Original Research

South African teachers work with division actions in Grade 3

Corin D. Mathews
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 13, No 1 | a1401 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v13i1.1401 | © 2023 Corin D. Mathews | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 June 2023 | Published: 13 December 2023

About the author(s)

Corin D. Mathews, Department of Foundation Phase, Faculty of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Internationally, the teaching of division has noted that the use of sharing situations with sharing actions (one-by-one distribution) is the predominant division model at the beginning of schooling. In South Africa, research suggests a sharing situation with sharing actions is also preferred in the early grades.

Aim: This paper aims to look at the predominant approaches to the use of division actions that teachers offer in teaching division tasks.

Setting: The study is set in three government schools in Gauteng, South Africa.

Methods: In this qualitative study, the teachers were observed through video recording, and then the video recording was transcribed, and semiotics was used to make sense of their teaching.

Results: The findings of this article suggest that grouping actions and group-based approaches to teaching division tasks are more prevalent than sharing through one-by-one distribution actions, even when sharing situations are used.

Conclusion: This study concludes that grouping actions and group-based approaches are part of how teachers solve sharing situations.

Contribution: This study concludes that in a South African context, identifying the grouping actions and group-based approaches linked to sharing situations is a more efficient way of solving sharing situations and will assist teachers in explaining division tasks more coherently.


grouping; sharing; foundation phase; Grade 3; group-based approaches; division model

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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