Investigating learner experiences and views of learning mathematics in the context of HIV and AIDS

Ndhlovu, Vincent Tebogo
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In order to investigate mathematics learning where a context of HIV and AIDS is used, I chose a case study research method. The method includes interviews, questionnaires, classroom observations, video recording of teacher lessons, participant observation and field notes. I focused on one grade 9 class with 25 learners and one mathematics educator. The study shows that context assists learners to participate meaningfully in the classroom, while motivating them and making learning fun. Secondly, in activities that foregrounds mathematics, learners shifted from the application of their general knowledge of context to focus on mathematical knowledge. Learners tend to ignore factors that are significant to real life or context of the task. When the researcher probed learners their responses shifted towards establishing an authentic connection between mathematics and application of mathematics in everyday lives. In other words in this case study context enables learners to see the value of solving problems within and outside mathematics. Furthermore, in this study context assisted learners to develop positive values and attitudes, and appropriate the role of mathematics in responding to social, political and economical issues.
AIDS, HIV, mathematics, learning, psychological aspects