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Publisher: Sabinet Online Ltd   (Total: 223 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 223 Journals sorted alphabetically
ACCORD Occasional Paper     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Acta Academica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.123, h-index: 3)
Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.14, h-index: 1)
Acta Criminologica     Full-text available via subscription  
Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa     Full-text available via subscription  
Acta Juridica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Acta Patristica et Byzantina     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
AFFRIKA J. of Politics, Economics and Society     Full-text available via subscription  
Africa Conflict Monitor     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Africa Insight     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Africa Institute Occasional Paper     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Africa J. of Nursing and Midwifery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.128, h-index: 3)
AfricaGrowth Agenda     Full-text available via subscription  
African Entomology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.371, h-index: 18)
African Finance J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
African J. for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
African J. of Business and Economic Research     Full-text available via subscription  
African J. of Democracy and Governance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
African J. of Farm Child and Youth Development     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
African J. of Herpetology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.51, h-index: 9)
African J. of Psychiatry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.102, h-index: 1)
African J. of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
African J. of Rhetoric     Full-text available via subscription  
African J. of Wildlife Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
African Markets Overview     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
African Plant Protection     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
African Renaissance     Full-text available via subscription  
African Safety Promotion     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
African Yearbook of Rhetoric     Full-text available via subscription  
Africanus     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Agriprobe     Full-text available via subscription  
Akroterion     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History     Full-text available via subscription  
Annual Survey of South African Law     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Arms Control : Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Ars Nova     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Article 40     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
BER : Architects and Quantity Surveyors' Survey     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
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BER : Consumer Confidence Survey     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
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BER : Economic Prospects : An Executive Summary     Full-text available via subscription  
BER : Economic Prospects : Full Survey     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
BER : Intermediate Goods Industries Survey     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
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BER : Survey of Business Conditions in Building and Construction : An Executive Summary     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
BER : Survey of Business Conditions in Manufacturing : An Executive Summary     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
BER : Survey of Business Conditions in Retail : An Executive Summary     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
BER : Trends : Full Survey     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
BER : Wholesale Sector Survey     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Building Women     Full-text available via subscription  
Bulletin of Statistics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Business Tax and Company Law Quarterly     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Cabo     Full-text available via subscription  
Cardiovascular J. of Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.3, h-index: 19)
Child Abuse Research in South Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Clean Air J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Clean Air J. = Tydskrif vir Skoon Lug     Full-text available via subscription  
Climate Summary of South Africa     Full-text available via subscription  
CME : Your SA J. of CPD     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Codicillus     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Commonwealth Youth and Development     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Communicare : J. for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Comparative and Intl. Law J. of Southern Africa     Full-text available via subscription  
Conflict Trends     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Conspectus : The J. of the South African Theological Seminary     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Crime Research in South Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.126, h-index: 4)
Dairy Mail Africa : Publication for the Dairy Industry in Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
De Arte     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
De Rebus     Full-text available via subscription  
Die Kerkblad     Full-text available via subscription  
Educare     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Emergency Services SA     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
English in Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Enterprise Risk     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Ergonomics SA : J. of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa     Full-text available via subscription  
ESR Review : Economic and Social Rights in South Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Evidence Based Summaries in Dentistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
FarmBiz     Full-text available via subscription  
Farmer’s Weekly     Full-text available via subscription  
Farmlink Africa     Full-text available via subscription  
Food Manufacturing Africa     Full-text available via subscription  
French Studies in Southern Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Fundamina : A J. of Legal History     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Gender and Behaviour     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Gender Questions     Full-text available via subscription  
Ghanaian J. of Economics     Full-text available via subscription  
HR Future     Full-text available via subscription  
HR Highway     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
IFE Psychologia : An Intl. J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Image & Text : a J. for Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
IMFO : Official J. of the Institute of Municipal Finance Officers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
IMIESA     Full-text available via subscription  
Indilinga African J. of Indigenous Knowledge Systems     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Injury and Safety Monitor     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Inside Mining     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Institute for Security Studies Papers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Interim : Interdisciplinary J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Intl. J. for Religious Freedom     Full-text available via subscription  
Intl. SportMed J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.182, h-index: 8)
Investment Analysts J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.223, h-index: 4)
J. for Christian Scholarship = Tydskrif vir Christelike Wetenskap     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
J. for Contemporary History     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
J. for Estate Planning Law     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
J. for Islamic Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
J. for Juridical Science     Full-text available via subscription  
J. for Language Teaching = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
J. for New Generation Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
J. for Semitics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
J. of African Elections     Full-text available via subscription  
J. of African Foreign Affairs     Full-text available via subscription  
J. of African Union Studies     Full-text available via subscription  
J. of Contemporary Management     Full-text available via subscription  
J. of Gender, Information and Development in Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
J. of Marketing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
J. of Minimum Intervention in Dentistry     Full-text available via subscription  
J. of Public Administration     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
J. of Somali Studies     Full-text available via subscription  
J. of Strategic Studies : A J. of the Southern Bureau of Strategic Studies Trust     Full-text available via subscription  
Juta's Business Law     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Kleio     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Learning and Teaching Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe     Full-text available via subscription  
Local Government Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
M&J Retail     Full-text available via subscription  
Malawi Law J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Management Dynamics : J. of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Management Today     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Medical Technology SA     Full-text available via subscription  
Meditari : Research J. of the School of Accounting Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Missionalia : Southern African J. of Mission Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.115, h-index: 3)
MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa     Full-text available via subscription  
Monographs of the Transvaal Museum     Full-text available via subscription  
Musicus     Full-text available via subscription  
Nafu Farmer     Full-text available via subscription  
Neotestamentica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.124, h-index: 1)
New Coin Poetry     Full-text available via subscription  
New Voices in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Obiter     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Obstetrics and Gynaecology Forum     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.111, h-index: 2)
Occupational Health Southern Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Old Testament Essays     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Personal Finance Newsletter     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Perspectives in Education     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.242, h-index: 10)
Politeia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Practical Theology in South Africa = Praktiese Teologie in Suid-Afrika     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Professional Accountant     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Professional Nursing Today     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Progressio     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Quest     Full-text available via subscription  
ReSource     Full-text available via subscription  
Retail and Marketing Review     Full-text available via subscription  
Rostrum : Newsletter of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
SA Horseman     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
SA Irrigation = SA Besproeiing     Full-text available via subscription  
SA Mercantile Law J. = SA Tydskrif vir Handelsreg     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
SABI Magazine - Tydskrif     Full-text available via subscription  
Scriptura     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Scrutiny2     Full-text available via subscription  
Servamus Community-based Safety and Security Magazine     Full-text available via subscription  
Shakespeare in Southern Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Slavic Almanac : The South African J. for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
South Africa Rural Development Quarterly     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
South African Actuarial J.     Full-text available via subscription  
South African Computer J.     Full-text available via subscription  
South African Food Review     Full-text available via subscription  
South African Gastroenterology Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.101, h-index: 1)
South African Health Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
South African Human Rights Yearbook     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
South African J. for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.123, h-index: 3)
South African J. of African Languages     Full-text available via subscription  
South African J. of Art History     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
South African J. of Business Management     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.16, h-index: 5)
South African J. of Chemical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
South African J. of Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.177, h-index: 13)
South African J. of Criminal Justice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
South African J. of Cultural History     Full-text available via subscription  
South African J. of Diabetes and Vascular Disease     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
South African J. of Economic History     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
South African J. of Education     Open Access   (SJR: 0.376, h-index: 9)
South African J. of Higher Education     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
South African J. of Labour Relations     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
South African J. of Sports Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
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South African J. on Human Rights     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.166, h-index: 5)
South African Law J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
South African Music Studies : SAMUS     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
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South African Radiographer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)

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Journal Cover African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
  [8 followers]  Follow
    
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   ISSN (Print) 1028-8457 - ISSN (Online) 1811-7295
   Published by Sabinet Online Ltd Homepage  [223 journals]
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Teachers' approaches to proportional relationship problems in
           multiple measure spaces
    • Authors: Kazunga; Cathrine, Bansilal, Sarah
      Abstract: Ratio and proportion have many daily life applications and hence form an important part of the Mathematical Literacy (ML) curriculum in South African schools. The purpose of this study was to explore ML teachers' application of ratio in an assessment task with multiple measure spaces set within the real-life context of the need to establish the ingredients to produce 84 biscuits based on a recipe for 24 biscuits. The participants were 101 ML teachers who were enrolled in an in-service teacher upgrading programme for practising ML teachers. Data for the study were generated from the written responses to the task. The study found that approximately 60% of the teachers were able to complete the task correctly. Many teachers applied the cross-multiplication strategy as a character distribution matrix where the procedures are dictated by the spatial arrangement of symbols instead of being underpinned by an understanding of proportional reasoning. It is recommended that ML teacher education programmes should provide opportunities for teachers to engage with applications of ratio across multiple measure spaces.
      PubDate: 2016-04-19T10:59:52Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The relationship between family experiences and motivation to
           learn science for different groups of grade 9 students in South Africa
    • Authors: Schulze; Salome, Lemmer, Eleanor
      Abstract: Worldwide science education is a national priority due to the role played by science performance in economic growth and the supply and quality of the human capital pool in scientific fields. One factor that may impact on the motivation to learn science is family experiences. This study therefore explored the relationship between family experiences and the motivation for science learning among a group of secondary school students in South Africa. A convenience and purposeful sample (N = 380) were used. Criteria for inclusion stipulated that the students were Grade 9 boys and girls from different racial groups in public and private schools. Data on family experiences and motivation for science learning were collected using a structured questionnaire. Hypotheses were tested based on the correlations between the motivation for science learning and family experiences for gender, race, school and school type. Significant correlations were identified between family experiences (the distal and proximal dimensions) and the motivation for science learning for the sample. However, no significant differences were found between different student groups with regard to the above-mentioned correlations.
      PubDate: 2016-04-19T10:59:51Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Making sense of the ZPD : an organising framework for
           mathematics education research
    • Authors: Stott; Debbie
      Abstract: The zone of proximal development (ZPD) is a well-known and frequently used notion in both educational research and practice with a wide and diverse range of interpretations. My aim in writing this theoretical article is not to provide a critical examination or an extensive literature review of the ZPD, but rather to highlight some significant issues surrounding the use of the notion in the mathematics education literature. Extending a series of questions contributed by Del Rió and Álvarez, I have added an element about theoretical space enabling researchers who are not in psychology to use the questions to situate their own use of the ZPD within their theoretical perspective and to unpack their assumptions about each of the questions. More importantly, the paper exemplifies how the use of an organising framework assists in achieving some clarity on the different ways the notion is conceptualised in the educational literature. I propose that this framework could enable both researchers and educators to locate their own conceptualisation of the ZPD within the broader, complex space and to assist in achieving coherence between the theoretical and methodological perspectives they work with.
      PubDate: 2016-04-19T10:59:50Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Valuing IKS in successive South African physical sciences
           curricula
    • Authors: Taylor; Dale L., Cameron, Ann
      Abstract: The valuing of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) is one of the principles on which the South African school curriculum is supposed to be based. The purpose of this paper is to critique the treatment of indigenous knowledge in the South African secondary Physical Sciences curriculum against a backdrop of international debates on the relationship between IKS and science. Such debates usually take either an Inclusive perspective, where IKS are regarded as part of science, or an Exclusive perspective, where IKS and science are regarded as separate domains of knowledge. We identify a third perspective where IKS and science are viewed as intersecting domains. A document analysis of all national post-apartheid curriculum documents relevant to secondary Physical Sciences identifies only nine examples of IKS related to Physical Sciences in the latest curriculum documents (CAPS), although this is an improvement on the previous curricula. The curriculum documents reflect some confusion about the relationship between IKS and science, both in the wording and in the positioning of examples in relation to science content. Physical sciences curriculum development in South Africa appears to have gone through the stages of colonisation, decolonisation and neo-colonisation. We recommend the development of theory that addresses the role of valuing IKS in science classrooms. The Intersecting perspective offers promise as an approach to use in science classrooms, allowing the distinction to be made between pieces of indigenous knowledge that intersect with modern science knowledge and IKS as whole systems of thinking with distinctive worldviews.
      PubDate: 2016-04-19T10:59:49Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Students' dichotomous experiences of the illuminating and
           illusionary nature of pattern recognition in mathematics
    • Authors: Mhlolo; Michael Kainose
      Abstract: The concept of pattern recognition lies at the heart of numerous deliberations concerned with new mathematics curricula, because it is strongly linked to improved generalised thinking. However none of these discussions has made the deceptive nature of patterns an object of exploration and understanding. Yet there is evidence showing that pattern recognition has both positive and negative effects on learners' development of concepts. This study investigated how pattern recognition was both illuminating and illusionary for Grade 11 learners as they factorised quadratic trinomials. Psillos's four conditions model was used to judge the reasonableness of learners' generalisations in six selected examples. The results show that pattern recognition was illuminating in the first three examples where learners made use of localised pattern recognition. In one example, pattern recognition was coincidental but not beneficial in terms of conceptual understanding. In the last two examples localised patternrecognition was at the centre of learner confusion as they failed to extend its application beyond the domain of the examples that generated the pattern. Learners' confusion with pattern recognition could be attributed to teachers' failure to meet four important conditions for good eneralisations. Results from this study confirm earlier studies showing that abduced generalisations developed out of a few localised instances might be illuminating at first but might not provide the best explanation when extended beyond the localised domain. Further studies are needed that assist in developing pattern aware teachers.
