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Exploring Grade 9 mathematics learner performance in schools that participated in the 1+9 programme.

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The main aim of this research was to explore Grade 9 learners’ mathematics performance in schools where teachers participated in the 1+9 programme, which was designed to equip teachers with strategies to teach mathematics in the Senior phase(Grade 7-9). This study is guided by the qualitative method within an interpretive paradigm. The conceptual framework adopted by the study is a compressive model of the education system (Shalveson, 1989). This study took place in three schools selected from uMgungundlovu District in KwaZulu-Natal, using two data collection methods, namely the document review where the researcher took the marks schedules of the grade nine learners for the year 2016, 2017 and 2018. The researcher then randomly selected that marks of 42 learners in each of the three school, put them in tables and graphs to compare the performance in each of these years. In the second method the researcher conducted the interviews with ten learners and three teachers that were part of the 1+9 programme. Guided by the aim of the study, the following objectives underpinned this research: (i) To determine the extent of improvement in learner performance in mathematics post the 1+9 programme; and (ii) To determine the Grade 9 learners’ competence to solve mathematical problems after their teachers took part in the 1+9 programme. In order to unpack the objectives and carry out an in-depth analysis of the phenomena of this study, which is exploring Grade 9 learner performance post the introduction of the 1+9 programme, throughout this study the researcher asks the following research questions: (a) How did the implementation of 1 + 9 programme improve learner performance in mathematics at grade 9 level?and (b) What do Grade 9 learners’ written responses reveal about their competency in mathematics after the implementation of the 1+9 programme? The research findings reveal that the development programme for teachers must be continuous, to ensure that they are up to date with the current status of mathematics, so that they will implement the current knowledge for teaching. The findings that have resulted from this study will serve to recommend to professional development organisations, the Department of Basic Education and other stakeholders that professional development of teachers takes place to ensure that they use the trackers, lesson preparation plans and pace setters, and have a common assessment each term in Grade 9, to ensure that the teaching and learning of mathematics is taken seriously. The findings of this research could serve to encourage the Department of Education and the Departmental Head to carry out thorough monitoring of the educators’ work, to ensure that it is done properly.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.