Two sources of data will be involved in collecting data; these are primary and secondary data.
Primary data will be obtained from the field by gathering information from the students, teachers and education officers. Interview schedules, questionnaires, and focus group discussions will be administered (Frank, 2007).
These will be obtained from published works of documented sources such as books, reports, journal articles and periodicals that are relevant to the research subject. Others will include documents from websites and conference proceedings (Chen, 2012).
Data collection will be done by the principal researcher. The study will utilize both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques (Kempton, 2005). The instruments administered for collecting data from the field will include;
a) Questionnaire survey
b) Focus group discussions
These will be administered by the principal researcher to the students and teachers willing to participate in the study. The questionnaires will be administered in conformity with the sample size. This quantitative approach will be undertaken in regard to gaining wider student participation during the process of evaluation. From the total number of students in the lower grades, say 20,000, only 800 participants will be interviewed. As such, the study will involve only four percent of the total participants will be interviewed. This number will presumably provide the adequate info for evaluation (Chen, 2012). Later, a pilot survey involving eight participants will be conducted to test the appropriateness and conformity of the questionnaire language (Frank, 2007).
This will be conducted by the principal researcher together with the research assistants. The purpose is to get views from the participants with regard to the use of calculators in teaching mathematics at lower grades and the positive or negative impacts that have so far been realized and what they are doing about it. This method of data collection will be very appropriate as it combines both the elements of participant observation and interviewing (Kempton, 2005).
The interviews will be carried out by the principal researcher in the company of the research assistants. The aim will be to gather a wide range of information on the negative and positive impacts of using calculators in teaching mathematics at lower grades. The interviews will allow the researcher and research assistants to capture and evaluate the perspectives of students, teachers, education officers and other participants. This is important as it will encourage open and free responses hence the participants’ perspectives will be assumed to be knowable, meaningful and will be able to be made explicit (Chen, 2012).
The researcher will gather firsthand information by interacting with the students in the classrooms. Through interaction with the students, the researcher will be able to directly observe the activities and operations and thus openly exploring the research topic. This will further enable the researcher develop a holistic perspective of the project as well as learn more information in which the participants may be unaware of or unwilling to discuss during an interview. The information gathered will then be recorded in a notebook (Kempton, 2005).
Systematic random sampling of various lower grade classes will be employed. The goal of using this technique is to select a reasonable subject that represents the target population. Probability sampling of lower grade students will also be used in order to give each student a chance of being selected in the sample (Frank, 2007).
The research team will undertake data analysis in order to arrive at conclusions. Tabulation will be used to determine the distribution number and percentages of the variables being analyzed. Regression data analysis will also be used and data will be presented in charts, graphs, and tables (Frank, 2007). In order to determine the validity and reliability of the data collection tools test validity and reliability will be used. This will be done by giving a math test to the students and allowed to use the calculators. A second test will be given later, and the students not be allowed to use the calculators. The two results will be tabulated and compared before the highest score determined. The results will tell what kind of impacts the use of calculators has on teaching of lower grade students (Kempton, 2005).