Original Research

Teachers’ understanding and use of visual tools in their numeracy classrooms: A case study of two primary schools in Gauteng

Corle Smith, Madoda Cekiso
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 10, No 1 | a887 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v10i1.887 | © 2020 Corle Smith, Madoda Cekiso | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 May 2020 | Published: 21 December 2020

About the author(s)

Corle Smith, Department of Applied Languages, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Madoda Cekiso, Department of Applied Languages, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Previous studies have shown the significance of visual objects in facilitating teaching and learning in the numeracy classrooms; however, what we do not know is how South African teachers negotiate the use of visual tools.

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore teachers’ understanding and the use of visual tools in their numeracy classrooms.

Setting: This study was conducted in two rural primary schools in Tshwane District, Gauteng.

Methods: The study was qualitative in nature and a case study design was followed. Five Foundation Phase teachers were purposively sampled from two primary schools. Open-ended questionnaires were administered to solicit information from the sampled teachers. The collected data were analysed thematically.

Results: The findings revealed that the majority of teachers had a limited knowledge of visual numeracy tools, and as such their implementation was restricted to a few familiar ones. This manifested itself in the fact that the majority of teachers (three out of five) mentioned the general use of the visual tools without clearly relating them to their own classroom experiences. Finally, the findings of the study revealed that all the teachers were desperately in need of training on how to use visual tools in their numeracy classrooms.

Conclusion: The authors concluded that the teachers’ limited knowledge about a variety of visual numeracy tools restricted their utilisation of such tools in their classrooms.


Keywords

visual numeracy; pedagogic knowledge; teaching aids; visual tools; early numeracy

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