Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Childhood Education]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2223-768220190001&lang=es vol. 9 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Multiplicative reasoning: An intervention's impact on Foundation Phase learners' understanding</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822019000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es BACKGROUND: Given the context of low attainment in primary mathematics in South Africa, improving learners' understanding of multiplicative reasoning is important as it underpins much of later mathematics. AIM: Within a broader research programme aiming to improve Foundation Phase (Grades 1-3, 7-9-year-olds) learners' mathematical performance, the aim of the particular research reported on here was to improve learners' understanding of and attainment in multiplicative reasoning when solving context-based problems. SETTING: The research was conducted in a suburban school serving a predominantly historically disadvantaged learner population, and involved teachers and learners from three classes in each of Grades 1-3. METHODS: A 4-week intervention piloted the use of context-based problems and array images to encourage learners to model (through pictures and diagrams) the problem situations, with the models produced used both to support problem solving and to support understanding of the multiplicative structures of the contexts. RESULTS: Cleaning the data to include those learners participating at all three data points - pre-, post- and delayed post-test - provided findings based on 233 matched learners. These findings show that, on average, Grade 1 learners had a mean score average increase of 22 percentage points between the pre-test and the delayed post-test, with Grades 2 and 3 having mean increases of 10 and 9 percentage points, respectively. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study demonstrate that young learners can be helped to better understand and improve their attainment in multiplicative reasoning, and suggest the usefulness of trialling the intervention model more broadly across schools. <![CDATA[<b>Early learning experiences, school entry skills and later mathematics achievement in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822019000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es BACKGROUND: The acquired skill set prior to school entry has emerged as an important issue in research and policy internationally. Much evidence exists advocating the importance of early numeracy and literacy skills in later academic achievement and economic outcomes of students. AIM: The goal of this study was to determine the association between parents' reports of engagement in pre-Grade 1 learning activities and school entry skills, and mathematics achievement in Grade 5. SETTING: This study was based on empirical evidence using South African data from the 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study. METHODS: These relationships were investigated by using stepwise multiple regression analysis. RESULTS: It was found that parent reports of engagement in pre-Grade 1 activities and acquired school entry skills are positively associated with student achievement at the Grade 5 level. This held even when taking other contextual home factors into account: socio-economic status and the frequency of speaking the language of the test at home. CONCLUSION: The role of the home is important in preparing children for school and has an impact on their later achievement. The home context should therefore be a key consideration in enhancing the South African education system. Parent reports are a good indicator of engagement in early learning activities and acquired numeracy and literacy skills prior to school entry. <![CDATA[<b>Reflective self-study for an integrated learning approach to early childhood mathematics teacher education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822019000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es BACKGROUND: This article gives an account of what I learned through the process of a self-study research project. Self-study teacher research allows teacher educators and teachers to improve their learning, plan new pedagogies and impact students' learning AIM: The aim of this self-study research was to improve my own practice in early childhood mathematics teacher education through interaction and collaboration with others, such as colleagues and students. SETTING: As a South African university-based teacher educator, I piloted an integrated learning approach (ILA) in the teaching and learning of early childhood mathematics in a selected undergraduate programme. METHODS: I began by tracking my personal development in mathematics education and in so doing was able to recognise my personal learning of mathematics as a child growing up in an African township context. I then worked with a class of 38 student teachers to create collages and concept maps to explore their understandings and experiences of ILA. RESULTS: Through this project, I discovered that colleagues in the role of critical friends provided essential feedback on my work in progress. I also learned that student teachers need to be equipped with knowledge and hands-on experience of how integration can take place in teaching and learning early childhood mathematics. I realised that it was essential to constantly reflect on my own personal history and my professional practice to explore new ways of teaching mathematics. CONCLUSION: Teacher educators may consider engaging in self-study research that includes art-based self-study methods to reflect on their practices and see how they change for the benefit of their students and ultimately for the benefit of the learners.