      PubDate: 2016-04-19T10:59:48Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The effect of computer simulations on acquisition of knowledge
           and cognitive load : a gender perspective
    • Authors: Kaheru; Sam J., Kriek, Jeanne
      Abstract: A study on the effect of the use of computer simulations (CS) on the acquisition of knowledge and cognitive load was undertaken with 104 Grade 11 learners in four schools in rural South Africa on the physics topic geometrical optics. Owing to the lack of resources a teacher-centred approach was followed in the use of computer simulations. The theoretical framework underpinning this study combines two theories, namely the cognitive load theory and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. Within the non-equivalent group design, a switching replications design was used. In terms of the acquisition of knowledge, female learners, despite having low scores on the pre-tests, showed sizable and significant improvement in the post-tests when using CS. The measured cognitive load was not significantly different for the male and female learners. The cognitive load initially decreased as a result of teaching both through the use of CS and without use of CS in the first week while, with time, it increased.
      PubDate: 2016-04-19T10:59:47Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           
    • Authors: Craig; Tracy S.
      Abstract: Mathematical problem-solving is notoriously difficult to teach in a standard university mathematics classroom. The project on which this article reports aimed to investigate the effect of the writing of explanatory strategies in the context of mathematical problem solving on problem-solving behaviour.This article serves to describe the effectiveness of using writing as a tool for deeper engagement with mathematical problems. Students' claims about, and tutor observations of, problem-solving behaviour were analysed through the lens of Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Examples of enhanced problem-solving behaviour are presented as well as reports from student interviews that writing 'forces' deeper engagement. The analysis of students' work and their reflections indicated that writing about problem-solving processes potentially resulted in a cognitive perturbation when students were forced to confront their incomplete understanding (and hence their unstable knowledge structures) and therefore had to achieve a deeper level of understanding in order to adequately describe the solution process.
      PubDate: 2016-04-19T10:59:47Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Students' difficulties with definitions in the context of
           proofs in elementary set theory
    • Authors: Shaker; Hedieh, Berger, Margot
      Abstract: In this paper we explore first-year students' difficulties with the use and interpretation of definitions of mathematical objects as they attempt proof construction exercises in the area of elementary set theory. The participants are students at a historically disadvantaged university in South Africa. In this study the activities and utterances of 10 students who took part in consultative group sessions were observed and analysed. Consultative sessions were organised so as to encourage and develop students' active participation while engaging in the task of proof construction. The framework that was used to analyse students' proof comprehension and construction actions and contributions, particularly their interpretation and use of definitions, is described in the paper. The findings of the study resonate closely with those of researchers in the developed world. Students' difficulties with definitions of mathematical objects include their misinterpretation of definitions of objects such as the union of sets and the Cartesian product and their association of mathematical objects with a word or symbol contained in their definitions.
      PubDate: 2016-04-19T10:59:46Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Editorial
    • Authors: Rollnick; Marissa, Adler, Jill, Setati, Mamokgethi
      Abstract: What research has been done on mathematics and science education in South Africa? What kinds of issues are researched? What research approaches and methodologies are being used? Who is doing the research? Where is the research being conducted? What does this research tell us about the kinds of problems researchers prioritise in these domains and why? How do these problems relate to issues of policy and problems of practice in Mathematics and Science Education in South Africa? Is it true, as some claim that current research in mathematics and science education does not impact on either policy or practice? It is well known that policy makers want evidence of what works. Researchers, on the other hand, are concerned with the interrogation as well as the solution of problems of practice. In a context of transformation and with goals for greater access to and success for learners in these subjects, researchers want their work to be taken seriously and many wish the insights and outcomes to have relevance for and influence on policy and practice. Yet, we also know that the relationships between research, policy and practice are complex and communication between researchers, policy makers and practitioners is sometimes difficult.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:57:05Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Mathematics and science education research,
           policy and practice in South Africa : what are the relationships?
    • Authors: Venkat; Hamsa, Adler, Jill, Rollnick, Marissa, Setati, Mamokgethi, Vhurumuku, Elaosi
      Abstract: In this paper, a review of journal articles containing South African research in mathematics and science education in the 2000 - 2006 period is undertaken, and used to identify significant clusters of research interest on the one hand and areas of under-representation of research on the other. In mathematics education, significant clusters were found relating to: questions of relevance, language issues, mathematics teaching and learning, and mathematics teacher education. In science education, specific clusters of research focused on: tertiary science teaching and learning, school level science teaching and learning, and relevance issues focused on the nature of science and indigenous knowledge systems. Our classification of articles highlighted the paucity of research at the primary level, in rural contexts, and dealing with issues related to language use in multilingual classrooms. Our overview of articles also provided examples of research that linked the issues arising within specific clusters, and considered the consequences of these linked issues for teaching and learning. We conclude by noting examples of research findings within our review that have impacted on policy and practice, and point also to areas where further research appears necessary.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:57:04Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Mathematics and science teacher education in
           South Africa : a review of research, policy and practice in times of
           change
    • Authors: Adler; Jill, Pournara, Craig, Taylor, Dale, Thorne, Barbara, Moletsane, Grace
      Abstract: The social, political and educational policy changes in South Africa provide a backdrop to this paper. Its authors report recent (2000-2006) research into the education of science and mathematics teachers in this country. International research trends provide a frame for the survey. Findings suggest that most of the research in both science and mathematics teacher education consists of small scale qualitative studies, generally conducted in urban contexts and among teachers participating in formal in-service programmes. In science teacher education, research emphases appear to have shifted towards process skill development, nature of science (NOS) and indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) while still acknowledging the importance of content knowledge. In mathematics teacher education research, there is a strong emphasis on the specificity of mathematical knowledge for mathematics teaching and teacher learning, with curriculum reform recently in focus in both mathematics and science teacher education literature. Gaps in the research have also been identified, including the education of primary mathematics and science teachers, teacher education for life sciences and the education of teachers in and for rural contexts. The authors argue for further research into mathematics and science teacher education and conclude with a research agenda focused on an examination of teacher education practices, investigations into primary teacher education, studies into life sciences teacher education and empirical research across diverse schooling contexts, with particular attention being paid to rural education.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:57:03Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Issues of Teaching & Learning in
           
    • Authors: Lelliott; Anthony, Mwakapenda, Willy, Doidge, Meg, Du Plessis, Jacques, Mhlolo, Michael, Msimanga, Audrey, Mundalamo, Fhatuwani, Nakedi, Mpunki, Bowie, Lynn
      Abstract: This article examines how issues of teaching and learning have been implemented in South African classrooms. We apply a framework of curriculum implementation (Rogan & Grayson, 2003) to studies of classroom teaching and learning reported in the literature. In doing so, we use the framework to categorise and comment on the research studies and determine the applicability of the framework to science and mathematics classrooms. Our review findings show that the framework's constructs of 'profile of implementation' and 'capacity to innovate' can be applied, with some adaptation, to both mathematics and science classroom studies. Fewer studies have involved the third construct 'outside support'. We conclude that there is an inevitable dislocation between policy and curriculum implementation, and that the framework provides a useful notion of 'feasible implementation' by suggesting how (in a series of small steps) individual schools can put into practice new curriculum policy.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:57:03Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Research on multilingualism in mathematics
           education in South Africa : 2000-2007
    • Authors: Setati; Mamokgethi, Chitera, Nancy, Essien, Anthony
      Abstract: This paper presents a critical review of research on multilingualism in mathematics education in South Africa in the years 2000-2007. To do this review we selected key peer reviewed local and international mathematics education journals as well as key mathematics education conference proceedings in which South African mathematics education research had been published for the period 2000 to 2007. Through this review we argue that while all research in the area of study identifies language as the major determinant of success in mathematics learning and comparative assessment, large-scale and small-scale studies follow disconnected paths and thus seem to be making contradictory recommendations. Large scale research argues that improving the learners' fluency in English is critical to improving learner achievement in mathematics while small scale research argues for ways of using the learners' home languages as a resource for learning. We highlight the paucity of research in this important area of study and propose areas of study for future research.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:57:01Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Positions and purposes for contextualisation
           in mathematics education in South Africa
    • Authors: Venkat; Hamsa, Bowie, Lynn, Graven, Mellony
      Abstract: In this article, papers reviewed in the position paper (Venkat, Adler, Rollnick, Setati & Vhurumuku, 2009) relating to questions of contextualisation in mathematics education are analysed and used to develop a tentative framework consisting of two aspects. The first aspect relates to the position taken on contextualisation with three categories identified ('advocacy', 'advocacy but ...' and 'does not advocate'). The second aspect relates to the underlying purpose for which contextualisation is used with four key motivations emerging within the sample ('mathematical', 'utilitarian', 'cultural affirmation' and 'critical democratic citizenship'). Taken together, the two aspects can be combined into a tentative framework which can be used as an analytical tool that allows for an initial dis-aggregation of the broader literature in the area of contextualisation in mathematics education, as well as for thinking about the design and use of contextualised tasks.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:57:01Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: The nature of science and indigenous
           knowledge systems in South Africa, 2000-2007 : a critical review of the
           research in science education
    • Authors: Vhurumuku; Elaosi, Mokeleche, Maebeebe
      Abstract: In this paper we describe and analyze the research in science education on the nature of science (NOS) and indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) done in South Africa, and published in local and international refereed journals between the years 2000 and 2007. Through an examination of the current state of NOS and IKS research internationally, we explore and locate the research done in South Africa within what we call the international ''research programmes''. Our discussion shows that the research being done in South Africa is attuned with contemporary international research agendas, theoretical paradigms and methodological tastes. We tease out and explore the patterns of the research, highlighting its major strands. Our description and analysis also identifies some of the major drivers of the research. Within that effort we point out that the major impetus behind the research has been the deliberate effort to inform the implementation of South Africa's new science curricula. An interesting observation coming out of our analysis is the fact that for both NOS and IKS research, the primary and secondary school levels are clearly under researched. Recommendations for future research are given.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:57:00Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: The institutional location of research in
           Mathematics and Science Education in South Africa
    • Authors: Rollnick; Marissa, Adler, Jill, Setati, Mamokgethi
      Abstract: This paper describes and characterizes the science and mathematics education communities in South Africa by looking at their refereed outputs from 2000-2006. The publications under study are studies focusing on South Africa in local and international journals from 2000-2006. Our interest lies in looking more closely at the authors to understand how the two communities grow and evolve. We also examine similarities and differences between the communities and how these have influenced their trajectories. The communities are characterized by their identities as outlined by Gee and their level of development is measured against criteria devised by Fensham. We found that both communities have begun to grow and thrive in the period under study but remain fragile and subject to disruption by upward mobility and loss of some of their members. Similarities were found, but also notable differences such as coauthoring practices.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:56:59Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Examining research practice in science and
           mathematics education : a local study with global relevance
    • Authors: Lerman; Stephen
      Abstract: The collection of papers here adds another dimension to the goal of systematic reviews, that of analysing the state of a research community, in this case two communities, mathematics and science education, in a particular country, thus enabling the analysis to take into account local factors and priorities and to identify future directions for that country. In addition to the local orientation, however, these papers speak globally in at least three ways: they indicate a vital activity that every country should undertake; they identify features of the life of research communities that are common across the world; and they develop tools of analysis that offer global potentialities. It has not been my job to review these papers but I want to say here that they are a consistently high quality, which is why the benefits to the community and the relevance of such studies internationally are so clear. In each case, the authors of these articles have developed theoretical frameworks that have enabled them, through the textual analyses, to say important things about the state of the two research communities structurally and developmentally. These theoretical frameworks are, at the same time, rich research tools in themselves that have great potential for those of us around the world also interested in the state of our research communities.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:56:59Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Science education research feeding into
           policy and practice in South Africa : the strengths of narrative and
           systematic reviews
    • Authors: Lubben; Fred
      Abstract: This paper responds to the Marang Centre's narrative-systematic review of recent science education research in South Africa, and its power to inform policy and practice. This response explores the question to what extent the review findings would be different if a systematic review method would have been used instead. The following five stages of a reviewing process are used to structure a comparison: the identification of the review questions; the development of inclusion criteria; the identification of the literature search strategy; the application of keywords and descriptors to categorise research papers; and the strategies for synthesising research findings. For both review methods the development of the review questions, the selection of inclusion criteria and key-words yield very similar results. The wider angle of review questions in narrative-systematic reviews increases opportunities for identifying 'drivers' and 'connectors' underlying the reviewed body of research, whereas the explicit nature of the inclusion criteria and key-words in a systematic review facilitates the process of mapping the existing research. The major differences between both review methods lie in the adopted search strategy, the nature and detail of the descriptors used, and the method for synthesising research outcomes. For systematic reviews, quality judgements are constructed for each research report which allow weighing its relative contribution to the synthesis of the research findings. In the narrative-systematic method implicit, and external, quality judgements are included by using the refereeing process as a major searching tool. The high trustworthiness of systematic review findings as a basis for policy decisions and changes in educational practice contrasts the considerably higher demand on time and cost, and the more limited scope of review findings.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:56:58Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Editorial
