The Cranmer abacus: Its use in teaching mathematics to students with visual impairments
AuthorSakamoto, Scott Isami
AdvisorWilloughby, Stephen S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFor more than a decade, little research has been done regarding the Cranmer abacus and its use. Attention to the Cranmer abacus and review of its potential as a learning aid has been minimal. Lack of recent abacus related study is addressed in this dissertation in two ways. First, some of the ideas previously examined from research conducted in the sixties, seventies, and early eighties is expanded on. Information is updated, and current facts and ideologies are summarized. Second, topics not mentioned in earlier studies are examined. Information pertaining to the Cranmer abacus was gathered in two ways. (1) A survey (Appendix B) was distributed to teachers in the United States who regularly teach mathematics with the abacus. (2) Part two was a semester long endeavor consisting of two components. A series of videotape sessions and student assessments (Appendix D) were analyzed. The primary goal of this dissertation was to explore the present status of the Cranmer abacus' use in teaching mathematics to students with visual impairments in the United States. The responses to the survey reveal that most teachers feel they are successfully teaching mathematics to visually impaired students with the abacus. The videotapes are further evidence that teachers are doing a good job, while not necessarily having an extensive mathematical background (teachers of the visually impaired are not required to take extra mathematics classes). The four teachers who participated in the videotape study achieved varying degrees of success. Three cases resulted in nice progress throughout the semester. The fourth teacher had two students, one of which enjoyed little success. Generally speaking, all four teachers taught the abacus diligently. Also, these teachers' responses to the survey questions were common amongst the forty-five teachers who participated in the survey. In reviewing both parts of this study, it is clear that teachers of the visually impaired are successfully incorporating the abacus into the curriculum for students with visual impairments. The only improvement that can be made is an increase in these teachers familiarity with mathematics education.
Degree ProgramGraduate College