Theses and Dissertations (Mathematics Education)
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/6440
2015-05-22T17:46:08ZExploring 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.
2015-02-01T00:00:00ZRelationship between learners' mathematics-related belief systems and their approaches to non-routine mathematical problem solving : a case study of three high schools in Tshwane North district (D3), South Africa
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/18413
Relationship between learners' mathematics-related belief systems and their approaches to non-routine mathematical problem solving : a case study of three high schools in Tshwane North district (D3), South Africa
Chirove, Munyaradzi
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between High School learners‟ mathematics-related belief systems and their approaches to mathematics non-routine problem-solving. A mixed methods approach was employed in the study. Survey questionnaires, mathematics problem solving test and interview schedules were the basic instruments used for data collection.
The data was presented in form of tables, diagrams, figures, direct and indirect quotes of participants‟ responses and descriptions of learners‟ mathematics related belief systems and their approaches to mathematics problem solving. The basic methods used to analyze the data were thematic analysis (coding, organizing data into descriptive themes, and noting relations between variables), cluster analysis, factor analysis, regression analysis and methodological triangulation.
Learners‟ mathematics-related beliefs were grouped into three Learners‟ mathematics-related beliefs were grouped into three categories, according to Daskalogianni and Simpson (2001a)‟s macro-belief systems: utilitarian, systematic and exploratory. A number of learners‟ problem solving strategies were identified, that include unsystematic guess, check and revise; systematic guess, check and revise; trial-and-error; logical reasoning; non-logical reasoning; systematic listing; looking for a pattern; making a model; considering a simple case; using a formula; numeric approach; piece-wise and holistic approaches. A weak positive linear relationship between learners‟ mathematics-related belief systems and their approaches to non-routine problem solving was discovered. It was, also, discovered that learners‟ mathematics-related belief systems could explain their approach to non-routine mathematics problem solving (and vice versa).
2014-06-01T00:00:00ZAn investigation into the factors impacting on the selection and adoption of constructivist teaching methods by mathematics teachers in selected Gauteng urban schools
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/14194
An investigation into the factors impacting on the selection and adoption of constructivist teaching methods by mathematics teachers in selected Gauteng urban schools
Moyo, Innocent
Constructivist teaching strategies are undeniably accepted as effective in achieving the desired
educational goals of constructing knowledge through active and creative inquiry. Inasmuch as
teachers would love to adopt these strategies in their teaching, mathematics teachers find themselves
in a situation where they are forced not to use them. This study investigated the factors that impacted
on the selection and adoption of constructivist teaching strategies in selected Gauteng’s urban schools.
Four (4) public schools and sixteen (16) mathematics teachers participated in the study. The parallel
mixed methods design was employed in the study to produce both quantitative and qualitative data.
The data were therefore analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. It was found that the
participating mathematics teachers had an understanding of constructivist theories of teaching and that
they perceived their classroom environments to be constructivist in character. The study also found
that the adoption of constructivist teaching strategies was hindered by teachers’ lack of skills and
competencies to handle a curriculum that they felt was handed down to them without their full
involvement at all the stages of its development. Learners’ family backgrounds were also identified as
a major social factor that impacted negatively against selection of constructivist strategies. Based on
these findings, recommendations were made on how constructivist views can be realised in the
teaching of mathematics in South African schools.
2014-05-01T00:00:00ZA framework for the development of pedagogical content knowledge for secondary school statistics teachers
http://hdl.handle.net/10500/13851
A framework for the development of pedagogical content knowledge for secondary school statistics teachers
Makina, Antonia
The study developed and designed a pedagogical content knowledge framework to guide and support the professional development of pedagogical content knowledge to about 130 statistics teachers. It captured the experiences of teachers during the development of pedagogical content knowledge, to come up with the main themes that describe pedagogical content knowledge as the relevant knowledge for teaching Grade 11 and 12 statistics.
The study was overall qualitative in nature and supported by some quantitative data. Questionnaires, in-class facilitated tasks/activities, in-class facilitated discussions and observations were used as the main data collection instruments. This process revealed some significant themes, described as “missed opportunities”, which were defined as incidents in which pedagogical content knowledge was needed but not used. The thesis contributes to the theoretical and knowledge base of secondary school statistics teachers in the education system by providing measures that can be used to determine professional development needs of teachers.
2013-11-01T00:00:00Z