Let’s Abolish Pencil-and-Paper Arithmetic
Anthony Ralston, SUNY at Buffalo and Imperial College, United Kingdom
JCMST Volume 18, Number 2, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
This article proposes that paper-and-pencil arithmetic no longer be taught in elementary school and that it be replaced by a curriculum which emphasizes mental arithmetic much more than at present, and in which calculators are used for instructional purposes in all grades including kindergarten. The article analyzes and refutes the arguments made by "back-to-basics" proponents against the use of calculators and for traditional instruction in the algorithms of pencil-and-paper arithmetic. The value of mental arithmetic in achieving all the aims-and more-of the traditional curriculum is argued. Also considered is the outline of an elementary school mathematics curriculum without pencil-and-paper arithmetic. As well, the impact of such a curriculum on secondary school and college mathematics is discussed. Finally, the barriers to achieving what the article advocates are assessed.
Ralston, A. (1999). Let’s Abolish Pencil-and-Paper Arithmetic. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 18(2), 173-194. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 1999 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)