Original Research

Learning affordances and participation enablers within a primary mathematics in-service community of practice

Mellony Graven, Peter Pausigere
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 7, No 1 | a551 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v7i1.551 | © 2017 Mellony Graven, Peter Pausigere | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 June 2017 | Published: 08 December 2017

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Mellony Graven, South African Numeracy Chair Project, Rhodes University, South Africa
Peter Pausigere, South African Numeracy Chair Project, Rhodes University, South Africa

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This article investigates the participation enablers and learning affordances identified by teachers through participation within an in-service community of practice (CoP) of primary teachers called the Numeracy Inquiry Community of Leader Educators (NICLE) in the Eastern Cape. The article draws on three qualitative sources of data: the annual teacher questionnaires of 42 participating teachers, interview data from 8 of the 42 sampled teachers and reflective journal entries of these 8 teachers over the first 2 years of NICLE. All three data sets point to teachers foregrounding the affordances and enablers of NICLE participation across the fundamental elements of a CoP, namely domain, community and practice. We illuminate the way in which teachers’ identification of learning affordances relates to these three structural features of a CoP. In concluding, we argue that explicit consideration of these structural elements, and their interrelationship in the design of in-service programmes, could enable clearer articulation of programme aspects and support reflection on the coherence between teacher feedback on these as programmes evolve.


primary mathematics; communities of practice


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