Review Article

The impact of different approaches to the teaching of Grade 5 fraction by three experienced teachers

Ifunanya J.A. Ubah
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 11, No 1 | a854 | DOI: | © 2021 Ifunanya Julie Adaobi Ubah | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 March 2020 | Published: 26 February 2021

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Ifunanya J.A. Ubah, Department of Science, Technology and Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, South Africa

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Background: Many teachers for different reasons recognise the teaching of fraction as a challenge. This research explored the teaching of fraction in Grade 5 by three experienced teachers (Ben, Greg and Will) in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of different approaches to the teaching of Grade 5 fraction by three experienced teachers.

Method: Three teachers and 177 learners were purposively sampled for this study. Classroom observations, interview and fraction achievement test (FAT) were instruments used for data collection. Hence, this study employed a mixed method, where both quantitative and qualitative data sets were collected at the same time, and the data were analysed at the same time in order to discuss the findings.

Results: The quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), whilst the qualitative data were analysed in themes. The results showed that learners of teacher Ben performed significantly better than those of teachers Will and Greg. The findings revealed that a combination of good practices and appropriate use of multiple representations by teacher Ben improved his learners’ achievement in addition of fraction more than other learners taught by the other two teachers.

Conclusion: The study recommends that mathematics teachers should endeavour to facilitate learners’ conceptual knowledge of fraction by using appropriate teaching approach in their instruction, namely, learner-centred approach, activity-based learning, use of mother tongue for clarity and use of multiple representations. This recommendation will improve learners’ knowledge and conceptual understanding of fraction and algebra in its entity.


addition of fraction; analysis of covariance; descriptive statistics; teaching approach; use of representations


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