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CHAPTER I

THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING

Introduction:

Human is the most superior of all the animals created by God. With the ability to

think, human has all the natural curiosity and a strong desire to explore new things. Thus,

he undergoes the process of learning automatically, that he himself could not notice.

However, as human undergoes this learning process, he encounters difficult

problems which he himself cannot solve. This results to the exposure of human to

technology and as the evolution of the human thinking continues, artificial intelligence

props up.

As a product of artificial intelligence, calculator has been very useful to students.

However, with all the gadgets produced by technology, human tends to rely much on

these that makes him either genius or very dependent to it, that without it, he becomes

invalid.

Electronic calculators are the successors to a long history of mechanical devices.

The first calculating aids, thousands of years ago, were counting devices such as the

abacus.

A device created in 1642 by the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise

Pascal is the first true mechanical calculator that could add and subtract. In 1671, the

German mathematician and physicist Gottfried von Leibiz used similar concepts in a

calculator that can add and multiply. In 1894, the American inventor William Burroughs

received a patent for the first practical adding machine for business use.

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Mechanical calculators were outmoded in 1960’s and 1970’s by electronic units.

These new products were much faster and quieter and could perform calculations that are

more complex. As technological developments continued, especially in integrated

circuits, electronic calculators decreased in size and at the same time increased in

capabilities.

With the many functions of calculator in human society, specifically in terms of

academic, the researchers’ individual interest to it arouse that lead to the study of the

effects of calculator dependence to the mathematical skills of human.

Statement of the Problem:

The study is conducted to determine the effects of calculator dependence to the

Mathematical skills of BSECE freshmen of FEU-East Asia College for A.Y. 2007-2008.

Specifically, this study seeks answers to the following questions:

1. How important calculator is to the students?

2. What is calculator dependence?

3. What causes calculator dependence?

4. What are the effects of calculator dependence?

Significance of the Study:

As ECE students, the researchers observed how essential calculator is to their

studies. Since their curriculum requires so many mathematical subjects to take, they treat

their calculators as their “buddy” whenever they enter math subject classes.

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With the researchers’ keen observation, they have spotted problems on how

students handle their calculators. One is the negligence on the fundamentals of

mathematics, which should be mastered little by little, as they pass from one term to

another, but unfortunately, they are not and the other is the students’ search for instant

answer to math problems, which makes them an “irresponsible calculator presser”.

The researchers want to show their co-students the status and the truth about

calculator dependence in the school. Moreover, calculator has been a part of a students’

every life, but the hazards it gives to him have never been discussed clearly until now. In

this research, the researchers want to be an eye-opener to the people concerned with this

problem.

Scope and Limitations of the Study:

In this research paper, the researchers will start with the basics about calculator

and its functions. Then, the causes and effects of Calculator Dependence will also be

discussed.

They will be conducting surveys with the aid of a close ended questionnaire

which will be responded by sixty (60) BSECE freshmen of FEU- East Asia College for

the 3rd term of the Academic Year 2007-2008; divided equally to its four (4) sections

(T11 –T14) which results to fifteen (15) respondents per section.

This research will be done from the start of the third term, HMODCO1 class up to

the end of the course as a final output for completion.

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Definition of Terms:

Academe • a place of training in special subjects

Algorithm • a precise rule (or set of rules) specifying how to solve some problem

Anxious • full of anxiety or disquietude; greatly concerned or solicitous, esp. respecting

something future or unknown; being in painful suspense; applied to persons; as,

anxious for the issue of a battle

Arithmetic • the art of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing by the use of figures

Calculator • a machine that solves mathematical problems

Competence • the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and

intellectually

Decline • to fail in strength, vigor, character, value, etc.; deteriorate

Dependence • the state of relying on or needing someone or something for aid, support,

or the like.