    • Authors: Stears; Michele
      Abstract: The 5th annual SAARMSTE Research School for doctoral students and their supervisors in the fields of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education was held from the 17th - 22nd June 2007. This event was hosted and organized by the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SSMTE) in the Faculty of Education. As the purpose of the Research School was, amongst other things, to develop skills with regard to the writing of theses, papers and articles, it was agreed that every effort would be made to support participants in developing their writing skills. This was done by requesting them to submit an article to the organising committee of the Research School.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:53:05Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Assessment of preparedness of first-year
           chemistry students : development and application of an instrument for
           diagnostic and placement purposes
    • Authors: Potgieter; Marietjie, Davidowitz, Bette, Venter, Elsie
      Abstract: Many universities in South Africa use alternative admissions tests together with results of the Grade 12 examinations for access or placement. These tests focus on academic literacy and mathematical skills and do not provide information about proficiencies in disciplines other than mathematics. The implementation of a new curriculum for Grades 10-12 in South Africa generates a need to monitor preparedness of first-year students to align first-year curricula as closely as possible to the content of the new syllabi. The need for a tailor-made instrument to assess preparedness for chemistry at the tertiary level was prompted by the lack of suitable tests with the appropriate focus, depth and coverage for application in the South African context. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a test instrument designed to assess and monitor baseline conceptual understanding in chemistry at the secondary-tertiary interface. The study was carried out with mainstream students at the universities of Pretoria and Cape Town (N = 513 and 258, respectively). Data analysed using the Rasch statistical method confirmed that the majority of students from both cohorts was reasonably well prepared for chemistry at the tertiary level. The use of the instrument for diagnostic purposes was demonstrated. It was possible to identify gaps in the assumed pre-knowledge of students who have qualified for admission to chemistry at a tertiary level at their respective institutions. Inadequate pre-knowledge was most noticeable in the areas of chemical reactions and electrochemistry. In addition, the instrument also shows promise as a placement tool within programmes at a particular institution, i.e. in either mainstream or academic development programmes. Its predictive ability compares well with non-South African placement tests and with Grade 12 mathematics performance, the latter is widely used for this purpose in South Africa.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:53:05Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Solving introductory computer programming
           problems using an object-oriented language : insights from an empirical
           study
    • Authors: Govender; Irene
      Abstract: This study involved tertiary students (pre and in-service teachers) who were learning, and learning to teach object-oriented programming. In most cases, the pre-service teachers were learning to program for the first time, while the in-service teachers had previously programmed using a procedural programming language. The paper presents the results of an investigation into the various ways in which pre- and in-service teachers solve problems in programming when using an object-oriented language. Phenomenography was used to identify categories of description of solving problems. From these categories, two approaches to solving problems emerged. The paper demonstrates that some of the ways to solve problems are better than others, and these better ways should be encouraged. Some implications for teaching are discussed.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:53:04Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: The use of a Tablet PC for instruction : a
           theoretical framework
    • Authors: Stols; Gerrit
      Abstract: This article is about my own journey and my reflections during my first month of using technology for instruction. The context was the use of a tablet PC and the possibilities that it creates for teaching mathematics to pre-calculus and calculus pre-service teaching students. This study attempts to understand, from the inside, the use computers for instruction, which is why the lecturer himself was also the principal researcher in this study. The advantage of using my own practice as a site for studying the processes of integrating technology into teaching is that it offers special possibilities for insight into and understanding of the thinking and emotions involved. This research may be seen as a special case of a qualitative case study. After three months of using technology for instructional purposes, I tried to make sense of my own journey by analysing my reflections using the Theory of Planned Behaviour as a theoretical framework. It was found that this theory, after some adaptations, might be used to clarify and understand my own use of technology for instruction.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:53:02Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Exploration of strategies to integrate HIV
           and AIDS education in pre-service teacher education
    • Authors: Van Laren; Linda
      Abstract: The South African National Policy on HIV / AIDS (Department of Education, 1999) mandates the integration of HIV and AIDS education in the whole South African education system. This self-study of a mathematics teacher educator explores integration of HIV and AIDS education in pre-service teacher education at a faculty of education that is situated in a province with one of the highest HIV and AIDS prevalence rates in South Africa. By examining the interactions between a group of volunteer pre-service teachers and their teacher educator, this self-study aimed at shedding light on how these interactions might be used to develop 'multiskilled' teachers who are HIV-aware, HIV-competent, and HIV-safe in the area of mathematics teaching and learning. Possible strategies for facilitating integration of HIV and AIDS education in mathematics education were explored. The findings suggest a possible 'bottom-up' strategy, using self-study, to integrate HIV and AIDS education in a discipline.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:53:02Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Implementation of the new FET Physical
           Sciences curriculum : teachers' perspectives
    • Authors: Kriek; Jeanne, Basson, Ilsa
      Abstract: The new South African Further Education and Training (FET) curriculum is currently in the implementation phase. The paper reports on the responses and views of 59 Physical Science teachers in the northern part of South Africa about their experiences with the implementation of this curriculum. The paper is conceptualised around the belief that views inform practice, and that the teachers need to hold positive views about the new curriculum in order for it to be successfully implemented. Data from questionnaires and focus group interviews showed that even though the teachers generally held positive views about the new FET Physical Science curriculum, they had concerns about the content overload, their ability to teach it, the available resources and the level of support they were given as well as the quality of the training which they received. The perspectives of these teachers were used to evaluate the degree of implementation of the new curriculum against a theory of implementation with particular reference to developing countries.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:53:01Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: National performance assessment in a South
           African context : a case study of issues of classroom implementation and
           task design
    • Authors: Bansilal; Sarah, Wallace, John
      Abstract: In this qualitative study of one urban South African Grade 9 mathematics classroom we examine how the classroom teacher interpreted and implemented the national assessment tool known as the Common Tasks for Assessment (CTA). We examine the teacher's actions and students' responses, focusing on two fundamental components of the CTA design rationale - the notion of addressing barriers to learning, and the use of real life, performance based assessments. Our analysis reveals six issues of concern in the conduct of the CTA - knowledge gaps, task language, information overload, lexical density, messy numbers and real life contexts. We conclude by examining the implications of the study for classroom practice and the design of assessment tasks in mathematics.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:53:00Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: Preservice mathematics students' notions of
           the concept definition of continuity in calculus through collaborative
           instructional design worksheets
    • Authors: Maharajh; Nalini, Brijlall, Deonarain, Govender, Nadaraj
      Abstract: The aim of this research was to develop second-year preservice mathematics students' advance notion of the concept definition of continuity of single-valued functions in differential calculus. The study is qualitative in that it reports on the cognitive processes during the construction of this concept of continuity of single-valued functions obtained from analysis of the structured worksheets. The students in this study specialise in the teaching of mathematics for the FET high school curriculum at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A two-tiered concurrent approach was attempted; one through student-collaborations and the other through instructional design worksheets, to develop sophisticated mathematical understandings of the concept definition of continuity. The effectiveness of both the student collaborative efforts and the specifically designed worksheets are also discussed in depth. The worksheets were structured sequentially, using graphical representations of examples and non-examples of continuous functions, to induce a deeper mathematical understanding of the concept of continuity. In this regard, the concept image and the concept definition with regard to a deeper understanding continuity in differential calculus were investigated within a Vygotskian paradigm. The findings of this study showed that preservice mathematics students demonstrated the ability to make use of mathematical symbols, oral and written mathematical language, visual or pictorial models and mental images to construct internal processes to develop an advanced mathematical sense of the concept of continuity of single-valued functions. On perceiving functions as mathematical entities, they could manipulate these entities, which were understood as a system of operations.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:52:59Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education : Special Issue 1: The relationship between teaching practices
           and students' achievement in mathematics in Lesotho
    • Authors: Stols; Gerrit, Kriek, Jeanne, Ogbonnaya, Ugorji Iheanachor
      Abstract: Research has found that teaching practices are a critical factor in promoting student achievement in mathematics and may therefore explain a substantial portion of the variance in student learning and achievement. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between student achievement in mathematics and teachers' teaching practices in the Maseru District in Lesotho, Southern Africa. A self-report instrument - Mathematics Teaching Opinionate Scale (MaTOS) - was used to collect data from 40 Form C (Grade 10) mathematics teachers about their teaching practices. This paper outlines correlations found between specific teaching practices (formal presentation, teacher-guided discussion, group work and homework) and student achievement in mathematics. Possible implications of these correlations are discussed and recommendations for further research are put forward.
      PubDate: 2016-04-11T09:52:58Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Teachers' approaches to proportional relationship problems in
           multiple measure spaces
    • Authors: Kazunga; Cathrine, Bansilal, Sarah
      Abstract: Ratio and proportion have many daily life applications and hence form an important part of the Mathematical Literacy (ML) curriculum in South African schools. The purpose of this study was to explore ML teachers' application of ratio in an assessment task with multiple measure spaces set within the real-life context of the need to establish the ingredients to produce 84 biscuits based on a recipe for 24 biscuits. The participants were 101 ML teachers who were enrolled in an in-service teacher upgrading programme for practising ML teachers. Data for the study were generated from the written responses to the task. The study found that approximately 60% of the teachers were able to complete the task correctly. Many teachers applied the cross-multiplication strategy as a character distribution matrix where the procedures are dictated by the spatial arrangement of symbols instead of being underpinned by an understanding of proportional reasoning. It is recommended that ML teacher education programmes should provide opportunities for teachers to engage with applications of ratio across multiple measure spaces.
      PubDate: 2016-03-31T09:26:03Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The relationship between family experiences and motivation to
           learn science for different groups of Grade 9 students in South Africa
    • Authors: Schulze; Salome, Lemmer, Eleanor
      Abstract: Worldwide science education is a national priority due to the role played by science performance in economic growth and the supply and quality of the human capital pool in scientific fields. One factor that may impact on the motivation to learn science is family experiences. This study therefore explored the relationship between family experiences and the motivation for science learning among a group of secondary school students in South Africa. A convenience and purposeful sample (N = 380) were used. Criteria for inclusion stipulated that the students were Grade 9 boys and girls from different racial groups in public and private schools. Data on family experiences and motivation for science learning were collected using a structured questionnaire. Hypotheses were tested based on the correlations between the motivation for science learning and family experiences for gender, race, school and school type. Significant correlations were identified between family experiences (the distal and proximal dimensions) and the motivation for science learning for the sample. However, no significant differences were found between different student groups with regard to the above-mentioned correlations.
      PubDate: 2016-03-31T09:26:03Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Making sense of the ZPD : an organising framework for
           mathematics education research
    • Authors: Stott; Debbie
      Abstract: The zone of proximal development (ZPD) is a well-known and frequently used notion in both educational research and practice with a wide and diverse range of interpretations. My aim in writing this theoretical article is not to provide a critical examination or an extensive literature review of the ZPD, but rather to highlight some significant issues surrounding the use of the notion in the mathematics education literature. Extending a series of questions contributed by Del Rìo; and Àlvarez, I have added an element about theoretical space enabling researchers who are not in psychology to use the questions to situate their own use of the ZPD within their theoretical perspective and to unpack their assumptions about each of the questions. More importantly, the paper exemplifies how the use of an organising framework assists in achieving some clarity on the different ways the notion is conceptualised in the educational literature. I propose that this framework could enable both researchers and educators to locate their own conceptualisation of the ZPD within the broader, complex space and to assist in achieving coherence between the theoretical and methodological perspectives they work with.
      PubDate: 2016-03-31T09:26:02Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Valuing IKS in successive South African physical sciences
           curricula
    • Authors: Taylor; Dale L., Cameron, Ann
      Abstract: The valuing of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) is one of the principles on which the South African school curriculum is supposed to be based. The purpose of this paper is to critique the treatment of indigenous knowledge in the South African secondary Physical Sciences curriculum against a backdrop of international debates on the relationship between IKS and science. Such debates usually take either an Inclusive perspective, where IKS are regarded as part of science, or an Exclusive perspective, where IKS and science are regarded as separate domains of knowledge. We identify a third perspective where IKS and science are viewed as intersecting domains. A document analysis of all national post-apartheid curriculum documents relevant to secondary Physical Sciences identifies only nine examples of IKS related to Physical Sciences in the latest curriculum documents (CAPS), although this is an improvement on the previous curricula. The curriculum documents reflect some confusion about the relationship between IKS and science, both in the wording and in the positioning of examples in relation to science content. Physical sciences curriculum development in South Africa appears to have gone through the stages of colonisation, decolonisation and neo-colonisation. We recommend the development of theory that addresses the role of valuing IKS in science classrooms. The Intersecting perspective offers promise as an approach to use in science classrooms, allowing the distinction to be made between pieces of indigenous knowledge that intersect with modern science knowledge and IKS as whole systems of thinking with distinctive worldviews.
