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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Problem solving is a characteristic of mathematical activity and an important way of
developing mathematical knowledge. The main purpose of mathematics teaching and learning is
to develop the ability to solve a wide variety of complex mathematics problems. However, the
process of problem solving in mathematics has not been given the proper recognition, probably
because of its complexity.

New technology seems to have a growing impact on school, and it will probably more
and more be incorporated within school practice. This makes it urgent to identify the crucial
points according to which one might organise the use of computers and related new technology
in education programmes.
Mathematics in education is related to technology and technology to mathematics, thus
deep knowledge of the influences of ICT on mathematics learning attracts high interest.
Like the change between an informal practical situated mathematics to a formal,
generalized mathematics, the inclusion of technology may induce qualitative new aspects on its
education. ICT may serve as a tool for learning powerful mathematical concepts, for getting
insight and understanding and to do problem solving.
The purpose of this action research study was to compare the effects of technologyenhanced problem solving instruction and traditional problem solving instruction in terms of
student academic achievement, student motivation, and student attitude towards problem solving.
In doing this comparison, we hoped to gain an understanding of how technology is use by
teachers and students in problem solving. In our study, we concentrated on comparing two

methods of instruction, technology-enhanced problem solving and traditional problem solving. I


defined technology enhanced problem solving instruction as instruction that included at least one
of the following: computerized instruction,(student-focused or teacher-focused), graphing
utilities, and Internet use. Traditional problem solving instruction was instruction that does not
include computer-related technology such as software, graphing calculators, and the Internet but
may include print technologies or other non-computerized media such as overhead projectors.