Riglyne vir die ontwikkeling van algebraïese denke deur middel van wiskundetaal en metakognitiewe strategieë
Pieterse, Maria Elizabeth
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South African learners are first exposed to algebra in Grade 7 and therefore mathematical language plays a critical role in the development of algebraic thinking (Chimoni et al., 2019:58). Algebraic thinking develops through four dimensions, namely general content strings, algebraic concepts, algebraic processes, and forms of reasoning (Pitta-Pantazi et al., 2019:966). Metacognitive strategies (planning, monitoring, evaluation, and reflection) contribute to the development of algebraic thinking because they empower learners to higher-order thinking skills (Molin et al., 2020:3). In order to practically teach metacognitive strategies to Grade 7 learners, the researcher designed a metacognitive strategy wheel with ten applicable metacognitive strategies. In the study, purposeful sampling was used to determine which learners would be suitable to be selected as participants. Grade 7 learners had to complete a word list where the mathematical terms were in the left-hand column and learners wrote what they understood under each term in the right-hand column. By means of the word list, the researcher selected five participants with poor mathematical language, five participants with average mathematical language and five participants with strong mathematical language. An empirical qualitative study was conducted by means of a design-based research model to investigate the development of Grade 7 learners' algebraic thinking. The four data collection tools were a word list, observations of learner activities, an algebra task, and task-based interviews. From the data analysis it was clear that mathematical language and metacognitive strategies are necessary for the development of algebraic thinking. This conclusion has also been confirmed in the literature. After completing the research, the researcher is able to compile effective guidelines for the development of algebraic thinking by means of mathematical language and metacognitive strategies, which other Grade 7 Mathematics teachers in South Africa can use in their teaching practice.
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