EDUCATION INDICATORS: An International Perspective

Indicator 28: Calculator Use

The use of calculators in schools has received increasing attention over the past several years.* This indicator, the percentage of 13-year-old students who have used calculators in school, is influenced by such factors as the availability of calculators in different countries, as well as by policies on calculator use in schools.

• In 1991, a relatively large percentage of 13-year-old students in Canada (75 percent), France (94 percent), and Hungary (71 percent) used calculators in school. In contrast, a relatively small percentage of 13-year-olds in other countries (e.g., Korea, at 4 percent) used calculators in school. With 54 percent of its 13-year-old students using calculators in school, the United States was in the middle.

• The percentage of 13-year-old students who used calculators in school varied dramatically, from about 4 percent in Korea to 94 percent in France. In some cases, calculator use appeared related to the percentage of students in each country who had a calculator; for example, only 20 percent of 13-year-olds in Korea had a calculator, while 98 percent of 13-year-olds in France did.

*For information concerning calculator use in U.S. schools, see National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (Reston, VA: 1989), 84.

Table 28: Percentage of 13-year-old students who have a calculator and who ever use calculators in school,/1 by country: 1991

```
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Percent of students who:
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Have used
Country		     Have calculators	   	             calculators in school
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G-72
France			97.9 (0.3)				94.2 (0.5)
United States		88.5 (0.9)				53.6 (3.5)
Other
Hungary			86.7 (1.0)				71.0 (1.6)
Ireland			57.5 (1.6)				25.3 (2.2)
Israel			93.6 (0.7)				48.5 (2.3)
Jordan                  52.7 (1.9)                               5.4 (0.8)
Korea                   20.3 (1.1)                               3.7 (0.5)
Slovenia		85.6 (1.1)				46.1 (2.5)
Soviet Union (former)	46.6 (5.0)				19.2 (2.1)
Spain			85.9 (1.3)				45.0 (2.8)
Switzerland		84.9 (1.2)				51.3 (3.1)
Taiwan			57.7 (1.3)				62.2 (1.0)
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```

1/ Standard errors are in parentheses.
2/ Data not available for Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

NOTE: See supplemental note to Indicator 28 on indicator calculation for Canada, Israel, the former Soviet Union, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

SOURCE: Educational Testing Service, International Assessment of Educational Progress, Report 13, Background Questions and Proficiency Scores for all Populations, 1992.

Figure 28: Percentage of 13-year-old students who reported ever using calculators in school, by selected country: 1991

SOURCE: Educational Testing Service, International Assessment of Educational Progress, Report 13, Background Questions and Proficiency Scores for All Populations, 1992.

Notes on Figures and Tables

In some cases, countries limited assessments to particular geographic areas or language groups. A description of these limitations follows.

Canada, Israel, the former Soviet Union, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States

[Indicator 27] [Indicator 29]