Current difficulties experienced by grade 10 mathematics educators after the implementation of the new curriculum in grade 9.
Malinga, Mxoleleni Alfred.
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The purpose of this study was to establish current difficulties experienced by grade 10 mathematics educators after the implementation of the new curriculum in grade 9 (Senior Phase). Qualitative approach, using questionnaires' as a research tool was employed. The study was conducted from twenty grade 10-mathematics educators in a variety of schools. The questions were based on the current difficulties that educators were experiencing in grade 10 after the new curriculum was implemented in grade 9 in 2002. The research study was undertaken in different schools with different backgrounds in one District; UMgungundlovu of the Kwazulu - Natal Department of Education. These educators were from schools with the following backgrounds: • Rural schools • Township schools • Former White schools • Former Indians/ Coloureds schools The findings of the study are presented and these are interpreted and discussed under two categories: these being the kinds of difficulties enunciated by grade 10 mathematics educators and the researcher's comments on the findings. The Key Findings of this research study are the following: Grade 10 Mathematics educators complained that they have problems in teaching mathematics in grade 10 learners because: • Methods used in grade 9 are totally different from those they are using in grade 10. • There is no linkage between grade 9 and grade 10-mathematics syllabus. • Educators' lack training and teaching in outcomes - based approaches. • The new curriculum does not prepare learners to do pure mathematics in grade 10. • Learners cannot even work independently, only rely on the constant guidance from the educators and other members of the group. • Learners find it difficult doing individual work and completing homework and other class work. • Many learners drop out in mathematics classes and others even become worst in mathematics. The examinations or assessment (eTAs) which is an exit point from grade 9 to grade 10 have no value for the type of mathematics that is done in grade 10. • Textbooks used in grade 9 have lots of activities and lots and lots of stories and less mathematics. • Textbooks used in grades 8 and 9 are of poor quality and exercises are of pathetic quality. • Educators in grade 10 have to teach grades 8 and 9 work because it was not taught. • No clear focus on content part in grade 9, which form the basics of grade 10 mathematics. • The new curriculum in grade 9 gives emphasis to very few topics. • The level of mathematics that learners are exposed to, in grade 9 is far lower than the one they encounter in grade 10. • No support from parents in terms of doing homework. Finally, the recommendations are made for addressing the difficulties that are experienced by these educators as well as suggestions for further study.