Die invloed van koöperatiewe leer as onderrigstrategie op die houding van Graad 8-wiskundeleerders teenoor probleemoplossing en op hul prestasie in wiskunde
Van der Lith, Sarita
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This study was undertaken to determine the influence of cooperative learning as a teaching strategy on Grade 8 mathematics learners' attitude towards problem solving and their performance in mathematics. The objectives of the empirical study were: * to investigate the attitude of Grade 8 learners towards mathematics and problem solving in mathematics; * to investigate the influence of cooperative learning as a teaching strategy on the attitude of Grade 8 mathematics learners towards mathematics and problem solving in mathematics; and * to investigate the influence of cooperative learning as a teaching strategy on the academic performance of Grade 8 learners in mathematics. Through a review of literature as teaching-learning framework, the nature of school mathematics; approaches to the study of school mathematics, namely the behaviourist-, the cognitive- and constructivist learning approaches; the role of problem solving in the teaching and learning of school mathematics; as well as the attitude of learners towards mathematics and towards problem solving in mathematics, are discussed. Using the description of indirect- and direct teaching strategies, the following elements of cooperative learning (indirect instruction strategy) is emphasised, namely individual responsibility, interpersonal social skills, positive personal interaction, group progress and positive interdependence. Cooperative learning methodology and the implementation of cooperative learning in the classroom are explained and finally, learners' attitude toward cooperative learning is described. For the empirical study, a sequential declarative combined research method design was used, which consisted of the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data in sequential phases. A pre-experimental evaluation (pre-test) was performed to compare the experimental and control groups in terms of their attitudes towards mathematics, and towards problem solving in mathematics, through the use of an adjusted attitude questionnaire (ATMI), as well as pertaining to learners' achievement in mathematics. The intervention (cooperative learning as a teaching strategy) was then applied to the experimental group for a period of sixteen weeks. The adjusted attitude questionnaire (ATMI) was also used in a post-experimental evaluation (post-test) for both (control and experimental) groups, as well as for the comparison of both groups‟ mathematical performances. The qualitative research was carried out by individual, structured, task-based interviews with selected participants in the experimental group. Information about learners' attitudes and experiences regarding problem solving in mathematics, their attitudes toward cooperative learning, as well as their problem-solving skills was acquired during the interviews. From the results of the empirical research it was found that cooperative learning as a teaching strategy had no significant influence on Grade 8 learners' attitudes towards mathematics, and towards problem solving in mathematics. The use of cooperative learning as a teaching strategy on the other hand, showed a significant increase in Grade 8 learners' achievement in mathematics.
- Education 
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