Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 230


Challenges and benefits of using scientific calculators in the teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary school education

Jairus P. Ochanda and Francis C. Indoshi*
Department of Educational Communication, Technology and Curriculum Studies, Maseno University, P. O. Private Bag Maseno, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 31 January 2011
  •  Published: 31 March 2011



Educational technology is recognized as an essential component of the instructional process. In particular, scientific calculator has emerged as a useful tool for teaching and learning of Mathematics in Kenya. From the year 2002, the Kenya Ministry of Education approved the use of scientific calculators in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination, in addition to their use in the classroom. This was intended to avoid wastage of time in solving mathematical problems and improve students’ performance as before. This has raised questions as to the potential contribution of scientific calculators to the teaching and learning of Mathematics as performance did not improve with their use. It was also not clear what challenges were faced by users of this gadget. The purpose of this study therefore was to establish challenges and benefits that may result from the use of scientific calculators in the teaching and learning of Mathematics. The study was based on descriptive survey design. The study population was 44 Mathematics teachers, two Quality Assurance and Standards Officers, 24 Head teachers and 1,680 Form IV students drawn from 24 secondary schools in Emuhaya district, Kenya. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, that is, frequency counts, percentages and means. Qualitative data was received in verbatim form, transcribed and reported according to emergent themes.


Key words: Mathematics, challenges, benefits, scientific calculators.