Extremas • the greatest possible degree

Gadget • a device that can help you in some ways

Graphing Calculator • a machine that solves mathematical problems graphically

Infusion • the solution introduced in such a manner

Truncated • shortened by or as if by having a part cut off; cut short: an unnecessarily

truncated essay

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CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

The topic chosen by the researchers needed to be supported by some previously

recognized studies. Thus, they consulted written and non-written sources for the readers

to understand the background of the study.

Foreign Literature:

A. Parents and Teachers vs. Early Calculator Introduction

According to Cowdery (2004), the majority of parents and teachers are saying that

calculator should not be introduced until children have learned their basic skills.

This argument also has shown some facts about the effects of early exposure of

children to calculator.

Firstly, one concern among those who pushes caution in the calculator

introduction is that the calculator availability will make the children believe that manual

and mental arithmetic is no longer important.

Secondly, how will learning be improved by using calculator which will perform

correct order of mathematical operations when the child himself does not know the right

sequence of doing it?

Lastly, because early calculator exposure leads to the lack of basic arithmetic

knowledge, learning advanced concepts will also be interfered for arithmetic is the

foundation of all mathematics.

Therefore, the students should be taught not only how to use calculator but also

when is it appropriate to do so. Moreover, it would make more sense to simply not allow

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the use of calculators until the student has exhibited the ability to perform the proper

order of operations without mechanical aids. (Cowdery, 2004)

B. The Disastrous Effects of Calculator Dependence

According to an article answering “What are the disastrous effects of calculator to

our human life?” calculator has created backlashes. First, it had made students dependent

on it making them improve their arithmetic skills inactively. Especially with graphic

calculator, the analytic discussion of any subject is truncated which makes the students

reduce their analytic skills because they just allow their calculators to get the extremas or

zeros for them.

A student should learn to use this gadget to his greater advancement not to his

loss. (“Disastrous effect of calculator”n.d.)

C. A Math Tutor’s Opinion

According to a professional math tutor who has been exposed to a wide variety of

students over a period of about fifteen years, as the calculator has become more and more

acceptable as an everyday tool, the ability of students to perform basic mental

mathematics has declined.

He claimed that he is also into technology but it does bother him whenever he

sees middle and high school students who do not have their multiplication table

memorized and unable to do single digit addition in their heads. These matters are often

associated with calculator dependence.

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There were also instances where he has met parents complaining about their

child’s grades. According to them, their children do great in doing their home works but

they fail in tests. It’s because, according to him, the students use calculators to finish their

home works, however, when tests come where they are not allowed to use calculators;

they commit a lot of careless mistakes and/or are not able to accomplish the test in the

allotted time.

There are also students who do not have a strong sense for numbers. They merely

believe whatever the calculator displays whether an answer is reasonable or not. They

feel that calculators are more intelligent and quicker that’s why they trust whatever it

displays without any hesitation and analyzation.

Therefore, he stated that dependence usually starts in the upper elementary school

level. He wanted to warn the parents to look after their children for the earlier this

dependence is caught, the easier it will be resolved. (Lokino, 2001)

D. Whole Math vs. New Math

According to Romesh (1997), the National Council of Teachers of Math issued

new standards for mathematics education in response to the consistently poor

mathematics scores of U.S. children. In exchange with the traditional mathematics

(commonly referred to as “whole math”) where students do memorization drills and

drown to chalkboard lectures, they proposed the use of cool stuffs like calculators and

geoboards, hands-on, open-ended problems and exercises that encourage kids to discover

their own way to the right answer (new math). In general, the standards focus on how

kids think, according to Gail Burrill, president of the council.

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According to their studies, students will be better problem-solvers and will think

more. However, listening to the opponents’ voice, including concerned parents, it’s really

threatening when students dumped the most basic algorithms or first-graders turning to a

calculator to subtract 4 from 6.

The advocates requested the people concerned to have more patience. Thomas

Romberg, one of the writers of the revolutionized 1989 mathematics standards claimed

that they still need to have a fair amount of research and teacher training which would

probably take 20 to 25 years to complete. However, parents whose 12-year-olds still can’t

count on their fingers don’t have patience to wait that long. (Romesh, 1997)

Local Literature

A. Technology Infused with Education

Evidences were shown that the infusion of technology with education will help

the students prepare for the entrance into an increasing technological work competence.

