South African Journal of Education
On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100
STOLS, Gerrit. An investigation into the opportunity to learn that is available to Grade 12 mathematics learners. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2013, vol.33, n.1, pp.1-18. ISSN 2076-3433.
This study investigated the opportunity to learn (OTL) that is available to Grade 12 mathematics learners. Learner workbooks were analysed in terms of time on task, curriculum coverage, curriculum coherence, and cognitive demand. Based on these elements, experienced mathematics teachers judged the opportunity that the learners have to achieve more than 60% for each topic. According to the workbooks, the average number of active learning days in this sample was 54.1 days per annum. This resulted in limited curriculum coverage in almost all sections in 16 of the 18 under-performing schools. In these schools, learners spent most of their time practising routine procedures. The high correlation of 0.95 (p < 0.001) between the experts'prediction about the opportunity to learn in the different schools (based on the learner workbooks) and learners' actual performance in the Grade 12 exam shows that the number, the coverage, the cognitive level, and the coherence of activities play a major role in understanding learner performance.
Keywords : coherence; curriculum coverage; mathematics; opportunity to learn; OTL; time-on-task.