Theses and Dissertations (Mathematics Education)
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/6440
2015-10-10T14:42:25ZThe impact of constructivist-based teaching method on secondary school lerners' errors in algebra
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/19207
The impact of constructivist-based teaching method on secondary school lerners' errors in algebra
Owusu, James
The aim of this study was to investigate the comparative effects of Constructivist-Based Teaching Method (CBTM) and the Traditional Teaching Method (TTM) on Grade 11 Mathematics learners’ errors in algebra. The constructivist learning theory (CLT) was used to frame this study. Mainly, CLT was used to influence the design of CBTI to hone participants’ errors in algebra that militate against their performance in Mathematics. The study was conducted in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa with a four-week intervention programme in each of the two participating secondary schools. Participants consisted of n=78 Grade 11 Mathematics learners and one Grade 11 Mathematics teacher. A non-equivalent control group design consisting of a pre-test and post-test measure was employed. The Grade 11 teacher in the control school employed the TTM while the researcher implemented CBTM in the experimental school.
The main aspects of CBTM entailed participants’ construction of their own knowledge from the base of prior knowledge and through group learning approach and exploratory talk in which discussions included argumentation, verbalising explanations, justifications and reflections. Participants in experimental school became familiar with the basic principles of CBTI such as group work, which enhanced the construction of conceptual understanding of algebraic concepts. This reduced most of the errors they commit in algebra and elevated their performance in Mathematics. The principal instruments for data collection consisted of a standardised Algebra Concept Achievement Test and lesson observations.
The pre-test was used to determine participants’ initial errors in algebra before the intervention. A post-test was given at the end of intervention to ascertain change in participants’ errors in algebra over a four-week intervention period. Using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques, the study found that participants in experimental school significantly reduced their errors in algebra than those in control school. The study showed that CBTM was a more effective pedagogy that improved the errors Grade 11 learners commit in algebra than the TTM.
2015-02-01T00:00:00ZAn evaluation of a mathematics professional teacher development programme
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/19048
An evaluation of a mathematics professional teacher development programme
Nel, Benita Portia
Although South African teachers have ample opportunities for professional development (PD), weak results of learners show that these opportunities have had a limited effect on the development of the Mathematics teachers’ instructional skills. The improvement of the teaching of Mathematics is regarded as a solution to learners’ poor performance, because teachers play a key role in the improvement of pupils’ learning. In the light of this, a Mathematics PD programme implemented in a province of South Africa was evaluated and served as a case study. The aim of this evaluation was to probe the quality of the programme since it had been suggested that improving the quality of teaching can be achieved by offering effective PD programmes. Thus, the evaluation was done in an attempt to establish the academic value of the intervention. The investigated programme – which was implemented in a rural and under-resourced setting – focused on FET Mathematics teachers and used mentoring and workshops as its key intervention implementers. Five teachers were involved in this programme. Data collection methods included semi-structured interviews, lesson observations, mentoring and workshop reports, the results of learners, and pre- and post-test results of the participants. The evaluation of the PD programme revealed the following: that the workshops addressed the participants’ content knowledge gap to a limited degree; that mentoring was able to assist with the individual classroom-related needs of the participants, and that the community of practice formed in the workshops helped the participants to develop by means of working together on lesson preparation, micro-teaching, and content knowledge exercises. Other findings revealed that the duration of the workshops were adequate, however their intensity was insufficient to effectively address the participants’ needs, and that the workshops were carefully planned, given that the same topics were repeated. The mentor teachers and other facilitators encountered challenges relating to the long intervals between the mentoring sessions, the limited post-lesson-observation discussion time, the significant distances between the involved schools and the heavy teaching load of the participants. Nevertheless, recommendations on improving the effectiveness of future PD programmes included careful selection of the dosage of interventions, site-based mentoring, to incentivise participants of PD programmes, alleviating the teaching load of overburdened participants and the creation of conducive environments in rural areas for the formation of communities of practice.