      PubDate: 2016-03-31T09:26:01Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Students' dichotomous experiences of the illuminating and
           illusionary nature of pattern recognition in mathematics
    • Authors: Mhlolo; Michael Kainose
      Abstract: The concept of pattern recognition lies at the heart of numerous deliberations concerned with new mathematics curricula, because it is strongly linked to improved generalised thinking. However none of these discussions has made the deceptive nature of patterns an object of exploration and understanding. Yet there is evidence showing that pattern recognition has both positive and negative effects on learners' development of concepts. This study investigated how pattern recognition was both illuminating and illusionary for Grade 11 learners as they factorised quadratic trinomials. Psillos's four conditions model was used to judge the reasonableness of learners' generalisations in six selected examples. The results show that pattern recognition was illuminating in the first three examples where learners made use of localised pattern recognition. In one example, pattern recognition was coincidental but not beneficial in terms of conceptual understanding. In the last two examples localised pattern recognition was at the centre of learner confusion as they failed to extend its application beyond the domain of the examples that generated the pattern. Learners' confusion with pattern recognition could be attributed to teachers' failure to meet four important conditions for good generalisations. Results from this study confirm earlier studies showing that abduced generalisations developed out of a few localised instances might be illuminating at first but might not provide the best explanation when extended beyond the localised domain. Further studies are needed that assist in developing pattern aware teachers.
      PubDate: 2016-03-31T09:26:00Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           
    • Authors: Craig; Tracy S.
      Abstract: Mathematical problem-solving is notoriously difficult to teach in a standard university mathematics classroom. The project on which this article reports aimed to investigate the effect of the writing of explanatory strategies in the context of mathematical problem solving on problem-solving behaviour.This article serves to describe the effectiveness of using writing as a tool for deeper engagement with mathematical problems. Students' claims about, and tutor observations of, problem-solving behaviour were analysed through the lens of Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Examples of enhanced problem-solving behaviour are presented as well as reports from student interviews that writing 'forces' deeper engagement. The analysis of students' work and their reflections indicated that writing about problem-solving processes potentially resulted in a cognitive perturbation when students were forced to confront their incomplete understanding (and hence their unstable knowledge structures) and therefore had to achieve a deeper level of understanding in order to adequately describe the solution process.
      PubDate: 2016-03-31T09:25:59Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The effect of computer simulations on acquisition of knowledge
           and cognitive load : a gender perspective
    • Authors: Kaheru; Sam J., Kriek, Jeanne
      Abstract: A study on the effect of the use of computer simulations (CS) on the acquisition of knowledge and cognitive load was undertaken with 104 Grade 11 learners in four schools in rural South Africa on the physics topic geometrical optics. Owing to the lack of resources a teacher-centred approach was followed in the use of computer simulations. The theoretical framework underpinning this study combines two theories, namely the cognitive load theory and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. Within the non-equivalent group design, a switching replications design was used. In terms of the acquisition of knowledge, female learners, despite having low scores on the pre-tests, showed sizable and significant improvement in the post-tests when using CS. The measured cognitive load was not significantly different for the male and female learners. The cognitive load initially decreased as a result of teaching both through the use of CS and without use of CS in the first week while, with time, it increased.
      PubDate: 2016-03-31T09:25:59Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Students' difficulties with definitions in the context of
           proofs in elementary set theory
    • Authors: Shaker; Hedieh, Berger, Margot
      Abstract: In this paper we explore first-year students' difficulties with the use and interpretation of definitions of mathematical objects as they attempt proof construction exercises in the area of elementary set theory. The participants are students at a historically disadvantaged university in South Africa. In this study the activities and utterances of 10 students who took part in consultative group sessions were observed and analysed. Consultative sessions were organised so as to encourage and develop students' active participation while engaging in the task of proof construction. The framework that was used to analyse students' proof comprehension and construction actions and contributions, particularly their interpretation and use of definitions, is described in the paper. The findings of the study resonate closely with those of researchers in the developed world. Students' difficulties with definitions of mathematical objects include their misinterpretation of definitions of objects such as the union of sets and the Cartesian product and their association of mathematical objects with a word or symbol contained in their definitions.
      PubDate: 2016-03-31T09:25:58Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Editorial
    • Authors: Lubben; Fred
      Abstract: This issue 17.1/2 of the African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (AJRMSTE) is a double issue, and the first one produced by our new publishers, Taylor & Francis.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:10Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Critical episodes in student teachers' science lessons using
           drama in Grades 6 and 7
    • Authors: Braund; Martin, Ekron, Christelle, Moodley, Trevor
      Abstract: Using drama to teach science has been promoted as a fruitful teaching method yet there has been almost no theorisation and little research. This paper reports a South African study analysing lessons of four student teachers, all General Education and Training (GET) drama majors. Student teachers each used drama simulations and non-drama lessons to teach the same science concepts to similar classes of learners in grades 6 and 7. Data were collected from video transcripts of lessons using drama, researchers' field notes and student teachers' documentation supplemented by post-lesson interviews with student teachers, class teachers and groups of learners. Critical teaching episodes, identified for the four drama lessons, showed positive impact of student teachers' organisation of simulated drama but that they often failed to link scientific phenomena, concepts and processes with learners' simulated actions. Student teachers often over-directed the drama and restricted greater learner autonomy and space for open dialogic classroom discourse that might have helped embed knowledge. Implications for initial and in-service training of science teachers and future research are discussed.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:09Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: A lesson study approach to improving a biology lesson
    • Authors: Chikamori; Kensuke, Ono, Yumiko, Rogan, John
      Abstract: Lesson Study is a collaborative, cyclical and continuing professional development process, aiming at improving a lesson through critical reflection. This research is based on three cycles of Lesson Study conducted during a four-week workshop in Japan for 10 South African mathematics and science educators. A sub-group developed and refined a high school biology lesson on the blood circulatory system. The final goal of the process was to present the improved lesson in a real biology classroom in a Japanese high school. Two questions are explored in this research, 'As the Lesson Study cycles are repeated, how does the focus of the discussion change and to what extent does the quality of reflection in terms of insight and substance increase?', and 'In what way, if at all, does the discussion contribute to the improvement of the lesson?' In this research, we analysed the transcripts of three post-lesson discussions, one for each cycle of Lesson Study. The results indicate that both the focus of discussion and the quality of reflection changed depending on social context, hierarchical power relations among participants, and the perceived purpose of the session. Moreover, they show how certain comments contributed directly to improvements to the lesson. The results are discussed in the light of the theoretical conceptualisation of reflection used to analyse the data. We make some practical proposals as to how to enhance educators' participation in team lesson planning and improvement.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:08Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The evolution of an instrument for researching young
           mathematical dispositions
    • Authors: Graven; Mellony, Hewana, Diliza, Stott, Debbie
      Abstract: In this paper, we share our experience of searching for ways in which to access learner dispositions and the evolution of an instrument that we have used as both a written and an interview instrument. We argue for the importance of understanding young learner mathematical learning dispositions in order to inform ways in which to support learning. As researchers, finding ways in which to access learner mathematical dispositions can be difficult, especially with young learners who struggle to articulate their stories. Mathematical learning dispositions are taken to include what learners say about learning and how they act when they learn. The focus of this paper is on gathering data in relation to the former. In order to illuminate what the instrument allows us to see we share some preliminary findings from our research. Our findings draw on evidence gathered, in interview form, from 16 learners in two grade 3 after school maths clubs and evidence gathered, in written form, from 614 grade 4 learners across 10 schools in the broader Grahamstown area. We interrogate the extent to which these articulated dispositions indicate constrained learning opportunities. The preliminary findings shared in this paper illuminate both what the instrument allows one to see as well as the limitations of the instrument.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:08Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Use of confidence scales in analysing unscientific ideas about
           evolution among religious Jewish students
    • Authors: Kagan; Taryn, Sanders, Martie
      Abstract: This paper reports on an investigation of two inter-related but different matters, one of interest to science education researchers and teachers in general, and the other to those teaching about evolution. The first was motivated by the dilemma facing teachers who want to diagnose learners' prior knowledge before teaching and are concerned about the teaching time needed to identify existing ideas in a valid way. The paper reports on four benefits of adding a confidence scale to a true-false quiz which is quick and easy to use for diagnostic purposes. The second aspect of the study was motivated by the problems experienced by many religious students when they face the challenge of learning about evolution. The nature and extent of prior ideas of 32 grade 12 students at a religious Jewish school in South Africa are identified and discussed within a framework of border-crossing, as religious students learning about evolution might be expected to have difficulties functioning in a science context which they might perceive to conflict with their religious world-view. Although the frequency of unscientific ideas about mechanisms of evolution was high, as expected from students who had not been taught the topic, erroneous ideas typically associated with understanding the nature of science, as well as some associated with religious beliefs, were unexpectedly low.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:07Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Comparative effectiveness of context-based and traditional
           approaches in teaching genetics : student views and achievement
    • Authors: Kazeni; Monde, Onwu, Gilbert
      Abstract: The study aimed to determine the comparative effectiveness of context-based and traditional teaching approaches in enhancing student achievement in genetics, problem-solving, science inquiry and decision-making skills, and attitude towards the study of life sciences. A mixed method but essentially quantitative research approach involving a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent pre-test post-test control group design was used for the investigation. A total of 190 students from six grade 11 intact science classes, and their six teachers drawn from the six high schools in Tshwane South educational district in Gauteng, South Africa comprised the study sample. The participating teachers taught a genetics course made up of several themes to students in the control and experimental groups over a 7-week period. Five instruments were used to assess student performance in genetics content knowledge, science inquiry skills, problem-solving and decision-making abilities and attitude towards life sciences. Qualitative data derived from teachers' and students' interview protocols were used to supplement the quantitative data. The results suggest that context-based teaching was significantly better than traditional teaching approaches in enhancing student performance, apart from specific science inquiry skills. Performance differences were strongly associated with the type of contexts used in designing the genetics learning materials, and the context-based teaching model used for implementing the materials.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:06Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Teacher knowledge of learners' help-seeking in mathematics
           problem solving
    • Authors: Marais; Catherine, Van der Westhuizen, Gert, Tillema, Harm
      Abstract: This study is concerned with teacher knowledge of learners' help-seeking behaviour. Teacher estimates of expected help-seeking behaviours of learners were compared with actual help-seeking of the learners. An in-depth study was deployed with one mathematics teacher and her grade 8 class of 20 learners solving mathematical word problems. Data were collected using a single-case design with semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and observations before, during and after two lessons. The help-seeking behaviour was conceptualised and analysed using 11 dimensions (clustered into 4 aspects) as used in the work by Gurtner. The four aspects include: intention to seek help; source of help (teacher vs classmate); type of help (hints and/or self-regulatory content knowledge) and reasons for help-seeking avoidance. The analyses indicate that the teacher had detailed knowledge of her learners' intended help-seeking behaviour. In many instances this teacher's knowledge of the source of help was congruent with learners' actual help-seeking. The congruency was taken to indicate how accurate knowledge on the part of the teacher can aid interaction and learning support. The teacher data provided evidence to expand Gurtner's 11 dimensions to 13, providing two additional reasons for help-seeking avoidance by the learners. These are termed 'uncaring' (referring to lack of engagement on the part of the learners) and 'ignorance' (referring to a lack of meta-cognitive awareness that help is needed).
