Analyzing pedagogy across number focused grade 2 numeracy lessons.
The purpose of this report is investigating pedagogic practice in a selection of grade 2 number lessons. The study is informed by Bernstein’s concept of framing - a key focus in Bernstein’s (2000) theory of the pedagogic discourse. The question the report sought to understand was: What is the extent and nature of control teachers have over the selection, sequencing, pacing and evaluation of knowledge in number. The report is based on empirical data from three number lessons from three different Grade 2 classes in a suburban primary school in Johannesburg in South Africa which now serves a historically disadvantaged population. The three lessons were all based on the topic of number but differing in content. The first lesson involved the teaching of the number 16; the second lesson dealt with the addition of two single digit numbers and the third lesson was premised on the concept of ordinal numbers from 1- 15. The report applied a qualitative research paradigm and the empirical data set was part of baseline data collected for a broader project- the Wits Maths Connect- Primary project (WMC-P). The project aims at improving the teaching and learning of primary mathematics. Videotaped lessons were then transcribed into text and chunked into episodes that were then analysed. The results of the report showed that teachers had greater control in terms of task selection, sequencing and pacing and task completion on number work pointing to strong framing of these aspects. In terms of teacher evaluation the report notes that criteria ranged across instances of clear and explicit criteria, more implicit criteria and some instances where there were no observable instances of teacher evaluation of mathematical knowledge. The study concludes with some reflections on the implications of the analysis presented.