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Title:Learners' approaches to solving mathematical tasks: does specialisation matter?
Authors:Machaba, France
Mwakapenda, Willy
Periodical:Africa Education Review (ISSN 1753-5921)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subject:mathematics education
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/18146627.2016.1224559
Abstract:This article emerged from an analysis of learners' responses to a task presented to learners studying Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy (ML) in Gauteng, South Africa. Officially, Mathematics and ML are two separate learning areas. Learners from Grade 10 onwards are supposed to take either one or the other, but not both. This means that by Grade 11, learners would have acquired different kinds of knowledge and problem solving skills depending on which of these they take. The article demonstrates that this possibility may not necessarily happen. Grade 11 learners from both learning areas appeared to have acquired sufficient knowledge and skills and were able to solve similar Mathematics tasks in similar ways, with similar adequacy. The authors argue that, contrary to common perceptions in the field of Mathematics education (particularly in South Africa), engaging in ML does not and should not make one less mathematically advanced than engagement in pure Mathematics. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]