An exploration of pre-service teachers use of visualization when teaching and solving problems in the mathematics classroom.
MetadataShow full item record
One of the objectives of mathematics instruction, according to the Department of Education (DoE) in South Africa, and elsewhere globally, is to prepare learners to become proficient in mathematics problem solving. There are many factors that contribute to learners becoming proficient in problem solving. The literature and many studies mentioned within this research present the many arguments for the field of problem solving and visualization. Extant literature related to the range of problem solving is plentiful but there is insufficient or limited studies in the neglected field of visualization especially in how pre-service teachers use visualization and problem solving strategies in the classrooms. This study examines the use of visualization to support the teaching of problem solving strategies by pre-service teachers. The literature survey within this study intimates that a relationship is forged between solving problems and visualization. The available literature suggests that visualization assists learners to develop problem solving skills as it allows them to interpret the problem and show an understanding of the mathematical concepts. Literatures also indicate that when problem solving strategies are used in conjunction with the visual skills, the learners become more proficient in solving problem in the mathematics classroom. Thus, this research looks in a fine grained manner at how visualization and problem solving strategies are used by pre-service mathematics teachers. Data was collected in phases from the pre-service teachers using a questionnaire, lesson observations, semi-structured interviews, evaluation worksheets and learner‟s books. The pre-service teacher‟s verbal and written responses were examined and their classroom practices were observed in conjunction with learner‟s material. The results from the data analysis have shown that some of the pre-service teachers have limited knowledge in the use of visualization and mathematical strategies when solving problems. It was also noted that they need to improve their mathematical content knowledge and how to use mathematical problem solving strategies together with visualization when teaching problem solving. These aspects need to be urgently addressed during their teacher training programmes.