Learners' views of practical work in addition of fractions : a case study.
Mdluli, Fortunate Gugulethu.
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This study considered use of practical work as one of the strategies that may be used to teach and learn fraction concepts in primary school Mathematics. Although an educator and learners were participants in the study, the focus was mainly on the learners. The class educator’s perception of practical work was investigated and the results confirmed the assumption that most educators use minimal or no practical work when teaching learners fractions. The researcher carried out an experiment with learners to find out whether they saw any value in doing practical work. Data collection instruments used were an observation schedule which was collated by the researcher in teaching four lessons, written responses of learners to a series of activities they did as class work and their responses to interview questions. Data collected from learners confirmed that practical work did have value in the teaching of fraction concepts, especially addition of fractions. Other than confirming the value of practical work, much other valuable data emerged from the findings. The data have important implications for the teaching and learning of fractions, especially addition of fractions, teacher training in practical work and also further research. These are intended to improve teaching of fractions, particularly addition of fractions.