Research on graphing calculator opens opportunities to involve more students learning

through technology and for the students to identify with mathematics. The

disidentification (a process that occurs when people stop caring about their performance

in an area or domain that formerly mattered a great deal) hypothesis outlines ways at

which students might actively choose to not participate in math after they are exposed to

matters that devalue their achievement within a particular area.

The research of Fernandez (1997) implies that graphing calculators have the

potential to help the students bear with math. Dunham’s research on graphing calculator

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use among female proved that they improved in areas of confidence and spatial ability.

(“Disidentification and the Math Classroom”, n.d.)

Synthesis:

According to the earlier studies conducted about calculator and its effect to the

education here in the Philippines and abroad, calculator have really brought about some

problems due to the inappropriate time of introduction and application.

The students’ approach to mathematics has also been affected. Children who have

had early exposure to calculator tend to rely on it a lot and think that calculator are more

intelligent that them. They doubt with their answers whenever they do mathematical

calculations without mechanical aid. Moreover, their arithmetic skills develop inactively

resulting to mathematically incompetent students.

In connection to this, calculator dependence among students is more severe

abroad making even the parents of the students get involved because of the obvious effect

the problem has exhibited.

On the contrary, there was a study showing that the infusion of technology with

education opens great opportunities to students to be more competent in work.

As of this moment, the researchers continue to study the issue and discuss the

factors concerning it. One of the factors they are focusing at is when should be the right

time calculator be introduced to the students.

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CHAPTER III
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This research aims to present facts about the present situation of calculator

dependence inside the academe and in other areas concerned if possible.

In this chapter, the method, instrument, sampling design and statistical treatment

will be discussed so that the readers may know and put themselves into the process the

researchers have gone to complete this study.

Research Method:

The researchers used the descriptive method to determine the effects of calculator

dependence to the mathematical skills of FEU – East Asia College BSECE freshmen for

the 3rd term of the Academic Year 2007-2008.

This method aims to identify the trend of calculator dependence among students

in the academe.

The researchers chose this method because as part of the descriptive method, they

only used simple types of statistics for the readers’ better comprehension.

Research Instrument:

The researchers used a questionnaire to have the needed data materialized. They

used carefully constructed questions to get in return, honest and satisfying answers.

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Sampling Design:

The researchers used the simple random sampling. The FEU – East Asia College

population is too large to examine that’s why they only focused on the BSECE freshmen

for the 3rd term of the Academic Year 2007-2008. Moreover, this method allows them to

choose a subset of respondents or the representative sample.

In accordance to the sampling rule, they gave each BSECE freshmen the equal

chance of inclusion to the research. They chose 15 students from each of the four sections

randomly which also ensures that bias is not introduced.

Statistical Treatment:

To have the responses to the questionnaire presented clearly, the researchers

followed a formula where the quotient of the frequency over the total number of

respondents was multiplied by 100% that equates to the percentage of respondents who

answered a certain question. Mathematically,

P= f x 100%
n
where p = percentage

f = frequency

n = total number of respondents

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CHAPTER IV
ANALYSIS, PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA

Table #1

Respondents Who Use and Don’t Use Calculator

f p
User 60 100%
Non user 0 0%
Total 60 100%

Graph #1

As the table and graph show, 100% or all of the respondents use calculator.

Table #2

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Time of Calculator Introduction to the Respondents

f p
Preschool 5 8.33%
Elementary 24 40%
High School 30 50%
College 1 1.67%
Total 60 100%

Graph #2

50% of the respondents start using calculator during high school. It is followed by

elementary with 40%, preschool with 8.33%, and college with 1.67%

Table #3

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Frequency of Calculator Use among the Respondents

f p
Never 0 0%
Seldom 8 13.33%
Often 33 55%
Always 19 31.67%
Total 60 100%

Graph #3

Based on the result, only three frequencies of calculator usage were seen: always, often

and seldom. 55% of the respondents often use calculator; 31.67% always use calculator;

and 13.33% seldom use calculator.

