Exploring learners’ understanding of mathematical concepts necessary in the learning of grade 11 algebraic functions: the case of three schools in uMgungundlovu District.
Ndlovu, Nkosinathi Emmanuel.
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The purpose of this study was to explore learners’ understanding of mathematical concepts in the learning of grade 11 algebraic functions in uMgungundlovu district, KwaZulu-Natal. In order to gain insights into learners’ understanding of mathematical concepts in learning grade 11 algebraic functions, APOS theory was used as a theoretical lens to explore learners’ level of understanding of functions. This study describes the mathematical concepts that are important in the learning of grade 11 algebraic functions. The CAPS document was used to analyse the mathematical concepts for functions to be learnt in grade 11. The data was gathered through written tasks and interviews of grade 11 learners in three schools in one district in KwaZulu-Natal. The research approach used for this study was the mixed method. Sixty grade 11 learners (twenty in each school) were purposively selected; however, this sample selection was conveniently done since learners were able to participate in the study after school. This study employed the interpretive paradigm and nine learners (three from each school) were interviewed during data collection. Multiple methods were employed for data collection in this study. Qualitative data was organised using interview transcripts and quantitative data was organised using the APOS analytical framework. The findings of this study confirm that learners’ level of understanding of algebraic functions at an object level is extremely poor.