Teaching and learning quadratic equations through a problem-dentred approach : a case of grade 11 classroom in Capricorn District of Limpopo Province
Banji, Fadipe Morufu
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Worldwide the teaching and learning of mathematics pose a great challenge to mathematics teachers as learners ' performance in the subject leave much to be desired. This is particularly the case in South Africa, where there has been a great disparity in the development of teachers in the past. Extensive research has shown that many teachers in South Africa are under-qualified, especially in the teaching of mathematics at secondary schools. The performance of mathematics and science learners is particularly low in South Africa. The study investigated the benefits of using problem-centred approach in the teaching and learning of quadratic equations in grade-11 classroom using a mixed method approach. Learners were given learning activities on quadratic problems to carry out as part of their normal classroom mathematics' lessons. Data were collected in three stages: pre-intervention, which involved a quantitative approach, pretest and qualitative, questionnaire; during intervention, which included a qualitative approach, video recording and questioning, and learners' journals; post-intervention; quantitative; post-test and qualitative; questionnaire. The responses of the learners were analysed during each of the above stages. The scripts were reviewed based on four problem-solving stages adopted from George Polya (1945) viz.: understanding the problem, devising the plan, carrying out the plan, and looking back. It became evident from the findings of the study that before the intervention, learners had no understanding of problem-solving abilities and they were able to develop these abilities during the intervention and after the intervention, the learners have developed the necessary skills needed in problem-solving in learning quadratic equations. A total of 20 learners participated in the study from a secondary school in the Capricorn District of Limpopo Province. The study adhered to ethical principles and applied several techniques to enhance the validity/trustworthiness of the findings. The study found that learners benefitted tremendously from the problem-centred approach of teaching and learning. To this end, various recommendations were made. Recommendations for further study were also highlighted and the limitations of this research pointed out.
- Education