Realistic Mathematics Education and Professional Development: A Case Study of the Experiences of Primary School Mathematics Teachers in Namibia

Peters, Barbara Ilona (2016-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2016

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The study’s context is the current reform movement adapting continuing professional development (CPD) as a means of upgrading teachers’ subject knowledge as well as their teaching. Professional development (PD) aiming at primary school mathematics teachers (PSMTs) is a significant issue, because these teachers themselves have not had rich experiences with and in school mathematics. This study reports on PD based on Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) principles and the process of Lesson Study (LS) in a primary school in Namibia. In this study I focus on primary school teachers’ subject knowledge as well as their teaching. The study draws on data collected over a period of three school terms involving fifteen teachers. Through LS and RME principles the teachers were involved in a process where they collaboratively planned, designed, presented and reflected on lessons. Analysis of the findings shows the teachers were positively disposed to the use and development of RME-based materials and found the latter to be helpful in terms of their subject matter content knowledge. The study concludes that PD in general and the need for collaboration between the teachers and mathematics educators from the University of Namibia are important.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die raamwerk van hierdie navorsingstudie is die huidige hervormingsbeweging van voortdurende aanpasbare professionele ontwikkeling (CPD – Continuing Professional Development) by wyse waarvan onderwysers se vakkennis en praktiese onderrig opgegradeer en/of verbeter kan word. Professionele ontwikkeling (PD – Professional Development) wat gerig is op laerskoolonderwysers wat Wiskunde onderrig (PSMTs – Primary School Mathematics Teachers) is ʼn gewigtige kwessie, want dergelike onderwysers het self nie diepgaande ervaring met en in skoolwiskunde nie. Hierdie studie doen verslag van professionele ontwikkeling gebaseer op die beginsels van Realistiese Wiskunde-Onderrig (RME - Realistic Mathematics Education) en die proses van Lesstudie (LS – Lesson Study) in ʼn laerskool in Namibië. In hierdie studie fokus ek op die vakkennis van laerskoolonderwysers asook op hul onderrig. Die studie is gebaseer op die data-insameling oor ʼn tydperk van drie skooltermyne waarby vyftien onderwysers betrek is. Deur gebruik te maak van LS- en RME-beginsels, was die onderwysers betrokke in ʼn proses van gesamentlike lesbeplanning, die skep van kreatiewe media, die aanbieding van lesse en die refleksies op lesse wat aangebied is. ʼn Analise van die bevindings toon dat die onderwysers positief blootgestel is aan die gebruik en ontwikkeling van RME-gebaseerde materiaal en daar is bevind dat bogenoemde ʼn groot hulp was om die inhoud van hul vakkennis uit te brei. Hierdie studie bewys en het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat professionele ontwikkeling in die algemeen en die behoefte van samewerking tussen wiskunde-onderwysers en lektore/lektrises van die Fakulteit Opvoedkunde van die Universiteit van Namibië van die grootste belang is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98416
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