Teachers’ experiences of using differentiated curriculum approaches in teaching fractions in Grade 3.
Mngomezulu, Sibongile Patricia.
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The aim of this study was to explore teachers’ experiences of teaching fractions to Grade 3 learners using the differentiated curriculum approaches in the Ngwelezane Circuit. It was a qualitative study that utilised the case study approach. Three mathematics teachers were purposively chosen as participants, using convenience sampling to select those who were the utmost accessible. Furthermore, these teachers were able to reveal teachers’ experiences. Data were generated through semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and document analysis. The curricular spider-web was used as a conceptual framework for data analysis. The findings of the study revealed that teachers’ experiences were influenced by factors such as rationale, content, teaching activities, teachers’ roles, materials and resources, grouping, time, learning environment and assessment. The rationales for teaching were based on (self-experience, informal and formal) and found to be the most influential component in teachers’ experiences. Where teachers were guided by the personal or self-experience rationale for teaching, they demonstrated a conceptual understanding of what they were teaching. On the other hand, teachers whose experiences were influenced by the societal or informal rationale for teaching did not make decisions that contributed to the successful teaching of fractions. Teachers who were guided by the content or formal rationale for teaching believed that being knowledgeable about fractions guided them to teach fractions effectively. It is recommended that teachers must be guided by rationales that will influence them for teaching fractions using differentiated curriculum approaches. In addition, the study recommends that there is a need for on-going professional development for Mathematics teachers so that they keep abreast of current and innovative teaching approaches, particularly for teaching fractions.