Pre-service Teachers of Mathematics and Computer-Enhanced Mathematics Learning Environments

Principle Investigator(s) /Chercheur principal (Chercheurs principaux):

Stephen R. Campbell, Simon
Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Co-Investigator(s) /Co-chercheurs:



SSHRC Standard Grant (Amount: $114,543)


2006-2009 (Status: Ongoing)

Contact Information/Personne contact:

Tel: 778-782-3630 E-Mail: Office: Education Building 8643 SFU Burnaby


Central to this study is the understanding the use and improving the effectiveness of Computer-Enhanced Mathematics Learning Environments (CEMLEs) in mathematics teacher education. Broad access to CEMLEs in todays digital world warrants more detailed research into the nature and use of these mathematical tools and their potential role in mathematics education, and mathematics teacher education. The general

questions guiding this study are: How do CEMLEs contribute to, or inhibit,mathematical cognition and learning? The specific goal in this research is to investigate aspects of pre-service; teachers’ use of CEMLEs from different theoretical perspectives pertaining to computer enhanced graphical and symbolic representations of mathematics. The purpose of this program of research, then, is to study the nature and role CEMLEs play in mathematical cognition and learning, especially from an embodied perspective.

Project Objectives/Objectifs du projet:

(1) Identify and analyze theoretical presuppositions underlying different views of cognition and learning in relation to the nature and role of CEMLEs. (2) Classify and situate the presuppositions identified in objective one within an expanding conceptual framework that includes a technological component. (3) Design and conduct

experiments with pre-service teachers using CEMLEs to investigate implications and limitations of presuppositions from objectives one and two. (4) Interpret data resulting from objective three, modifying theoretical presuppositions from objectives one and two as warranted.

Research Plan/Plan de recherche:

The main emphasis in the first year will be on theoretical considerations, specifically meeting objectives one and two. Further literature searchers will gather relevant information on the presuppositions and relations underlying the cognitive, situative and embodied views. There will also be an emphasis placed on the experimental activity stream with an aim toward refining the experimental design and setup, establishing research protocols and testing with pilot case- based studies in preparation for year two. Theoretical analysis will continue throughout the study, in support of the experimental goals of the project. Based on preparations from year one, the focus for year two will be on data acquisition and analysis involving volunteer pre-service teachers at both the primary and secondary levels. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data will be used to identify and validate hypotheses. The main emphasis in year three will be on analysis, interpretation, presentation and dissemination of the data resulting from year two. Although theoretical development will be an on-going concern, the most intensive data- driven theoretical modifications will occur in year three. Modifications to the theoretical framework will be implemented to accommodate empirical results relating graphical and symbolic aspects of mathematics. It is anticipated that selected aspects of these data will reveal ways in which graphical and symbolic aspects of mathematical cognition are and can be designed and implemented in CEMLEs to support a variety of different learning and teaching styles.


The study of CEMLEs from a variety of perspectives will lead to a better understanding of their nature and role as mathematical tools. The understanding of Graphical and symbolic modalities of representation is a great example, especially their instruction during mathematic teacher education.