An analysis of teachers' methods of teaching numeracy skills in Standard 10 geography in three schools in Eastern Cape Province.
Mbuce, Mzwandile M'Claren.
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This study aimed at investigating the methods used by teachers to assist the acquisition of numeracy skills by Standard 10 Geography learners. The problem of high failure rate in these skills was considered in terms of Perkins' (1992) minimum conditions for learning which, according to him, could assist and improve learner performance. These are : clear information, thoughtful practice, informative feedback and strong motivation. This investigation also draws upon Gallimore and Tharp' s (1991) means of assisting performance in the zone of proximal development, which include modeling, contingency management, feeding back, instructing, questioning and cognitive structuring. Data was collected by means of a number of lesson observations in three senior secondary schools in the Eastern Cape Province. This data was analysed in terms of whether or not teachers included Perkins' (1992) minimum conditions for learning in their methods of teaching and whether or not teachers used Gallimore and Tharp's (1991) means of assisting performance in their teaching activities.The overall result of the investigation indicated the overuse of the lecture method and the "recitation script" which denied learners opportunities to participate actively in the lesson. This research indicated, therefore, that the methods used by teachers in teaching Geography numeracy skills did not contribute towards the improvement of the learners' performance. A number of suggestions are made regarding initial and in-service teacher education and the encouragement of research by teachers into their own professional practice.