Original Research

Contextual factors of the mathematics learning environment of grade 6 learners in South Africa

G. S. Kotze, J. P. Strauss
Pythagoras | Issue 63 | a107 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v0i63.107 | © 2006 G. S. Kotze, J. P. Strauss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 October 2006 | Published: 20 October 2006

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G. S. Kotze, University of the Free State, South Africa
J. P. Strauss, University of the Free State, South Africa

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to provide insight into the personal characteristics and family backgrounds that South African grade 6 learners bring to the learning process as well as how they interact with the resources and practices that characterise the schools they attend. The research method is historiographic, offering insights into current conditions. An analysis of content is done through examining evidence gathered from an international project. Gender, socio-economic groupings and other major aspects associated with differences in mathematics achievement among learners and schools are addressed. An overall picture of contextual factors that may impact on mathematics achievement is presented. Although the essential conclusions of the investigation are largely straightforward, valuable contextual information emerged that may have implications for mathematics education within the context of South Africa as a developing country.

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