A Study on SHS Students’ Reliance on Scientific Calculators and Their Learning Competencies
Keywords:Calculator dependency, Numerical skills, Self-evaluation, Real numbers, Mathematical confidence, Overcoming calculator dependence
With the frequent use of scientific calculators in classroom settings, students have become dependent on the gadget, and this caused their basic numerical skills to deteriorate over the years. This research was developed to understand students' current calculator dependency and assess their knowledge of basic mathematics, particularly in absolute numbers. The researchers utilized self-evaluative questionnaires via Microsoft Forms for the respondents to rate themselves according to their confidence in their mathematical performances. Several equations per topic in real numbers were given, and the students were asked to rank six (6) sub-topics of natural numbers from easiest to hardest.
The sample population included the Non-STEM Senior High School students from St. Mary’s College Quezon City, which consists of fifty-eight (58) students. Findings suggest that the respondents have low confidence in their numerical skills, with a mean of 2.30, equivalent to “Disagree” on the arbitrary scale. They expressed their need for a scientific calculator to solve the equations given in the survey. For the ranking of difficulties, respondents ranked “Estimation of Square Roots” as the hardest, followed closely by the sub-topic “Describing Principal Roots” and “Writing in Standard and Scientific Notation” as the third hardest sub-topic. The researchers recommend that the students practice solving equations manually and that math teachers and the Department of Education (DepEd) find a way to maximize calculator utilization in classroom settings.