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:05Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Writing in science classrooms : some case studies in South
           African and Swedish second-language classrooms
    • Authors: Mayaba; Nokhanyo, Otterup, Tore, Webb, Paul
      Abstract: Problems of poor performance in science and mathematics education have been related to language deficiencies, including writing skills. Writing to learn science is an important skill but is not easy to acquire, especially when children learn in a second language. In order to investigate possibilities for developing writing in South African and Swedish science classrooms a multiple case study design was employed using classroom observations, teacher interviews and samples of learners work produced in science second-language classrooms in both countries over a period of 6 months. The research questions were 'what text types do learners in a grade 6 Science classroom produce, and how are they assisted to produce such text types?' Four major themes emerged, namely, the use of pre-determined text types; evidence of a spoken text-type discourse; teachers' lack of knowledge about text types; and lack of support in assisting learners in producing written text. These themes have implications in terms of understanding the current situation and providing a point of departure for assisting teachers and children to develop the skill of writing to learn science, an implicit aim of the curricula in both countries.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:04Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: 'The area of a triangle is 180°C' - an analysis of
           learners' idiosyncratic geometry responses through the lenses of
           Vygotsky's theory of concept formation
    • Authors: Mhlolo; Michael Kainose, Schafer, Marc
      Abstract: In this paper, we focus specifically on Vygotsky's theory of concept formation to gain initial insights into seemingly garbled and incoherent connections we observed in learners' responses to a geometry task. While acknowledging research that is supportive of the van Hiele model as being useful when analysing concept formation in geometry, in this paper we use empirical evidence to argue that today's geometry requires learners to reason with many tools which the van Hiele model does not seem to accommodate. Working with 470 written responses of 12-14-year-old learners to a geometry task, we then explored the potential of Vygotsky's theory of concept formation as an alternative framework. We conclude by discussing the paper's contribution both to theory and to classroom practice.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:04Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Mapping a group of northern Namibian Grade 12 learners'
           algebraic non-routine problem solving skills
    • Authors: Mogari; David, Lupahla, Nhlanhla
      Abstract: This article investigates the algebraic non-routine problem-solving skills of grade 12 learners of a high-achieving school in northern Namibia. The school was selected on the basis of its outstanding results and sound management style. The study followed a descriptive survey design that involved a written test to examine learners' problem-solving skills together with the solution strategies used, and structured learner interviews to get their views about the choice of strategies for solving non-routine problems. The assessment framework of the learners' problem-solving skills was based on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) scales for Polya's problem-solving model. The results showed that learners were more successful in answering the question with a diagrammatic illustration, suggesting that the use of diagrams makes it easier to understand the problems. A significant number of learners' algebraic problem-solving skills function at or below level 2 of TIMSS scale. The algebraic strategy was the most preferred solution strategy and there were learners who encountered difficulties with the language used in the questions.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:03Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Relationship between pedagogical strategies and teachers'
           content knowledge of mathematics
    • Authors: Kanyongo; Gibbs Y., Brown, Launcelot I.
      Abstract: This study employed regression analysis to investigate the relationship between primary school teachers' pedagogical practices and their knowledge of mathematics. The sample composed of 606 Grade 6 mathematics teachers in Namibia, i.e. 304 (50.2%) males and 302 (49.8%) females. The study utilized existing questionnaire data collected by the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ). The data were collected as part of a policy evaluation project covering 14 Southern African countries. Results from the study showed that teachers with high knowledge in mathematics at primary school level tend to use practical equipment in teaching mathematics, and employ individual problem solving by students in their teaching. On the other hand, teachers with low content knowledge of mathematics tend to use small groups problem-solving, quizzes and tests as part of their teaching strategies.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:03Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The usefulness of the Rasch model for the refinement of Likert
           scale questionnaires
    • Authors: Retief; Liezel, Potgieter, Marietjie, Lutz, Marietjie
      Abstract: In this paper the use of the Rasch model is explored as a transparent, systematic and theoretically underpinned response to quality issues that are widely recognised as problematic in the refinement of Likert scale questionnaires. Key issues are the choice of length of scale, the pursuit of a favourable estimate of Cronbach's alpha at the possible expense of construct validity, and the fact that total raw scores arise from ordinal data but are used and interpreted as if measurement had occurred. We use a questionnaire under development for the measurement of perceptions of first-year chemistry students on demonstrator effectiveness to illustrate the process of Rasch analysis and instrument refinement. This process involves investigation of fit of the data to the model, possible violations of the assumption of local independence, and several aspects of item functioning. We identified disordered response categories as the probable reason for misfit in this data set and propose strategies for modification of items so that they can be retained rather than rejected.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:01Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Improving PCK of chemical equilibrium in pre-service teachers
    • Authors: Mavhunga; Elizabeth, Rollnick, Marissa
      Abstract: It is commonly accepted that Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) has a topic-specific nature. However, its implementation in teacher education programmes has remained generic and tacit. This paper reports on an attempt to improve the quality of PCK in chemistry pre service teachers in a specified topic - chemical equilibrium. By locating PCK at a topic level, a refined theoretical description of the construct sensitive to the specificity of the topic is suggested and its validity argued. The refined description is grounded on the notion of transformation of topic-specific concepts to PCK, and the identification of components that enable such a transformation. The components were identified as Learners' Prior Knowledge, Curricular Saliency, What makes a topic easy or difficult to understand, Representations including analogies and Conceptual Teaching Strategies. The extent to which the explicit teaching of these five components influences the improvement of the quality of PCK within Chemical Equilibrium was determined in an intervention with 16 physical science pre-service teachers. The impact of the intervention was determined through mixed methods. The intervention resulted in a significant (99% confidence) overall improvement of the quality of PCK within chemical equilibrium. The findings signal a reciprocal relationship between PCK and the pedagogical transformation of concepts, where the latter was previously reported to result from PCK. Recommendations with regard to constructing PCK at a topic level in teacher education programmes are suggested with particular reference to the South African context.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:01Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Investigating the effect of program visualization on
           introductory programming in a distance learning environment
    • Authors: Schoeman; Marthie, Gelderblom, Helene, Muller, Helene
      Abstract: Program visualization (PV) is one of the approaches to assist novices in introductory programming courses. We investigated the effect of a newly developed PV tool to teach tracing to first-year programming students at a South African university. The tool takes the form of an interactive computer-based tutorial that teaches students how to draw variable diagrams (VD). All students registered for the introductory C++ module, received the tutorial with their study material and could use it to help answer assignment questions. To determine the effect of using the tutorial, students did an assignment for which they could use the tutorial and completed a questionnaire. Through the questionnaire we acquired biographical data, found out how students used the tutorial and also how they experienced using it. We then correlated these data statistically with their assignment marks. We found that time spent using the tutorial, programming experience and certain biographical properties contributed to higher marks. Drawing their own VDs to understand and debug programs also contributed to better marks.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:37:00Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Teacher responses to policy implementation seen through a
           creative lens : learner-centred teaching in Lesotho science classes
    • Authors: Khoboli; Benedict, Kibirige, Israel, O'Toole, J. Mitchell
      Abstract: This case study analyses teachers' presentations made during a professional development workshop on the implementation of learner-centred science teaching in Lesotho secondary schools. Teachers revealed their understanding of learner-centred teaching through products such as pictures, diagrams, stories including metaphors and letters. These products represent a specific case of social construction and the insight that emerged as teachers' creative work might not have been possible through conventional research modes such as interviews and questionnaires. The results indicate the depth of teacher awareness of the impact of parent and community opinions on teaching choices. Implementation of changed curriculum policy appears to require more than production of documents and their dissemination through professional development workshops. The study recommends additional research on the use of creative products to elicit teacher views in high accountability contexts.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:36:59Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The instability of KwaZulu-Natal Grade 6 learners' mathematics
           multiple choice test responses
    • Authors: Christiansen; Iben Maj, Aungamuthu, Yougan
      Abstract: Learning or performance gains are often measured in improvements of test scores over time. However, learners may also answer questions incorrectly which they appeared to master previously, making claims about overall learning gains problematic. Using data from 1,211 grade 6 learners in the Umgungundlovu district in KwaZulu-Natal, we interrogated the consistency of the improvement of their test scores after a year in grade 6. The learners had completed the same 40 question multiple choice test at the onset and the end of grade 6, with no interventions only normal schooling in-between. The content of the test was grade 5 and 6 mathematical content. We know from previous research that the learners were not randomly guessing, yet we found that on average, the learners only got 6 out of 40 questions correct on both test 1 and test 2, did worse on 5 questions and better on 6. Further, almost half the learners both improved on 5 or more questions and declined on 5 or more questions. On 35 questions, more than half the learners changed their answers between the two tests. In other words, their performance is very 'unstable'. This indicates that learners are not consistent in their thinking, possibly reflecting guessing, albeit not random. Furthermore, the findings point to a methodological issue of making claims about average performance gains, as these may disguise very unstable learner performance. Such claims should therefore be interrogated before they are applied in making statements about links between learning and teaching or other background factors.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:36:59Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: South African physical sciences teachers' understanding of
           force and the relationship to teacher qualification, experience and their
           school's quintile
    • Authors: Stott; Angela
      Abstract: The force concept in physics is known to be poorly understood by high school and university students throughout the world, with alternative conceptions being prevalent. In this study, I surveyed the conceptions regarding force of a large and varied convenience sample of South African physical sciences teachers, and sought patterns between levels of understanding and various characteristics about the teachers and the schools at which they teach. Data were collected during teacher-education workshops held throughout South Africa from 1,190 physical sciences teachers, and consist of responses to a seven-item multiple choice test about force and a survey about the teachers and their schools. The findings confirm a high prevalence of force alternative conception, particularly for the impetus alternative conception, and particularly among less experienced teachers. Having a BSc degree was found to be associated with teachers having better understandings of force, except for teachers teaching at quintile 1 and 2 (poorer) schools. The findings tentatively suggest that having a BSc degree might predispose a teacher to be able to benefit, in development of their conceptual understanding, from the advantages which teaching at a higher quintile school offers. This study highlights the need for interventions aimed at improving teachers' understandings of physical sciences concepts as well as their scientific skills, attitudes and values.
      PubDate: 2016-03-10T07:36:58Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Accessing students' knowledge in a context of linguistic and
           socioeconomic diversity : the case of internal human anatomy
    • Authors: Dempster; Edith R., Stears, Michele
      Abstract: Traditional forms of assessment, mainly by written tests and examinations, cannot be said to be fair in a multicultural, multilingual environment. In South African public schools, home language is strongly associated with socioeconomic context, with both factors related to performance in traditional assessments. Children attending poor public schools speak one or more African languages at home, and their performance in national and international assessments is below that of middle-class public schools. The present study investigates students' understanding of their internal anatomy in the ninth year of formal schooling (Grade 9; average age 15) by drawing instead of writing. Twelve teachers collected drawings from 310 Grade 9 students in nine different schools of different socioeconomic and linguistic contexts. Boys were slightly more likely to draw systems and organs than girls, but quality of the drawings did not differ significantly. The most significant finding is that the marked distinction between performance of middle-class schools and those from lower socioeconomic environments in traditional forms of assessment is removed. This has implications for fairer assessment of students' knowledge in a multilingual context.
      PubDate: 2016-03-09T12:12:34Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Continuous assessment results versus end-of-year examination
           marks in Grade 10 mathematics in Namibia : the statistics and teachers'
           opinions
    • Authors: Samson; Duncan, Marongwe, Anesu Desmond
      Abstract: Classroom-based continuous assessment (CA) has become an important component of Namibia's post-independence emphasis on learner-centred education. This paper compares continuous assessment results with end-of-year examination marks for Grade 10 Mathematics for the years 2008-2010. Against this backdrop, and given that classroom-based continuous assessment contributes 35% to the Grade 10 promotional mark for Mathematics, the paper then interrogates teachers' views of the importance and role of classroom-based continuous assessment. A comparison of average CA and end-of-year examination marks for 62 Junior Secondary schools in the Oshikoto region of Namibia for the years 2008-2010 shows that the dominant trend over this 3-year period was an average CA mark that was notably lower than the average end-of-year examination mark, all three years showing a weak correlation between average CA and end-of-year examination marks. An analysis of the interview data from three principals and 15 mathematics teachers suggests that while the use of continuous assessment is generally valued in terms of its potential to inform the teaching and learning process, use of classroom-based continuous assessment as a component of the Grade 10 promotional mark has given rise to tensions between the summative and formative purposes of CA. More specifically, there is evidence to suggest that the inclusion of a CA component in the promotional mark may be emphasising summative aspects of CA to the detriment of its formative value.
      PubDate: 2016-03-09T12:12:33Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Secondary school teachers' pedagogical content knowledge of
           some common student errors and misconceptions in sets
    • Authors: Moru; Eunice Kolitsoe, Qhobela, Makomosela
      Abstract: The study investigated teachers' pedagogical content knowledge of common students' errors and misconceptions in sets. Five mathematics teachers from one Lesotho secondary school were the sample of the study. Questionnaires and interviews were used for data collection. The results show that teachers were able to identify the following students' errors: (i) writing an empty set as {0} instead of { }; (ii) treating the repeating elements of the union of two sets as distinct and (iii) treating an infinite set as a finite set. Teachers were not able to identify the errors where students (i) treated infinity as a number; (ii) said that the members of countable infinite sets cannot be compared and (iii) that curly brackets are used only when listing the members of a set. The identified errors were associated with some misconceptions. Depending on the nature of the students' tasks teachers' strategies and explanations of dealing with the errors and misconceptions were inclined towards calling on procedural knowledge. Only a few cases of conceptual knowledge were noted. Implications for teaching are proposed.
