UJDigispace Repository

A Mathematics teacher's beliefs and knowledge of Grade 7 learners' problem-solving strategies during a problem-solving task

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Prof. Gert van der Westhuizen en_US
dc.contributor.author Peters, Janice
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-02T18:41:11Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-02T18:41:11Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-02
dc.date.submitted 2011-09
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8050
dc.description M.Ed. en_US
dc.description.abstract There are many concerns about the state of mathematics education, globally. Concern about learners' poor levels of performance in mathematics in South Africa is therefore not a unique phenomenon. In an era of globalization, with its increasing rapid social, cultural and economic change, enhancing an individual's capacity to apply their knowledge in "real world" situations through problem-solving is one of the key challenges facing the education system today. Understanding forms the foundation for application and therefore if the problems in the classroom relate to the learners' experience in their environment, the mathematics becomes meaningful to them and in tum becomes usable. The influence of teacher beliefs and teacher knowledge on their pedagogical decisions and classroom practice has also been highlighted in many studies. In this regard, it is believed that to improve mathematics results, classroom practices must reflect reform recommendations. This study investigated mathematics teachers' beliefs and knowledge in a Grade 7 mathematics class. Additionally, the study examined how teacher beliefs and teacher knowledge was used to incorporate word problemsolving and problem-solving strategies in a given task. The theoretical framework, which underpins my research, includes an integration of theories however I use the Social Constructivist Theory (Vygotsky, 1978) as a basis for my qualitative theoretical framework. Vygotsky indicates that children are able to solve practical tasks by means of talking, suggesting that discussion between the educator and the learners or the learners and their peers leads to social exchanges which is necessary for the internalization of learning and the construction of knowledge. Thus, suggesting that the discussions and sharing of ideas develop skills that can be used later in life to solve problems in the world. Social Constructivism therefore offers a view that helps me to understand the social construction of knowledge and it directed me in exploring how the participants' knowledge and beliefs were constructed and what influenced their knowledge and beliefs. For the purpose of this study, a qualitative approach was chosen as the key concern was to explore and understand teacher beliefs and teacher knowledge from the participants' perspective. A case study design was utilized to provide an iniv depth understanding of a Grade 7 mathematics teacher's knowledge of her learners' ability to use problem-solving strategies when doing word sums. The participants were one educator and her class of 40 learners. The data collection methods included in this study are a semi-structured interview with the teacher, a focus group discussion, selfreflection tool used by the learners, observation of a lesson presentation and an analysis of an activity completed by the learners. Data was analysed using the constant comparative method to determine the common themes and sub-themes. Themes that emerged during the data analysis process included: learners' attitude towards word problem-solving varies; learners find word problem-solving difficult; teacher experience influences teaching and learner performance; the teaching strategies used in the classroom are not assisting learners; and learners have a backlog in word problemsolving strategies.The study concludes with a discussion of recommendations for future research and limitations and strengths of the research. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Mathematics - Study and teaching en_US
dc.subject Problem solving (Mathematics) en_US
dc.subject Seventh grade (Education)
dc.subject Problem solving in children
dc.title A Mathematics teacher's beliefs and knowledge of Grade 7 learners' problem-solving strategies during a problem-solving task en_US
dc.type Mini-Dissertation en_US

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search UJDigispace


My Account