Using Activity Theory to study the relationship between technology and the learning environment in the arithmetic domain

Authored by: Rosa Maria Bottino , Giampaolo Chiappini

Handbook of International Research in Mathematics Education

Print publication date:  June  2008
Online publication date:  April  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805858754
eBook ISBN: 9780203930236
Adobe ISBN: 9781135192761


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The advent of the microcomputer in the early 1980s brought with it high expectations regarding this tool’s potential to drive change and innovation in schools. Although a number of projects have produced significant results at a research level, it is nevertheless true that these expectations appear to have remained largely unfulfilled at the level of school practice (Sutherland, 2004; Bottino, 2004). This is true in particular for mathematics, even if, from the beginning, a wide number of researches have been concerned with the study of the opportunities brought about by new technologies to the teaching and learning of this discipline (Lagrange, Artigue, Laborde, & Trouche, 2001; Artigue, 2000). One of the main reasons for this (disregarding factors related to hardware availability and management, and to the traditional resistance of both the school system and teachers themselves to change) is that technology has often been introduced as an addition to an existing, unchanged classroom setting (De Corte, 1996; Grasha & Yangarber-Hicks, 2000; Convery, 2005).

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