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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

BANSILAL, Sarah; JAMES, Angela  and  NAIDOO, Magiembal. Whose voice matters? Learners. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2010, vol.30, n.1, pp. 153-165. ISSN 0256-0100.

International and national mathematics studies have revealed the poor mathematics skills of South African learners. An essential tool that can be used to improve learners' mathematical skills is for educators to use effective feedback. Our purpose in this study was to elicit learners' understanding and expectations of teacher assessment feedback. The study was conducted with five Grade 9 mathematics learners. Data were generated from one group interview, seven journal entries by each learner, video-taped classroom observations and researcher field notes. The study revealed that the learners have insightful perceptions of the concept of educator feedback. While some learners viewed educator feedback as a tool to probe their understanding, others viewed it as a mechanism to get the educator's point of view. A significant finding of the study was that learners viewed educator assessment feedback as instrumental in building or breaking their self-confidence.

Keywords : educator assessment feedback; journal entries; learner feelings; learner motivation; learners' voices; understanding of assessment feedback.

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