Algebra in Partnership with Technology in Education 


The Research Projects 20032007. The 20032007 project, which was titled, “The Intertwining Development of Technique and Theory in TechnologyBased Algebra Learning,” focused on the learner. The main research question was: In which ways does the interaction between technique and theory foster students’ algebraic thinking when working in a combined Computer Algebra System (CAS) / paperandpencil environment? The theoretical perspective that guided the study was the anthropological theory of didactics elaborated by Chevallard, who describes four components of practice by which mathematical objects are brought into play within didactic institutions: task, technique, technology, and theory. 20072013. The 20072013 project is titled, “Teachers’ Practice visàvis the Technical/Theoretical Dialectic in Mathematics Learning within Computer Algebra System (CAS) Environments.” This project, with its focus on teaching, aims at observing and analyzing the practice of teachers in CASequipped algebra classrooms with a view to identifying those factors that are characteristic of effective teaching practice in such algebralearning environments. This research, with its focus on the teacher, is a direct continuation of our previous project that centred on the learner. In this currrent study, we intend to observe teaching practice, using as a lens the manner in which that practice supports, or not, the coemergence of mathematical technique and theory within students. In this way, the research embeds the findings of the previous project related to learning in a CAS environment. That study confirmed the substantial benefits of using the tasktechniquetheory perspective for organizing algebra learning within combined paperandpencil/CAS environments. Thus, our current study of teaching practice within such environments is strengthened by a clear perspective on the nature of the learning that is to be supported. 