2015-06-01T00:00:00ZThe effect of using a computer assisted instruction on teaching circle geometry in grade 11
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/19005
The effect of using a computer assisted instruction on teaching circle geometry in grade 11
Gweshe, Lovejoy Comfort
South African learners continue to perform poorly in high school Circle Geometry. Lack of learner confidence and motivation in Mathematics may be the contributing factors to the low success rate in Circle Geometry. These factors, coupled with Conventional Teaching Instructions (CTI), may have contributed to the significant reduction in the number of learners enrolled for Mathematics, and provided a rationale for the study that explored a possible alternative teaching pedagogy to motivate and eventually improve learner performance in Circle Geometry. The study aimed to investigate the comparative effects of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) and CTI on the performance and motivation of Grade 11 learners in the topic of Circle Geometry. The population of the study consisted of Grade 11 Mathematics learners from 65 secondary schools in the Ekurhuleni North District of Gauteng province in South Africa. Using convenience sampling techniques two schools with n=136 Grade 11 Mathematics learners and two teachers participated in the study. One school formed the experimental group (n=71) and the other school formed the control group (n=65).
The study followed a quasi-experimental design with a non-equivalent control group approach consisting of pre-and post-test measures. Intact classes participated in the study as it was not possible to randomly select participants for the study. Both groups wrote a standardised achievement pre-test to ascertain their performance status at the beginning of the study. CAI was implemented in the experimental school while CTI was implemented in the control school. A similar post-test was administered on both groups to measure the comparative effects of each teaching method on the performance of learners. A questionnaire was also administered to both groups to measure the motivation of learners. A purposive sample (n=12) was selected from both groups to participate in semi-structured interviews to account for the results of the test and the questionnaire. A socio-constructivist theory framed the study. Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was used to analyse data. The results of this investigation indicated that the use of the computer software, GeoGebra, in the teaching and learning of Circle Geometry improved the performance and motivation of Grade 11 learners.
2014-12-01T00:00:00ZExploring teaching strategies to attain high performance in grade eight Mathematics : a case study of Chungcheongbuk Province, South Korea
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/18577
Exploring teaching strategies to attain high performance in grade eight Mathematics : a case study of Chungcheongbuk Province, South Korea
Van der Wal, Gerhard
This study focused on teaching strategies preferred and used by grade 8 mathematics teachers, what they thought was most effective for learning mathematics as well as students’ perspectives of their mathematics classroom. The aims of this study were to investigate the teaching strategies used in the South Korean mathematical classroom and to find out how they attain a high performance in mathematics, in comparison with other countries. The target population was chosen from within the Chungcheongbuk Province and ten schools were selected for the study.
In order to determine what teaching strategies are used in the South Korean mathematics classroom, a case study using both quantitative and qualitative research methods was adopted. Data collection methods included questionnaires for the students while interviews were conducted with the teachers. The questionnaire contained fifty closed-ended questions divided into different sections to obtain data on teaching strategies used, on preferred learning styles from the students and on how they felt about mathematics and the mathematical classroom. The interview consisted of ten open-ended questions to get feedback from the mathematics teachers on what teaching strategies they used in the classroom and on what they thought were the best strategies with regard to teaching grade 8 mathematics. From the ten sampled schools there were two hundred and two students who participated in this research, and six teachers were interviewed. The results of the study showed that in the South Korean mathematics classroom a combination of direct instruction, practice and teacher guidance helps the students to learn problem-solving skills and to master mathematics. The students indicated that the teachers mostly used chalkboard instruction and that they practiced solving problems using worksheets, past exam paper questions and through homework or private study. The average student studied mathematics for about six hours a week and most attended afterschool academies for further studying mathematics. Although the South Korean students attained a high performance in mathematics it was evident that they indicated a low interest in the subject. The teachers stated in the interviews that they thought the students needed to see examples on the chalkboard, and then the students need to practice with guidance from the teacher. It was evident that the students focus a lot on guided practice, since they study for about six hours a week. The teachers also felt that the curriculum is overloaded and that there was a gap between the better and the poorer level of students in the mathematics classroom, this gap grew bigger as students lost motivation. The responses to the questionnaire showed that 65% of the students were not interested in mathematics; in spite of this South Korea is placed among the best performing countries in the world. The teachers also indicated that mathematics was very highly valued in South Korea and that parents and universities put a lot of pressure on students to perform well in this subject.
This study provides better insight into what is happening in the South Korean mathematics classroom, what methods are used and how the students felt about the mathematics classroom and the strategies that are used. Apart from commenting on teaching strategies, there was also an indication of what teaching style the students preferred. The information in this research study can provide answers to questions regarding South Korean mathematics instructional practices and will be useful for future comparative studies regarding the teaching of mathematics in other countries.
2015-02-01T00:00:00Z