Guidelines to enhance secondary school learners' mathematical competence and study orientation in a problem-solving learning context
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Inadequate Mathematics performance causes global concern. Many secondary school learners lack the required level of mathematical competence to cope with the demands of school and higher education in the 21st century. Furthermore, inadequate study orientation in Mathematics contributes to deficient performance in Mathematics which is evident in several studies. This study aimed to determine how the mathematical competence and study orientation in Mathematics of secondary school learners can be enhanced in a problem-solving learning context. The study intended to yield guidelines to enhance both these aspects, thereby generating theoretical knowledge to the body of scholarship. The sampling strategy was convenience sampling, and the participants were the grade 8 and grade 9 learners at the project school of the SETH Academy. An embedded mixed method design was appropriate for this longitudinal study. In the quantitative experimental phase, the Study Orientation in Mathematics Questionnaire (SOM) was administered, followed by a Mathematics competence test. The qualitative phase entailed two open-ended questionnaires, task-based interviews with purposively selected learners, and individual interviews with four Mathematics teachers. Quantitative data were analysed statistically using a factor analysis, Cronbach ? reliability coefficients, dependent t-tests and independent t-tests. Qualitative data were sorted, coded and analysed on ATLAS.ti™, a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software, CAQDAS. Both data types were interpreted and integrated with the literature review to answer the research questions. Based on these findings, guidelines for enhancing the mathematical competence and study orientation of secondary school learners were formulated. These guidelines were designed around the two dominant themes in the study, namely mathematical competence and study orientation in Mathematics in a problem-solving learning context. The guidelines will be valuable to teachers, their learners, instructional designers and curriculum specialists in the creation, enactment and adjustment of Mathematics content and course material.
- Education 
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