & Whitehurst 2012). Discipline teachers are unlikely to passively use textbooks to drive instruction but out of field teachers may be tempted to use them as the default curriculum (Knight 2015; Remillard 2005). Textbook usage in classrooms ranges from minor use to the de facto curriculum, dependent upon individual teacher's views on teaching and learning and the discipline taught (Slough, Cavlazoglu, Erdogan, Wakefield, & Akgun 2015). Teachers are a diverse cohort and how they use technology, including e-texts, when designing and implementing learning activities varies considerably (O'Reilly, 2016). Knight and Horsley (2013) have described a typology framework (integrated core, core, related resource and peripheral resource) to delineate the different uses of textbooks by teachers and students. When teaching and learning is solely based on the textbook, it is used as an integrated core to outline the scope, structure, resources and learning activities of the course. Alternatively, when textbooks still perform a significant role but are supplemented by additional material and resources, they have a core role to play. The use of many resources to teach a course, which includes the textbook, sees it being used as a related resource to support students' learning. Lastly, if the textbook is used only to provide contextual background information, their use is regarded as a peripheral resource.

Secondary mathematics courses are usually supported by commercially produced textbooks, including e-texts, with many of them produced for specific courses, thus being used as an integrated key or vital resource. Increasingly, these resources contain pedagogic features to assist learning and specific packages to provide support for teaching.

The digital age represents the liquid information culture of the 21st century (Area & Pessoa 2012), and schools need to respond to the diversity of texts with which students interact (Kress 2003). As ICT is increasingly being incorporated into young people's lives inside and outside of school, Markauskaite and Goodyear (2009, p. 615) assert that students' learning routines now use technologies where "the knowledge, activities, relationships and resources involved in student learning are becoming more fluid, and are entering into more complex combinations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.