      PubDate: 2016-03-09T12:12:32Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Views of the use of self-directed metacognitive questioning
           during pair programming in economically deprived rural school
    • Authors: Breed; Betty, Mentz, Elsa, Havenga, Marietjie, Govender, Irene, Govender, Desmond, Dignum, Frank, Dignum, Virginia
      Abstract: The research reported in this article formed part of an internationally funded project about the empowerment of Information Technology (IT) teachers in economically deprived rural schools in the North-West and KwaZulu-Natal provinces in South Africa. The current paper focused on the use of self-directed metacognitive (SDM) questioning in a pair programming context. The study sample consisted of five IT teachers and 99 Grade 10 IT learners at five schools. The teachers were trained to implement pair programming and to guide learners in the application of metacognitive regulation while doing pair programming. The learners used SDM questions during their subsequent pair programming tasks. Data-gathering was done through interviews with the teachers regarding their views on the use of the SDM questions, and the learners' journals with their views on how they experienced the SDM questions to direct their thinking during execution of pair programming tasks. The results indicated that the teachers viewed the implementation of the SDM question difficult and time-consuming, and that they experienced the learners to be either reluctant or unwilling to engage in SDM questioning. However, the results of the learners' journals indicated that the learners experienced the SDM questions to be helpful in directing their thinking during pair programming tasks.
      PubDate: 2016-03-09T12:12:32Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Competencies in using Sketchpad in geometry teaching and
           learning : experiences of preservice teachers
    • Authors: Ndlovu; Mdutshekelwa, Wessels, Dirk, De Villiers, Michael
      Abstract: The subject of teacher competencies has been a key issue in mathematics education reform as the quality of an education system is fundamentally defined by the quality of its teachers. The study reported in this article attempted to identify and analyse displayed preservice teacher competencies and challenges encountered in early experiences with a Sketchpad-mediated learning of geometry. The instrumental approach to technology integration in the classroom as articulated by Trouche, Artigue and others was used as an analytical framework together with the van Hiele theory of geometrical thought development. A qualitative research approach was used to investigate preservice teachers' emerging competencies. Data were gathered through worksheet productions, lesson observations, open-ended questionnaires and an exit focus group interview. Twenty third-year mathematics major preservice teachers participated in workshop and microteaching sessions involving the use of the Geometer's Sketchpad dynamic geometry software in the teaching and learning of the geometry of quadrilaterals. The competencies displayed by the participants were described in terms of the instrumental theory for technology use and the van Hiele theory for geometric thought development. The competency levels showed that the preservice teachers had difficulties with computer hardware and software usage and the associated classroom organisation and management initially but gradually improved and gained confidence. The participants' own evaluations of their competencies affirmed that early experiences were unpleasant for many and barriers could be overcome by early exposure to computer environments. More computer resources need to be availed for a day-to-day integration to be sustainable.
      PubDate: 2016-03-09T12:12:31Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Students' preferences for contexts and their relevance to
           school mathematics in Malawi
    • Authors: Kazima; Mercy
      Abstract: This paper looks at mathematics and its relevance in schools from the perspective of students' interests. It starts by discussing briefly the importance of paying attention to cultural and social relevance, and then it focuses on students' interests as one of the aspects of relevance. Findings are presented from a survey conducted in Malawi with 346 secondary school students. The study explored what students would find interesting to learn as contexts in school mathematics by indicating their preferences for some given contexts in form of a questionnaire, which was adapted from a very large cross country project (ROSME). Findings include that students are interested in mathematics for future careers and mathematics of modern technologies more than ethnomathematics and mathematics of agriculture, and there are no differences in preferences for contexts between female and male students. Most of the findings confirm findings from previous ROSME studies, particularly those situated in African countries, and therefore strengthen the arguments made earlier by these studies. This paper further argues that relevance for students includes their interests, and therefore should be considered as a factor in the development of curriculum materials and classroom activities.
      PubDate: 2016-03-09T12:12:30Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Prospective teachers' perspectives on the use of English in the
           solving and teaching of mathematics word problems - a brief cross-country
           survey
    • Authors: Kasule; Daniel, Mapolelo, Dumma
      Abstract: We investigated how prospective primary school teachers from two countries with a common Language of Learning and Teaching (LoLT) think about word problems, both as a mathematical task and as a teaching task. The question driving the investigation was: if solving mathematics word problems is both a linguistic and a numerical skill, how do these teachers think about mathematics word problems presented to learners not competent in the LoLT? Using the home languages provided by 33 final-year primary school pre-service mathematics teachers from Botswana and Swaziland, we identified three cross-national categories which we then used to analyze questionnaire data for perspectives on teaching word problems presented in English. As expected, findings showed a resigned acceptance to the use of English. Using an inventory of steps in problem solving, we expected respondents' acceptance of the steps as adequate for use with learners not competent in the LoLT. Findings showed that the steps these prospective teachers personally use to solve word problems may impair their teaching of young learners using English to learn mathematics. We use this to identify the important link training must create between prospective teachers' understanding of the LoLT and their future competence to teach primary school mathematics word problems.
      PubDate: 2016-03-09T12:12:29Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Assessment alternatives - compliance versus custom? A case
           study of five South African mathematics teachers
    • Authors: Krishnannair; Anilkumar, Christiansen, Iben
      Abstract: Conceptualization and the practice of alternative assessments in the context of general assessment practices in mathematics have wide-ranging significance to learning and teaching. Yet little is known about how South African teachers choose assessment tasks and how it links to their teaching. This paper reports on a case study of five grade 10 mathematics teachers, chosen from five different schools. Data were collected through interviews and analysis of samples of assessments. Ernest's categorization of educators' philosophies and Boesen's classification of competences were used as theoretical frameworks for the analysis of samples of assessments and interviews.. The educators' choice of alternative assessment strategies was found to be more of a gesture of compliance with what has been advocated in the Outcomes-Based Education curriculum, rather than a concerted effort to embrace principles of educational reform. Though the teachers' discourses were more inclusive of progressive perspectives on the purpose of assessments, their actual assessment practices still remained within the confines of traditional procedural tests.
      PubDate: 2016-03-09T12:12:29Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Teachers' self-directed professional development : science and
           mathematics teachers' adoption of ICT as a professional development
           strategy
    • Authors: Mushayikwa; Emmanuel
      Abstract: This paper is part of a larger study that was carried out to investigate the use of information communication technology (ICT) in the self-directed professional development (SDPD) of mathematics and science teachers in Zimbabwe. The educational context provides an example of how teachers compensated for lack of structured government initiatives to support teachers' professional development. This paper focuses on the ways in which these teachers were using ICT resources to further their professional development. The study is based on 259 questionnaire responses from A-level Science and Mathematics teachers in Zimbabwe. Doyle and Ponder's Practicality Ethic and Loucks-Horsley et al.'s Concerns-Based Adoption Model provided the theoretical framework for analysing teachers' decision making and led to the development of a model for teacher empowerment with respect to the use of ICT. The study results showed that around 60% of teachers experienced difficulties in accessing ICT for their professional development. About half of the non-users did not access ICT even when it was available at their schools. Some of those who did access ICT used innovative methods to ensure access, including using their own resources, and pooling resources. The findings also show that teachers have three main drivers for using ICT for SDPD, including word processing for generating instructional materials; accessing and downloading web-based learning materials; and emailing for networking with peers and professional organisations. The results of this study demonstrate the great potential that ICT has for teachers' SDPD.
      PubDate: 2016-03-09T12:12:28Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The integration of HIV and AIDS as a socio-scientific issue in
           the Life Sciences curriculum
    • Authors: Wolff; Eugenie, Mnguni, Lindelani
      Abstract: The potential of science to transform lives has been highlighted by a number of scholars. This means that critical socio-scientific issues (SSIs) must be integrated into science curricula. Development of context-specific scientific knowledge and twenty-first-century learning skills in science education could be used to address SSIs such as communicable diseases including HIV and AIDS. However the extent to which SSIs are integrated in science curricula is not well documented, particularly in developing countries. The current study was done in South Africa in order to explore the integration of SSIs into the secondary school Life Sciences curriculum. We utilised qualitative document analysis exploring the integration of HIV/AIDS content knowledge and twenty-first-century learning and science process skills. Results indicate that there is minimal HIV/AIDS content in the Life Sciences curriculum. Furthermore, there are several critical twenty-first century learning and science process skills that are not incorporated. The Life Sciences curriculum also fails to direct students and teachers to scientifically reliable resources that could be used to learn about HIV/AIDS and assist in skills development. We conclude that the Life Sciences curriculum is not well utilised to teach content knowledge related to SSIs. Even though learners may develop twenty-first century learning skills, they probably lack content knowledge in which the skills could be useful. We argue that there is a need to revise the manner in which curriculum content is selected.
      PubDate: 2015-12-07T09:39:13Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: What constitutes effective Mathematics teaching?
           Perceptions of teachers
    • Authors: Stols; Gerrit, Ono, Yumiko, Rogan, John
      Abstract: Beliefs help shape how teachers perceive effective mathematics teaching. Providers of professional development, be they local or from other countries, need to be cognisant of such perceptions. This paper seeks to answer the question, 'What do South African teachers perceive as effective and ineffective teaching for developing conceptual understanding of mathematics?' A sample of 46 mathematics teachers was shown vignettes from eight different classrooms where the lesson dealt with some aspect of teaching fractions, and were then asked to comment on the strengths and weakness of what they observed. The comments were classified into seven themes with 18 sub-themes or categories. The majority of the comments focused on two themes, use of materials and modes of instruction. The various mathematical approaches for developing the concept of fractions received little attention. Perceptions of which vignette was considered to be the most effective approach to teaching mathematics resulted in a wide variety of responses. Finally implications for professional development are explored. It is suggested that in-service courses should be geared to what teachers themselves consider best practice, and that reflection on practice should play a more significant role in professional development.
      PubDate: 2015-12-07T09:39:11Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: A framework for describing Mathematics discourse in instruction
           and interpreting differences in teaching
    • Authors: Adler; Jill, Ronda, Erlina
      Abstract: We describe and use an analytical framework to document mathematics discourse in instruction (MDI), and interpret differences in mathematics teaching. MDI is characterised by four interacting components in the teaching of a mathematics lesson: exemplification (occurring through a sequence of examples and related tasks), explanatory talk (talk that names and legitimates what comes to count as mathematics in a particular lesson), learner participation (interaction between teacher and learners and amongst learners) and the object of learning (the lesson goal). MDI is grounded empirically in mathematics teaching practices in South Africa, and theoretically in sociocultural theoretical resources. The MDI framework allows for nuanced descriptions of mathematics teaching and interpretations of differences in what is mathematically made available to learn.
      PubDate: 2015-12-07T09:39:10Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Dialogic talk in diverse Physical Science classrooms
    • Authors: Taylor; Dale L., Lelliott, Anthony D.
      Abstract: Dialogic talk, in which different ideas are considered, promotes conceptual understanding in science, and is in line with South Africa's school curriculum. The problem is that dialogic talk is difficult to facilitate and may run counter to cultural norms. As a result, classroom talk is often not dialogic. This paper reports on the nature of classroom talk in the classrooms of eight physical science teachers who were prepared in their initial teacher education for a student-centred school curriculum. An observer spent two school days in each teacher's classroom, writing a narrative description of each lesson. A grounded analysis revealed two significant dimensions in the lessons: the nature of the talk and the apparent purpose of the teacher. The classroom talk could be classified as exposition, question and answer (Q&A) or conversation. The teaching purposes were: introduction of general principles, application, feedback and revision. The three types of talk were used to serve all four teaching purposes. Dialogic talk was present with all the teachers showing that dialogic talk is possible across the diversity of classrooms investigated. We consider factors that may inhibit dialogic talk, and ways to address these. We recommend that initial teacher education provides students with personal experience of dialogic talk in science classrooms, a framework for thinking about classroom talk and suitable pedagogies for facilitating dialogic talk.
      PubDate: 2015-12-07T09:39:09Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Implementing the Singapore Mathematics Curriculum in South
           Africa : experiences of Foundation Phase teachers
    • Authors: Naroth; Charmon, Luneta, Kakoma
      Abstract: This paper reports on the findings from individual interviews and focus group discussions involving six teachers implementing the Singapore Mathematics Curriculum (SMC) in the Foundation Phase (Grade R to Grade 3) in a school in South Africa. The interviews presented an opportunity to explore teachers' experiences with their attempts to use the SMC approach in their classrooms. By the same token, it highlighted the challenges faced by the teachers as they implemented the curriculum, and informed recommendations for the effective implementation of the Singapore mathematics curriculum in South Africa. The SMC identifies problem solving as central to mathematics learning. It defines problem solving as the acquisition and application of mathematics concepts and skills in a wide range of situations, including non-routine, open-ended and real-world problems. Furthermore, the textbook activities are built on a progression from Concrete experience (through the use of manipulatives), to a Pictorial stage (in which learners draw models) and finally to the level (this is known as the CPA approach). This sequence allows learners to gain a concrete understanding of basic mathematical concepts and relationships before they start working at the abstract level. The teachers identified the following features of the SMC and the textbooks as having a positive impact on implementation: the teachers' guides are user-friendly; the various representations of mathematical concepts, and the connections made between various topics in the Singapore textbooks, supported conceptual understanding; the CPA approach fostered deeper understanding of mathematics and was effective when teaching learners who have special needs and a language barrier; the Singapore framework has significantly fewer topics and follows a spiral organisation in which one layer of content is built on the next; and the use of the manipulatives offered visual and tactile stimulation for the learners and helped improve learning. One of the key challenges identified by the teachers was that they struggled to implement a problem-solving approach and that the learners struggled when engaged in problem-solving activities. The learners also found the bar model drawing challenging. The findings also highlight the problems associated with implementing the SMC simultaneously in all grades and advocate a grade-by-grade implementation strategy.