Table #4

Importance of Calculator to the Respondents

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f p
4 5 8.33%
3 4 6.67%
2 18 30%
1 (highest) 33 55%
Total 60 100%

Graph #4

According to the data, 55% of the respondents answered 1 or the highest degree of

importance; 30% answered 2; 8.33% answered 3; and 6.67% answered 4.

Table #5

Students Who Can Solve Problems Involving Dissimilar Fractions

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f p
Able 40 66.67%
Unable 20 33.33%
Total 60 100%

Graph #5

As you can see, respondents who are able to solve problems without calculator is 66.67%

and those who are unable to solve it is 33.33%

Table #6

Respondents who are Confident to Solve Problems without Calculator

f p

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Confident 21 35%
Not confident 39 65%
Total 60 100%

Graph #6

The table shows that out of 60 BSECE freshmen, 65% are not confident to solve without

calculator and 35% of them claimed that they are confident enough to solve problems

without calculator.

Table #7

Respondents Who Can Survive College without Calculator

f p
Yes 7 11.67%

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No 53 88.33%
Total 60 100%

Graph #7

88.33% of the respondents cannot survive college without calculator while 11.67% can

survive college without it.

Table #8

Respondents Who Believe that Calculator Improves Their Mathematical Skills

f p
Believers 33 55%
Non believers 27 45%

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Total 60 100%

Graph #8

Based on the result, 55% of the respondents believe that calculator improves their

mathematical skills and 45% are non believers.

Table #9

Respondents who believe that Calculator helps them Better Grades in Mathematical

Subjects

f p

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Believers 53 88.33%
Non believers 7 4.67%
Total 60 100%

Graph #9

Respondents who believe that calculator helps them get better grades in math subjects is

88.33% or 53 out of 60 while those who don’t believe is 11.67% or 7 out of 60

respondents.

Table #10

Respondents Who Hate Mathematical Subjects

f p
Hate 11 18.33%
Do not hate 49 81.67%
Total 60 100%

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Graph #10

Respondents who don’t hate math subjects are 81.67% and those who do are 18.33%.

CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

Summary of Findings:

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The researchers conducted the research to determine the effects of calculator

dependence to the mathematical skills of FEU – East Asia College BSECE Freshmen for

the 3rd term of the academic year 2007-2008. In conducting the research, they used the

descriptive method, simple random sampling and questionnaire to gather the needed data

for the completion of the study. They consolidated the responses of 60 BSECE freshmen,

equally divided into 15 respondents from each of the four sections. The research was

done during the 3rd term of the academic year 2007-2008.

After the result of the survey has been evaluated, the researchers found out that all

of the 60 respondents are using calculator. It has also been found out that the common

time of calculator introduction to the respondents was in high school which is according

to the 50% of the respondents. Also, according to the data, 55% of the respondents value

their calculator very much ranking it first in the level of importance. Given an example of

dissimilar fraction-involved problem, 66.67% which is 40 out of 60 respondents claimed

that they can solve it without calculator. However, when they were asked about their

confidence when it comes to solving problems without mechanical aid, 655 of them said

that they are not confident. 88.33% or 53 out of 60 respondents claimed that they cannot

survive college without calculator. 55% of them believe that calculator improves their

mathematical skills and 88.33% which is 53 out of 60 answered that calculator helps

them get better grades in mathematical subjects.

And after the long process of studying and gathering of relevant information

about the topic, the researchers can now answer the raised questions in the beginning of

the study.

1. How important calculator is to the students?

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 As answered by the 55% or 33 out of 60 respondents, they value their calculators very

much giving it the rate of 1 which is the highest in the degree of importance

given.

