Teachers' views on learners' perceptions of mathematics in Mahikeng area office
In many instances, learners perceive Mathematics as "difficult" and either avoid the subject or drop it as soon as they are allowed to (Van Rooyen & De Beer, 2006: vii). Research studies conducted have shown that South African learners as compared to learners of other countries are not achieving in mathematics. In the past, examination tended to drive the curriculum. Teachers acted as transmitters of knowledge, transferring information into the heads of the learners. The traditional teaching approach tended to be theoretical , examination driven and content based. Competent and committed Mathematics teachers are a key factor in addressing these challenges. The National Curriculum Statement, which was introduced in South Africa in 1998, places an emphasis on producing learners who are critical thinkers , capable of solving problems and responsible for their own learning. The focus of the study is on teachers' views on learners' understanding of mathematics within the context of some of the above mentioned aspects. Through Outcome Based Education within National Curriculum Statement and other strategic interventions in mathematics. teachers are provided with skills and knowledge to address challenges associated with learners, understanding. Questionnaires were administered to thirty four (34) educators and interviews were conducted with thirteen (13) educators. Descriptive analysis was employed to further interrogate the data. Learners underachieve because of lack of prior knowledge and motivation. Learners admire good person qualities and teaching techniques as well as teachers who are patient and explain concept well. By respecting learners ideas and encouraging independent thinking, teachers help learners to reach their intellectual potential. Specific intervention which can be created in order to assist educators to change learners' stereotypical belief about mathematics were also addressed. It is recommended that educators need training in National Curriculum Statement and also in subject content. Teachers' qualities should be linked to good subject knowledge, teaching skills and classroom management.
- Education