The mathematics education of youth at-risk : Nellie and Wiseman.
This study examines the mathematics education of youth at-risk in South Africa. It explores how two learners at the margin understand and perform in mathematics in two radically different educational environments. It also examines what provisions, if any, are incorporated into the mathematics curriculum to accommodate these pupils. One of the research participants attended Thuthukani, a residential school for youth at-risk and the other was based at Sanville Secondary, a mainstream school. The differences between the two contexts were in the scarcity of resources, limited space and class sizes. The qualitative case study, which was the preferred method of choice, was carried out in two stages. Observation of learners at the residential school was stage one. Stage two was the observation of a learner at the margin in a mainstream school. Observations were captured through audio and visual recordings and photographs. Pupils' written reflections and workbooks, combined with the information acquired through interviews, informal discussions and a research diary, supplemented the instruments to produce a rich data for analysis. The analysis suggests that each of the components of this study, namely: the educational environment (context), the mathematics curriculum, the teacher and the learner at the margin influence the teaching and learning in the classroom. The study concludes with the researcher's recommendations on the mathematics education of learners at the margin.