      PubDate: 2015-12-07T09:39:08Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The teaching of creativity in information systems programmes at
           South African higher education institutions
    • Authors: Turpin; Marita, Matthee, Machdel, Kruger, Anine
      Abstract: The development of problem solving skills is a shared goal in science, engineering, mathematics and technology education. In the applied sciences, problems are often open-ended and complex, requiring a multidisciplinary approach as well as new designs. In such cases, problem solving requires not only analytical capabilities, but also creativity and the ability to innovate. The development of an information system entails problem solving by means of design, hence creativity is integral to the task of an information systems (IS) professional. However, it appears that the teaching of creativity in IS programmes is under-researched and possibly neglected. This study investigates what is being done to foster creative ability of South African undergraduate IS students. At the same time, a theoretical framework for creativity teaching is developed. We find that the fostering of creative ability involves more than just the teaching of creativity techniques, and that creativity can be indirectly nurtured in multiple ways.
      PubDate: 2015-12-07T09:39:07Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Conceptual learning of functions in a technologically enhanced
           environment
    • Authors: Roux; Annalie, Nieuwoudt, Hercules, Nieuwoudt, Susan
      Abstract: It is a known fact that South African learners underachieve in mathematics. One possible factor that might have an influence on their mathematics achievement is the conceptual knowledge of mathematics teachers. In order to facilitate conceptual understanding, mathematics teachers themselves must possess profound mathematical knowledge. One key aspect of the complex landscape of pre-service mathematics teacher education is the development of pre-service teachers' mathematical knowledge. Various studies have suggested that pre-service teachers need to be exposed to the meaningful learning of mathematics as a way to develop their mathematical knowledge for teaching. By using a mixed methods approach, this study examined the influence of a technologically enhanced learning environment on the conceptual understanding of mathematical functions of pre-service mathematics teachers. Using a hybrid model of O'Callaghan's framework and Dreyfus's typology, pre-service teachers were tested on the modelling, interpretation, translation and reifying of functions. Data were gathered from a pre-post-test, as well as from task-based interviews. The results revealed that there was no improvement in the first three components, but a significant improvement in the reification component.
      PubDate: 2015-12-07T09:39:06Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Developing pre-service teachers' subject matter knowledge of
           electromagnetism by integrating concept maps and collaborative learning
    • Authors: Govender; Nadaraj
      Abstract: This case study explored the development of two pre-service teachers' subject matter knowledge (SMK) of electromagnetism while integrating the use of concept maps (CM) and collaborative learning (CL) strategies. The study aimed at capturing how these pre-service teachers' SMK in electromagnetism was enhanced after having been taught SMK in a university module on electromagnetism via a lecture mode. The participants' progress in acquiring SMK was monitored when they engaged in individual-constructivist learning and socio-constructivist learning when working in pairs. Data were collected from concept maps on electromagnetism and from individual interviews. This interpretive case study suggests that the participants benefitted in several ways in consolidating their SMK of electromagnetism through integrating CM activities and engaging in CL. These benefits included the revision of previous work; the reflection on choices of the big conceptual ideas in electromagnetism; making appropriate conceptual connections supported by experiments; using new terminology in conceptual linkages; sharing ideas via arguing and explaining to each other; and consolidating learning by drawing and extending concept maps over time. The study suggests that the pre-service teachers did benefit from both the individual constructivist and socio-constructivist approaches in consolidating their SMK through the integrated CL and CM activities.
      PubDate: 2015-12-07T09:39:05Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The development and use of an instrument to investigate science
           teachers' views on indigenous knowledge
    • Authors: Cronje; Annelize, De Beer, Josef, Ankiewicz, Piet
      Abstract: Science teachers in South Africa and globally experience difficulties with the integration of indigenous knowledge into their science lessons - a requirement of many science curricula. One of the reasons for this may relate to the views teachers hold about indigenous knowledge. Such views can form a barrier against successful inclusion of indigenous knowledge in the science classroom. It was, therefore, deemed useful to investigate teachers' views on indigenous knowledge. This article reports on the development of a theoretical framework, and a questionnaire derived from it, to investigate teachers' views on indigenous knowledge. The researchers were informed by the framework developed by Lederman, Abd-El-Khalick, Bell and Schwartz regarding the nature of science (NOS) and their views-on-the-NOS questionnaire. A qualitative study was done to develop and validate the views-on-the-nature-of-indigenous-knowledge instrument (VNOIK). The findings indicate that the VNOIK instrument is suitable to determine a wide range of views of science teachers on the nature of indigenous knowledge. We found that South African science teachers held mainly a partially informed view on the nature of indigenous knowledge. The new instrument can be used to measure the effect of a short learning programme and to identify further development needs of science teachers in addressing the tenets of science and indigenous knowledge effectively in the classroom.
      PubDate: 2015-12-07T09:39:04Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Crossing the border : science student teachers using role-play
           in grade 7
    • Authors: Braund; Martin, Moodley, Trevor, Ekron, Christelle, Ahmed, Zaiboenisha
      Abstract: Drama is used to build knowledge and understanding in science as part of a socio-linguistic, constructivist approach. Role-plays, where learners act as analogues for components and processes, help access abstract ideas. However, a problem restricting many science teachers using these approaches has been that they lack sufficient pedagogical knowledge of drama. Our question was, therefore, to what extent do student teachers who are science majors make the necessary 'pedagogical border crossings' from drama into their personal pedagogies for science? We observed and recorded the lessons of six volunteers who taught science using drama in grade 7. Our analysis of lesson features that are critical for successful outcomes, based on an adapted version of Tripp's critical incident method, and student teacher interviews show that role-plays can be powerful border-crossing objects between science and the arts. Findings show that some development is needed to link learners' actions to concepts and provide more suitable analogues and sufficient learner autonomy. We see drama as an important tool in science teaching and suggest conditions necessary for the initial training of science teachers that could make them better users of drama as role-play to teach science.
      PubDate: 2015-06-18T12:17:46Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Evolutionary ideas held by experienced South African biology
           teachers
    • Authors: Kyriacou; Xenia, De Beer, Josef, Ramnarain, Umesh
      Abstract: With evolutionary biology relatively recently introduced into the South African school curriculum, the need arose to explore practising teachers' knowledge of the subject. A number of anticipated as well as unanticipated cognitive and affective barriers to the understanding of evolutionary biology were identified from a questionnaire with open-ended items and administered at the start of a short learning programme on evolution education. The questionnaire was face validated and piloted. Teachers were conveniently sampled and comprised all course participants (n = 57). Responses to the questions were analysed using inductive and deductive coding. These codes were organised into themes, guided by the research question. These themes indicated poor content knowledge, essentialist and teleological reasoning, creationist objections and a perceived racist agenda to the teaching of this subject.
      PubDate: 2015-06-18T12:17:45Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Not the norm : the potential of tree analysis of performance
           data from students in a foundation mathematics module
    • Authors: Kirby; Nicola, Dempster, Edith
      Abstract: Quantitative methods of data analysis usually involve inferential statistics, and are not well known for their ability to reflect the intricacies of a diverse student population. The South African tertiary education sector is characterised by extreme inequality and diversity. Foundation programmes address issues of inequality of access by providing an opportunity for disadvantaged students with academic potential to enter mainstream degree programmes. Seeking to understand which factors are most influential in enhancing student selection and their performance in a foundation mathematics module, Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis is presented as a non-parametric alternative to traditional quantitative research methods. CART, a data-mining technique, is illustrated with reference to two cohorts of students enrolled in the foundation module. The two cohorts had experienced different secondary school curricula. The regression tree to examine students' final mathematics marks illustrated that the primary performance indicators for both cohorts related to the alternative selection criteria, whereas school-level performance was of little consequence. The classification tree showed that passing the module depended on socio-economic, and not academic, indicators, irrespective of school history. The hierarchy of context-dependent influences revealed in the trees illustrated that no single variable can be the basis for a framework for practical and policy responsiveness in a context of such student diversity.
      PubDate: 2015-06-18T12:17:44Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Animal organ dissections in high schools : is there more than
           just cutting?
    • Authors: Kavai; Portia, De Villiers, Rian, Fraser, William, Sommerville, Jaqui, Strydom, Nina
      Abstract: In Life Sciences education internationally, including South Africa, the study of animal and organ morphology has traditionally involved dissections since the early nineteenth century. The major purpose of this study was to investigate how the engagement of learners with animal organ dissections may influence the development of problem-solving skills and how teachers use animal dissections to develop these skills of Grade 11 learners in Life Sciences (Biology) education. A mixed-methods research design was used for this study. Data were collected from a pre-test and a post-test (which had predominantly problem-solving questions), a learner questionnaire, lesson observations and teacher interviews. Tests and questionnaires were administered to 224 Grade 11 Life Sciences learners. Six Grade 11 Life Sciences teachers at four high schools from different environments participated in the study. The pre-test and post-test scores were compared using a parametric matched t-test. The comparison for the five cognitive levels including rote learning and problem-solving as well as the total calculation were all highly significant with p-values
      PubDate: 2015-06-18T12:17:44Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Pre-service teachers' mental constructions of concepts in
           matrix algebra
    • Authors: Ndlovu; Zanele, Brijlall, Deonarain
      Abstract: This study is part of ongoing research in undergraduate mathematics education. The study was guided by the belief that understanding themental constructions the pre-service teachersmakewhen learningmatrix algebra concepts leads to improved instructionalmethods. In this preliminary study the data was collected from 85 preservice teachers through a structured activity sheet. The aim was to explore their mental constructions of matrix algebra concepts and how they concur with a preliminary genetic decomposition. The study is underpinned by APOS theory (action-process-object-schema). The findings revealed that the mental constructions made by pre-service teachers in most cases concur with the preliminary genetic decomposition. In terms of APOS theory, the responses revealed that most pre-service teachers were operating at action and process stages, with few operating at the object stage. It was observed that the schemata for basic algebra and real number are necessary for the conceptual development of matrix algebra, and that familiarity of the correct use of terminology and notations promotes the earning of matrix algebra. On the basis of the detailed response analysis, modified genetic decompositions are proposed for the matrix order concept, matrix transpose concept and for matrix operations.
      PubDate: 2015-06-18T12:17:43Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The effect of using the Lakatosian heuristic method to teach
           the surface area of a cone on students' achievement according to Bloom's
           taxonomy levels
    • Authors: Dimitriou-Hadjichristou; Chrysoula, Ogbonnaya, Ugorji I.
      Abstract: This paper reports a study on the effect of using the Lakatosian heuristic method to teach the surface area of a cone (SAC) on students' achievement according to Bloom's taxonomy levels. Two groups of students (experimental and control) participated in the study. The experimental group (n = 20) was taught using the Lakatosian heuristic method while the control group (n = 36) was taught using the Euclidean deductive method. Both groups were given a pre-test and a post-test. Data analysis using two-way Analysis of Variance shows that both groups increased their scores within times (pre- and post-test) at α = 0.05. However, the experimental group scored higher than the control group within time and also displayed more positive higher-order thinking skills than the control group. It was concluded that the Lakatosian heuristic method would, in all likelihood, help students to learn the SAC better than the Euclidean method does.
      PubDate: 2015-06-18T12:17:42Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Zimbabwean female participation in physics : the influence of
           context on identity formation
    • Authors: Gudyanga; Anna, Adam, Kathija, Kurup, Raj
      Abstract: The influence of context on identity formation amongst young adolescent females and their subsequent participation in physics as a subject at Advanced Level (A level) is the central focus of this study. A qualitative approach grounded in an interpretivist paradigm was used for the purpose of this study. Verbal descriptions of the scientist they drew and semi-structured interviews conducted with seven participating female A level students were collated to generate narratives. This paper reports on one aspect of the data generated from the narratives, which is related to context. A di-hybrid theoretical lens comprising Wenger's notion of communities of practice and Sfard and Prusak's notion of 'telling' identities or stories enabled a rich understanding of context and its influence on the perspectives of female students. Key findings show that home experiences, mental models of who a scientist is, attitudes of male peers in their classes, and their classroom experiences at Ordinary Level (O level) influenced participants' identity development and consequent participation in physics. In conclusion, it can be ascertained that the influence of context on identity is an important factor impacting female participation in physics that cannot be negated.
