advisor
Prof. J. Strauss
author
Reddy, Inbavathee
2009-02-05T07:11:55Z
2009-02-05T07:11:55Z
2009-02-05T07:11:55Z
2005-10
http://hdl.handle.net/10210/2010
M.Ed.
The method used in the classroom is thought to have an effect on the learners learning the purpose/use of mathematics in their environment. Many see mathematics as a set of signs and symbols that are meaningless in their lives. The manner, in which mathematics is taught in the classroom, extends the thought of learners in believing that mathematics is a compulsory learning area that is required to be passed in order for them to proceed to the next grade. Meanwhile, the learners may be oblivious to the contribution mathematics can make in their lives.
One of the major contributory factors for this kind of thought is that mathematics is not taught in a way that helps learners understand its purpose/use in society. Thus, meaningless learning is perpetuated because of the approach in the classroom. If educators could alter their methodology in the classroom, then learners would be able to make sense of the subject and so apply the knowledge in their environment when the need arises. One of the ways to do this is to ensure that educators engage in meaningful and relative teaching.
The research for this study was based on the questionnaire and observation instruments. The target was primary school learners from grades five, six and seven, who were required to answer a closed questionnaire based on their understanding of the relevance of mathematics to their environment. The aim was to see how the educatorsâ€™ methodology affected the learnersâ€™ understanding of mathematics. Educators were also given questions along the same lines, with their lessons observed and observations recorded, according to an observation protocol.
The conclusion that the researcher reached was that learners were not taught in a purposeful manner that might assist them in understanding and applying mathematics to their environment. Whatever they learnt or were taught in the classroom was in isolation, that is, there was minimal, if any, integration into other learning areas.
One possible solution to this problem can be that the educators need to change their teaching strategies. Some of the possible strategies that they could use are cooperative learning, problem solving, the constructivist approach to teaching or an amalgamation of more than one strategy to obtain the outcomes.
In effect, if learners are made to realize the relevance of mathematics consciously; their mindset towards learning it will be more welcoming and accepting of it. Understanding forms the foundation for application, and therefore if the problems in the classroom relate to the learnersâ€™ experiences in their environment, then mathematics becomes meaningful to them and in turn becomes usable.
en
mathematics teachers
mathematics study and teaching
Mathematics and its application in the physical world.
Thesis