2. What is calculator dependence?

 Calculator dependence is the state of relying on calculator for the aid or support if

offers to those who are dependent on it.

3. What causes calculator dependence?

 Early introduction of calculator use and lack of basic arithmetic knowledge cause

calculator dependence.

4. What are the effects of calculator dependence?

 Calculator dependence makes the students believe that manual and mental calculations

are no longer important; inactivates the development of s student’s arithmetic

knowledge; makes learning advance concepts interfered; makes the ability to

perform basic mathematics decline; and makes the students loose their strong

sense for numbers.

Conclusion:

The researchers therefore conclude that the BSECE freshmen of FEU – East Asia

College for the 3rd term of the academic year 2007-2008 are calculator dependent.

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The main cause of this dependence is the early introduction of calculator use to

the students.

Calculator dependence has many negative effects:

 Makes students believe that manual and mental calculations are no longer

important

 Makes the arithmetic skills of students develop inactively

 Makes learning of advance concepts interfered

 Makes analytic discussions of math subjects truncated

 Makes the ability to perform basic mathematics decline

 Makes the students loose their strong sense for numbers and confidence in

solving problems

Recommendations

Calculator must be introduced to the students in the right time. It is only when the

student has already exhibited the ability to perform basic mathematical calculations

without mechanical aids. The parents can do a great role in doing this. They must guide

their children in doing their homework. Their children might use the calculator to

complete their math home works and this will be the start of calculator dependence.

Moreover, the students must rely much on the calculator because in the end, they

will be the “looser”. They must use the calculator as an aid for them to solve some

problems but they must never let the calculator do all their tasks as a math student.

Depending much on the calculator will stop their own skill’s development inactively and

their sense for numbers fades continuously.

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The Government’s Department of Education must also pay attention to this

problem because its impact is directly affecting the students who will be the next leader

of the country.

Furthermore, the leaders of the academe can do the first move. They are the head

of the institution and they have the power to regulate the time of calculator introduction

to the students.

The problem propped up when the calculator which has the ability to perform

basic and complicated calculations was invented; what more when the continuously

discovering mind of human finds a more advance mechanical aid? Calculator must keep

students from benefiting one of the most important reasons learning math – to train and

discipline the mind and to promote logical reasoning.

APPENDIX I
Letter to the Respondents

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March 25, 2008
To the respondent:

We are here to inform you that our group is conducting a study on how calculator
dependence affects the mathematical skills of BSECE freshmen of FEU – East Asia
College for the A.Y. 2007-2008. In line with this, we have constructed a questionnaire for
you to answer that will solidify our study.
Your participation will be a great help to our group to come up with a successful
research paper. We are expecting you to answer the formulated questions sincerely and
honestly.
We assure you that all the answers that you will be giving will be confidentially
kept by our group.
At the end of our study, we are willing to inform you of whatever success and
achievement that we will be attaining if you wish so.

Respectfully yours,

Sambat, Lovely Ann

Carlos, Eliza Marie

Carrasco, Rachel May

Peña, Ruth

Reyes, Nadhine

Cruz, Reymart

Hilario, Alexis

Tugade, Jose Mari

APPENDIX II
THE FINAL QUESTIONNAIRE

Calculator Dependence: Its effect to the mathematical skills of FEU – East Asia College

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ECE Freshmen for the 3rd term of the Academic Year 2007-2008.
Personal Data (Optional)
Name: ____________________________________________________________
Section: _______________ Gender: __________________
Survey Questionnaire
Direction: Check the box that corresponds to your answer.
1. Are you using calculator?
Yes No
2. When did you start using calculator?
Preschool Elementary High School College
(Please specify grade or year level) _______________________________.
3. How often do you use calculator?
Never Seldom Often Always
4. Rate how useful calculator is to you. (1 is the highest).
4 3 2 1
5. Can you perform operations involving dissimilar fractions without calculator? Decide
by answering this: 5/16 – 3/19.
Yes No
6. Are you confident to solve problems without calculator?
Yes No
7. Do you think you can survive college without calculator?
Yes No
8. Do you think calculator improves your mathematical skills?
Yes No
9. Do you think calculator helps you get better grades in math subjects?
Yes No
10. Do you hate mathematical subjects?
Yes No
APPENDIX III
PRETESTING QUESTIONNAIRE

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Calculator Dependence: Its effects to the mathematical skills of FEU – East Asia College
BSECE Freshmen for the 3rd term of the Academic Year 2007-2008.

