What mathematics do Grade 7 learners take to high school in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?

South African Journal of Childhood Education

Field Value
Title What mathematics do Grade 7 learners take to high school in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Creator Pournara, Craig Bowie, Lynn
Subject mathematics education diagnostic assessment; error analysis; whole number reasoning; rational number reasoning; multiplicative reasoning.
Description Background: Poor mathematics performance in South Africa is well known. The COVID-19 pandemic was expected to exacerbate the situation.Aim: To investigate Grade 7 learners’ mathematical knowledge at the end of primary school and to compare mathematical performance of Grade 7 and 8 learners in the context of the pandemic.Setting: Data were collected in term four of 2020 at 11 primary schools and five secondary schools. All schools drew learners from poor communities in Gauteng.Methods: A multiple-choice test covering mathematical content from Grades 4–7 was designed and piloted. Learner performance was measured through number of correct responses. Qualitative error analyses were conducted on learners’ choices of distractors.Results: The difference in performance of the two grade groups was not statistically significant. There were similar response patterns in learners’ choices of distractors with strong evidence of cue-based reasoning and evidence of additive reasoning in items requiring multiplicative reasoning.Conclusion: Grade 8 learners made very small gains, likely due to reduced learning time. Learner errors show many similarities with the international literature and show that Grade 7 learners are not yet ready for algebra.Contribution: The findings provide starting points for addressing the most common errors and highlight the need for: greater attention to whole and rational number concepts in Grade 8; strategies for teacher support in teaching primary maths content; and innovative teaching strategies to fast-track learning of this content.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor National Research Foundation First Rand Foundation Zenex Foundation
Date 2023-10-27
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Qualitative analysis of MCQ test responses
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajce.v13i1.1239
Source South African Journal of Childhood Education; Vol 13, No 1 (2023); 11 pages 2223-7682 2223-7674
Language eng
The following web links (URLs) may trigger a file download or direct you to an alternative webpage to gain access to a publication file format of the published article:

https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/1239/2533 https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/1239/2534 https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/1239/2535 https://sajce.co.za/index.php/sajce/article/view/1239/2536
Coverage Gauteng — Grade 7, 8 learners
Rights Copyright (c) 2023 Craig Pournara, Lynn Bowie https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0