Original Research

An analysis of the introduction of the equal sign in three Grade 1 textbooks

Anthony A. Essien
Pythagoras | Issue 69 | a43 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v0i69.43 | © 2009 Anthony A. Essien | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 September 2009 | Published: 01 September 2009

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This paper attempts to analyse how the concept of the equal sign is introduced to learners in Grade 1 textbooks in use in South Africa. In doing this, three Grade 1 textbooks (learner’s book and their accompanying teacher’s guide) were analysed in terms of the first appearance of the equal sign. Analysis reveals that the equal sign is introduced operationally and its introduction is subsumed in the introduction of the addition and subtraction signs. The author argues for the equal sign to be accorded equal status and attention as the addition and subtraction symbols by both the curriculum and Grade 1 textbooks and also makes an argument for the introduction of the equal sign first (using appropriate pictorial representations and artefacts) before the introduction of the plus and minus signs.


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