Original Research

The concepts of area and perimeter: Insights and misconceptions of Grade 10 learners

France M. Machaba
Pythagoras | Vol 37, No 1 | a304 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v37i1.304 | © 2016 France M. Machaba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 May 2015 | Published: 31 May 2016

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France M. Machaba, Mathematics Education Department, University of South Africa, South Africa

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This article focuses on learners’ understanding and their descriptions of the concepts of area and perimeter, how learners solve problems involving area and perimeter and the relationship between them and misconceptions, and the causes of these misconceptions as revealed by learners when solving these problems. A written test was administered to 30 learners and clinical interviews were conducted with three of these learners, selected based on their responses in the test. This article shows that learners lack a conceptual understanding of area and they do not know what a perimeter is. Learners also hold misconceptions about the relationship between area and perimeter. It appears that inadequate prior knowledge of area and perimeter is the root cause of these misconceptions. This article provides suggestions on how to deal with the concepts of area and perimeter.

Keywords: area; perimeter; insights; misconceptions; Grade 10


area; perimeter; insights; misconceptions; Grade 10


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