ANSWERS: 15
  • Yes, they should be banned completely until college. At that level, sometimes you need a calculator to help you.
  • School should teach you real world lessons. Not many adults who work in an office still go long hand and 'show their work.' I was at a Clean Car Emmisions site some time ago. The teacher was grading what looked to be 2nd or 3rd grade math -- and was using a calculator to grade 3+2= Yeah, THAT teacher is underpaid.
  • No. I took some pretty hefty classes in High School. While trig is usually doable with just pen and paper, once the exponents go above cubing a calculator is pretty much a necessity if you don't want to sit there all day calculating instead of learning. Logarithms get a little tricky without a calculator as well. While I don't approve of using a calculator for EVERYTHING like modern HS students do (I agree that they should know how to do it the 'hard' way) I can't support an outright ban either. PROGRAMMABLE calculators are another matter entirely, especially those with a built-in Equation Library like my HP 48-series. Especially the HP48S/SX. Those things could do an IR data transfer across the room. The 48G/GX powered it down to under 18 inches to avoid facilitating cheating in class.
  • No...but I think that doing math the original way needs to be taught too and used concurrently al the way through high school.....my 15 yr. old granddaughter cannot make change because she relies completely on a calculator. That shocks me!!
  • In my school you were only allowed to use calculators for certain complicated math topics and only in high school. I think it was a good decision, I could calculate lots of things in my head back then. So, no it shouldn't be banned completely, but it's use shouldn't be promoted either.
  • Well. No. It's not as if I use my calculator for working out 6x7 or whatever. Sorry, but I can't work out what sin67 is, in my head.
  • Nah. Calculators are a good thing. Because math is hardly about the NUMBERS. Its all about PROCEDURE. ~+~
  • I think once they have proven they understand and have applied what they have learned, then I think it would be okay to allow them to use calculators. Since today, the math is a lot harder than when we went to school, I think they really do need a calcultor, my son was doing college level math in 7th grade.
  • Using a calculator efficiently is just as much a skill as using mental arithmetic. It is also very hard to do a lot of trigonometry, calculations involving constants such as pi, e etc. without a calculator.
  • No, because as adults in the real world, you will hardly find someone who doesn't rely on a calculator for the sake of accuracy.
  • Yes, it is too easy to let a machine do the work for us. And I've noticed that younger people no longer think as fast as they once did and have much more trouble with just a pencil and paper in front of them. It's like they can't think in their head and have to reach for help. There are parts of our brain that are stimulated by such calculations, even music does it too, though not just listening to it, bu treading music. School lack both now and it's shows in the grads.
  • I think that calculators should be allowed only AFTER the student has properly learned to work the problems on their own.
  • Banned? No. I think calculators are an invaluable tool we must all learn to use properly AFTER the children have learned their math facts. I do believe that graphing calculators should be banned though. Students need to learn how functions work and be able to identify what will happen with equations by puzzling them out mentally. Math builds on itself & there is no substitution for doing the actual work.
  • Calculators have their place in the classroom just as much as they do in the real world, but they should be integrated into the curriculum in a way that utilizes their capabilities to teach skills not otherwise so well demonstrated. Simply, students should not be allowed to deploy them as shortcuts in the classroom. Simple arithmetic should still be taught and learned without the distraction of unfamiliar devices such as calculators or math sticks. It never hurts the student to memorize tables, and that should be a first goal in learning math, to the extent that tables become intrinsic in their thoughts, which electro-mechanical devices defeat. For higher math, a good calculator is the modern day equivalent of a slide rule, and much work could never be completed in reasonable time without the slide rule when I was taking trig, chemistry, and physics, so I am definitely a fan of calculators in those courses. Besides, slide rules are almost impossible to find these days. The volume of knowledge that is necessary to learn is huge, and the understanding behind it is even more voluminous and important, and calculators improve the use of what time is available. With the dumbing down of the curriculum these days to support the ridiculous "No Child..." policy, any student who actually wants to learn something must take it upon themselves to seek knowledge beyond what is "taught", and the additional capabilities provided by calculators can provide that extra information. I support the intelligent utilization of calculators in the classroom, and further support extra-curricular clubs for learning about and using calculators beyond the curriculum.
  • I can't think of a reason to use a calculator before high school. I've heard of teachers issuing "licenses" for calculators upon passing (95% or better) a math skills exam. This seems like a good compromise.

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