The effects of using visual literacy and visualization in the teaching and learning of mathematics problem solving on grade 6 and grade 7.
In this study I examine the effects of visualization in the teaching of problem solving in grades 6 and 7 in a school south of Durban in KwaZulu Natal. One of the goals of mathematics instruction according to the Department of Education is to prepare learners to become proficient in solving problems (DoE, 2003). Whilst many studies have been conducted in the field of problem solving, using visualization as a strategy to solve problems has been a neglected area in mathematics teaching in some schools. A literature survey shows that the link between solving problems and visualization strategies is making finding solutions easier for learners. The literature suggests that visualization assists learners to develop their problem solving skills as it allows them an opportunity to show their interpretation of the problem and the understanding of mathematical concepts. Through the use of problem centred mathematics, problem centred learning, growth of mathematical understanding and realistic mathematics education, learners see the connection and employ appropriate strategies to solve problems. This study examines the strategies employed by educators in the teaching and learning of problem solving and the strategies used by learners when solving problems. Data was collected from educators using a questionnaire, observation of grade 6 and 7 learners in the classroom and semi structured interviews. The conclusions from the data analysis have shown that problem solving is been neglected and that visualization does assist learners in solving problems.