      PubDate: 2015-06-18T12:17:42Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Ideas about the human body among secondary students in South
           Africa
    • Authors: Enochson; Pernilla Granklint, Redfors, Andreas, Dempster, Edith R., Tibell, Lena A.E.
      Abstract: In this paper we focus on how South African students' ideas about the human body are constituted in their descriptions of three different scenarios involving the pathway of a sandwich, a painkiller and a glass of water through the body. In particular, we have studied the way in which the students transferred ideas between the sandwich and the painkiller compared with the students' ability to explain the water pathway. The study surveyed 161 ninth-grade students in five different schools in South Africa. Data collection methods used were: drawings, written questions (open-ended items) and interviews with selected students. The questions emerged from the three scenarios - what happens in the body when you eat a sandwich, swallow a painkiller and drink a glass of water. We report that it is difficult for the students to transfer knowledge of the digestive system horizontally from the sandwich scenario to descriptions of the painkiller and water scenarios. The integration of three organ systems (digestive, circulatory and excretory) to describe the water scenario was even more difficult for the students than the horizontal transfer from the sandwich scenario. The students also showed a diversity of non-scientific descriptions, especially concerning the water scenario. The paper discusses why a large percentage of the students (∼50%) included non-scientific ideas in their descriptions of the water scenario.
      PubDate: 2015-06-18T12:17:41Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Tracing the policy mediation process in the implementation of a
           change in the Life Sciences curriculum
    • Authors: Singh-Pillay; Asheena, Alant, Busisiwe
      Abstract: This paper accounts for the enacted realities of curriculum reform in South Africa, in particular the mediation of curriculum change. Curriculum implementation is viewed as a complex networked process of transforming or mediating policy into classroom practice. The fact that curriculum implementation is seen as problematic requires attention for curriculum mediation. The view that curriculum reform is a linear process, occurs in isolation and is entirely controlled by human agency is questioned. We argue that this view misjudges the complexity and grittiness of the process and ignores the multitude of actors involved who are networked during curriculum mediation and, in turn, eventually sculpt curriculum implementation. The two research questions addressed are: how is policy presented during mediation; and how does the practice of mediation get performed? Actor-network theory (ANT) is employed to model the tensions that exist in the terrains of curriculum policy reform with respect to the National Curriculum Statement-Further Education and Training Life Sciences policy. ANT is used at theoretical and methodological levels to trace the mediation of the policy workshops for Life Sciences teachers. The workshops were video-recoded, and analysed qualitatively using NVIVO to generate tag clouds to identify the drivers of the mediation process. The situated realities of policy mediation borne out by two scenarios created by change and National Senior Certificate examination results are discussed in the paper. At issue is the idea of how socio-material elements shape the mediation process when policy is presented as an invader and a hindrance while the practice of mediation is performed as moments of negotiations.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:16Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Teacher knowledge shaping the teaching of genetics : a case
           study of two underqualified teachers in Malawi
    • Authors: Mdolo; Margaret M., Mundalamo, Fhatuwani J.
      Abstract: This paper reports on the relationship between the subject matter knowledge of two underqualified teachers and their topic-specific pedagogical content knowledge (TSPCK) as they taught genetics at two community secondary schools in Malawi. The study was qualitative and used the multiple case study approach. The sample was purposefully chosen. Data were collected through video-recorded lesson observations and tape-recorded interviews. Guided by literature on teaching genetics and on TSPCK, thematic analysis was done on the data to identify emerging themes and categories that best provided meaning. The categories used in analysing the data were the five components of TSPCK: learners' prior knowledge; curricular saliency; what makes the topic easy or difficult to understand; representations including analogies; and conceptual teaching strategies. For both teachers, their knowledge of subject matter influenced three of the five components of TSPCK: knowledge of subject representations; teaching strategies; and issues that make the topic difficult/easy to understand. The other two components, that is, knowledge of learner's prior knowledge on the topic and curricular saliency, depended more on the way the teachers perceived the purpose of teaching genetics for their learners - either for success in the high-stakes national examinations or for understanding and applying this knowledge in their everyday life experiences. Although these findings cannot be generalised owing to the small sample size, they do highlight the need for adequate subject matter knowledge and awareness of the purpose of teaching genetics for teachers to have strong TSPCK. Therefore, tertiary institutions involved in secondary school teacher preparation in Malawi and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology should design relevant interventions to improve the underqualified teachers' subject matter knowledge on genetics and sensitise them on the purpose of teaching genetics, so that their TSPCK of genetics can be strengthened which, in turn, would improve the teaching of the topic in community secondary schools for the country to have a genetics-literate public.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:16Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Planning a teaching sequence for the teaching of chemical
           bonding
    • Authors: Sibanda; Doras, Hobden, Paul
      Abstract: The current study seeks to examine how teachers plan teaching sequences to teach chemical bonding in the senior secondary phase of schooling. The study employs a learning demand tool as interpretive framework. A mixed method was used to guide the collection of data. Data were collected through a survey instrument with 227 practising physical science teachers and through follow-up interviews with 11 of these teachers. The findings indicate that physical science teachers are in agreement that the topic is difficult to teach and learn. They report using mainly curriculum documents rather than other resources such as textbooks to inform their decisions about sequencing. An encouraging sign is that many teachers, if given the choice, would use teaching sequences that are similar to those suggested by recent research, that is, bottom-up approaches starting with the microscopic (attractive forces between atoms) and then moving towards the macroscopic (substances and their properties). However, teachers do not appear to give learner everyday prior understandings or learning demands of their specific learners much attention when going about planning teaching sequences. Given the need to introduce evidence-based effective teaching sequences, the findings suggest that the most productive way would be through writing these sequences into curriculum documents rather than promoting these through other means such as continuous professional development programmes.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:15Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: A comparison of the mathematical knowledge and skills of
           first-year student cohorts from a transmission and an outcomes-based
           curriculum
    • Authors: Froneman; Sonica, Plotz, Mariana, Benade, Trudie, Vorster, Hannatjie
      Abstract: The traditional transmission-based school curriculum in South Africa has been replaced by an outcomes-based school curriculum since 1998. In this article we report on a comparative study on the mathematical knowledge and skills of two cohorts of first-year students: the last cohort to be exposed to a transmission curriculum in Grades 10-12 and the first cohort to complete their entire school career according to an outcomes-based curriculum. The performances of the two cohorts were analysed in terms of procedural, proceptual and conceptual knowledge constructs, as well as topic areas of school mathematics. A t-test statistical analysis of the results of a mathematics diagnostic test was used in the analysis. A statistically significant difference with a small effect size was established for procedural knowledge, indicating that the outcomes-based education cohort has poorer algebraic skills. Statistically significant differences with a small to medium effect were obtained in the question-by-question comparison of topic areas, indicating a possible improvement in the conceptual knowledge of students of the outcomes-based education cohort.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:14Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: An analysis of teachers' concept confusion concerning electric
           and magnetic fields
    • Authors: Hekkenberg; Ans, Lemmer, Miriam, Dekkers, Peter
      Abstract: In an exploratory study, 36 South African physical science teachers' understanding of basic concepts concerning electric and magnetic fields was studied from a perspective of possible concept confusion. Concept confusion is said to occur when features of one concept are incorrectly attributed to a different concept, in the case of this study to magnetic and electric fields. An example of concept confusion is the perception that a magnetic north pole has an excess of positive charges and consequently attracts negative charges placed in the field. The researchers constructed a framework of 20 interrelated critical aspects of which the scientific topic is composed conceptually. Next, the understanding of concepts and interactions in electric and magnetic fields by 36 teachers of physical science (a subject combining physics and chemistry for grades 10-12), who were enrolled for an in-service subject knowledge upgrading course, was probed through questionnaires and interviews. This approach allowed us to answer the central research question of this study: what alternative understandings do teachers have of the topic of electric and magnetic fields in terms of potential concept confusion? The teachers' understanding does appear to be interpretable in terms of whether or not they distinguish between the critical aspects identified in this study. The results show six categories of aspects of electric and magnetic fields causing teachers' inability to distinguish between the two fields, with a consequent confusion of concepts. These categories are: sources of currents; sources of electric fields; sources of magnetic fields; the effects of electric and magnetic fields on materials; electric and magnetic forces; and the direction of the electric and magnetic forces. Results from this research study may contribute to the enhancement of physical science teacher training and consequently school teaching.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:14Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: An application of the Rasch measurement theory to an assessment
           of geometric thinking levels
    • Authors: Stols; Gerrit, Long, Caroline, Dunne, Tim
      Abstract: The purpose of this study is to apply the Rasch model to investigate both the Van Hiele theory for geometric development and an associated test. In terms of the test, the objective is to investigate the functioning of a classic 25-item instrument designed to identify levels of geometric proficiency. The dataset of responses by 244 students (106 for a pre-test and 138 for a post-test) of whom 76 sat both the pre-test and the post-test. The summary item statistics do not show statistically discernible differences between observed and expected scores under the Rasch model (chi-square statistic). The Rasch analysis confirms to a strong extent the Van Hiele theory of geometric development. The study identifies some problematic test items as they only require knowledge of a specific aspect of geometry instead of testing geometric reasoning. In terms of the Van Hiele theory, the Rasch analyses identified as problematic some items about class inclusion, an issue that has also been raised in other studies.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:13Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: The use of cartoons as a tool to support teacher ownership of
           mathematics curriculum change
    • Authors: Webb; Lyn
      Abstract: In South Africa teachers are faced with the introduction of yet another revised curriculum. Higher education institutes are developing programmes to help teachers through the transition. This article describes such an intervention. The research addresses the question: how could mathematical reasoning cartoons be used as a tool to support teacher ownership of curriculum change? The article reports on three action research iterations in which qualified and experienced mathematics teachers are introduced to the use of reasoning cartoons during a short learning programme targeting the development of teachers' ownership of curriculum change. Rainer and Matthews's ownership of learning framework is adapted and used as a theoretical lens to provide indicators of teachers' ownership of curriculum change. Data were collected from audio-taped discussions in groups and teachers' written reflections concerning the introduction of reasoning cartoons, using the tenets of exploratory talk, into their classes. The results indicate that, after the first iteration, where cartoons developed commercially in the UK were introduced, teachers demonstrated that they could move from a didactic to a dialogic environment where spaces were created for all participants to speak and to listen. When cartoon content was drawn from the current South African curriculum, the teachers were able to introduce a largely teacher-centred approach to implementing the curriculum. However, it was only when the teachers took ownership of their own cartoon construction that they manifested the majority of indicators of ownership of curriculum change. The research suggests that teachers can use a mediating artefact to enable them to embrace curriculum changes imposed from the top down.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:13Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Talking time, seeing time : the importance of attending to time
           in financial mathematics
    • Authors: Pournara; Craig
      Abstract: Through analysing a critical incident where a small group of pre-service secondary mathematics teachers work together on an annuities problem, we gain insight into the ways in which students make use of timelines and attend to time in their talk. Drawing on Lave and Wenger's notion of transparency, I argue that it was only when time became visible for the students, that they were able to resolve the impasse they had reached in working with the timeline. I propose the notion of pre-visible to describe the ways in which a newcomer makes use of a resource in an intuitive way when s/he still lacks awareness of how the resource is typically used in the practice. I discuss five issues pertaining to the use of timelines in working with annuities: the changing role of the timeline; attending to discrete points in time vs intervals; explicit attention to time on the timeline; explicit attention to time in students' talk; and potential problems associated with the use of month-names on a timeline. I make recommendations for teaching based on these findings.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:11Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: Outsiders looking in : tutor expertise in engineering writing
    • Authors: Bengesai; Annah
      Abstract: Drawing on an academic literacies approach, this article explores the representations of technical communication by non-content expert tutors teaching the Technical Communication for Engineering course at a South African university. The course is offered to all first year engineering students as a developmental academic literacy course. It is administered by an engineering academic and taught by language specialists. The purpose of this exploration was to examine how the various representations of technical communication permeate academic practice and inform pedagogical practice and attitudes to learning. The data were drawn from a recent doctoral study in which a total of 31 tutorials were observed over a 13 week period. Ten tutors and 24 students were also interviewed. The findings of this study show that the tutors acted as members of the discourse community they came from and employed 'orders of discourses' that they were familiar with to influence their teaching. As a consequence, their experiences of the humanities rhetoric to a greater extent influenced the way they approached technical writing. This finding points to an articulation gap between language tutors' conceptions of their role in the development of technical communication and the needs of the students. Furthermore, the findings question the extent to which these tutors, who themselves did not have access to engineering Discourse (drawing on Gee's concept of small discourse and big Discourse) were adequately prepared to initiate students into the same Discourse.
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:10Z
       
  • African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology
           Education: We would like to express our appreciation for all our reviewers
           for 2014
    • Abstract: We would like to express our appreciation for all our reviewers for 2014
      PubDate: 2015-03-16T13:15:09Z
       
 
 
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