Instructional appproaches in the teaching of Euclidean Geometry in grade 11.
Mthembu, Sibusiso Goodenough.
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The main focus of the research was to find out the causes of a poor performance in euclidean geometry especially in a grade eleven class. An easier way to find that information was to investigate the techniques that educators who are teaching grade eleven are following when they teach euclidean geometry. The necessary data was therefore collected from the educators as well as learners who were in grade eleven. This study is guided by the constructivist's VIew. The theoretical framework of this research is based on the ideas of theorists like Piaget, Vygotsky and other authors who conform to constructivism. Changes that affected the education system of South Africa due to the adoption of the new constitution were also visited. A shift from the traditional way of teaching and an Outcomes Based Education system, as a recommendation by the National Curriculum Statement was highlighted. The data was collected through both interviews and questionnaires. The semi-structured interviews of three educators from three participating schools were audio taped. In each school one educator was interviewed and six learners were given questionnaires to answer. The above gave a total of eighteen learners and three educators. Written responses from learners and audio taped responses from educators were kept and analyzed. The interview was focused on the techniques that educators employ in their teaching of euclidean geometry in grade eleven. The questionnaires administered to learners were aimed at confirming the responses from the educators. It is envisaged that the educators participated in the study can provide enough information which can assist in correcting the teaching approach in euc1idean geometry. The findings show that the conditions under which educators teach contribute to their methods of teaching euclidean geometry. The testing system and the focus on better results by the education department proved to be the main determining factors of the methods that educators resort to when they teach learners. It also came up from this study that some learners do not take mathematics out of their will. Their parents or the school forces them to take mathematics. Those who like to take mathematics are constantly discouraged by comments of educators who deem mathematics as a subject responsible for bringing down the pass rate of the school. The above diminishes the love of mathematics to learners and euclidean geometry becomes the section that suffers the most. Suggestions and recommendations aimed at improving the teaching and learning of the euclidean geometry have been made.