Personal Data (Optional)


Name: ____________________________________________________________
Section: _______________ Gender: __________________
Survey Questionnaire
Direction: Check the box that corresponds to your answer.
1. Are you using calculator?
Yes No
2. When did you start using calculator?
Elementary High School College
(Please specify grade or year level) _______________________________.
3. How often do you use calculator?
Always Sometimes Never
4. Rate how useful calculator is to you. (1 is the highest).
5 4 3 2 1
5. Can you perform operations involving dissimilar fractions without calculator?
Yes No
6. How do you find solving problems without calculator?
Easy Moderate Difficult
7. Do you think you can survive college without calculator?
Yes No
8. Do you think calculator improves your mathematical skills?
Yes No
9. Do you think calculator helps you get better grades in math subjects?
Yes No
10. Do you think you are a calculator dependent?
Yes No
APPENDIX IV
PRETESTING RESULT

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Table #1

Number of Students Who Use Calculator

Yes No Total
Question #1 lllll-lllll-lllll-lllll 0 20

Table #2

Time of Calculator Introduction

Elementary High School College Total


Question #2 lll lllll-lllll-lllll-l l 20

Table #3

Frequency of Calculator Use

Always Sometimes Never Total


Question #3 lll lllll-lllll-lllll-ll 0 20

Table #4

Importance of Calculator

5 4 3 2 1 Total
Question #4 0 lll lllll lllll-l lllll-l 20

Table #5

Number of Respondents who can Solve Basic Problems without Calculator

Yes No Others Total


Question #5 llll-lllll-lllll-lll ll 20

Table #6

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Degree of Difficulty in Solving Math Problems without Calculator

Easy Moderate Difficult Total


Question #6 lllll-lllll-lllll-lllll 20

Table #7

Number of Respondents Who Can Survive College without Calculator

Yes No Total
Question #7 lllll-lllll-lllll-lllll 20

Table #8

Number of Respondents who believe that Calculator improves their Mathematical Skills

Yes No Total
Question #8 lllll-llll lllll-lllll-l 20

Table #9

Number of Respondents who get Better Grades in Math Because Of Calculator

Yes No Others Total


Question #9 lllll-lllll-lllll-llll l 20

Table #10

Number of Respondents who think that they are Calculator Dependent

Yes No Others Total


Question #10 lllll-ll lllll-lllll-ll l 20

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REFERENCES

Books

Luger, G. F., and Stubblefield, W.A.(1993). Artificial intelligence: Structures and

strategies for complex problem solving. Philippines: Jemma, Inc.

Smith, R.T. (2002) Calculus: Multivariable (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw – Hill

Companies, Inc.

No periodical Web Document

Anonymous.(n.d.). Calculator versus mental calculation. Retrieved February 26, 2008

from http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/1387588.aspx

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Anonymous. (n.d.). Review of the literature: Disidentification and the mathematics

classroom. Retrieved February 26, 2008 from

http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/dildine/thesis/jpd2.html

Cowdery,T.W.(2004). A review of the literature. Retrieved February 26, 2008 from

http://www.district87.org/staff/cowderyt/CalculatorDebate/Literature

%20Review.html

Lokino.(2001). Is your child calculator dependent?. Retrieved February 26,2008 from

http://www.epinions.com/content_1350410372

Online Periodical

Ratnesar, R. (1997). This is math?. Time magazine. Retrieved February 26,2008 from

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1561144-2,00.html

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