Exploring a teacher's selection and use of examples in Grade 11 probability multilingual classroom
Using qualitative methods, this study reports on the selection and use examples in Probability by a teacher in a multilingual mathematics classroom where learners learn in a language which is not their first or home language. The study involved one teacher together with his Grade 11 multilingual class in a township school in Ekurhuleni South Johannesburg. Data was collected through audio-visual recording of four lessons. In addition two one-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with the teacher. Data was analysed using Rowland‘s (2008) categories of exemplification alongside Staples' (2007) conceptual model of collaborative inquiry mathematics practices. In the study it emerged that it is important for teachers to select examples by considering the context, ability of the example to be generalised, consistency in the use of symbols, syllabus requirements and accessibility. It also emerged that the selection of examples together with the accompanying mathematical practices has the potential to support or impede the learning of mathematics. In particular the findings revealed that the practice of ‗guiding the learners with the map‘ declines the cognitive level of examples and hence impedes learning. Code- switching and re-voicing were most frequently used practices seen in the findings with the use of code-switching encouraging full participation of the learners. The study recommends that methodology courses offered at tertiary institutions to pre-service teachers should include the selection, how to select or design and use examples in multilingual classrooms e.g. what constitutes a good example and how to maintain the cognitive level of an example. The study also recommends that more research needs to be done on effective mathematical practices that may be used to implement worked-out examples in multilingual classrooms.
A research report submitted to the WITS SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (Science Education). Johannesburg 2015
Example., Exemplification., Mathematical practices., Multilingual classrooms.