Exploring teachers’ experiences of teaching fractions in grade 6 in the curriculum and assessment policy statement : a case study of one rural school in Ndwedwe circuit.
Chamane, Cynthia Nonhlanhla.
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The aim of this study was to explore teachers’ experiences of teaching fractions to Grade 6 learners in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). It was a qualitative study that utilised the case study approach. Four mathematics teachers were purposively chosen as participants, using convenience sampling to select those who were most accessible. Data were generated through reflective activity, semi-structured interviews, and focus group discussions. The curricular spider-web was used as a conceptual framework for data analysis. The findings of the study revealed that teachers’ experiences were influenced by factors such as rationale, aims and objectives, content, teaching activities, teachers’ roles, resources, grouping, time, location and assessment. The rationales for teaching (personal, societal, content) were found to be the most influential component in teachers’ experiences. Where teachers were guided by the personal rationale for teaching, they demonstrated a conceptual understanding of what they were teaching. On the other hand, teachers whose experiences were influenced by the societal rationale for teaching did not make decisions that contributed to successful teaching of fractions. Teachers who were guided by the content rationale for teaching believed that being knowledgeable about fractions guided them to teach fractions effectively. It is recommended that teachers must be guided by rationales in their teaching in order to influence the teaching and learning of fractions. In addition, the study recommends that there is a need for on-going professional development for Mathematics teachers so that they keep abreast with current and innovative teaching approaches, particularly for teaching fractions.