Original Research

Peer tutors’ views on their role in motivating learners to learn mathematics

Abigail K. Roberts, Erica D. Spangenberg
Pythagoras | Vol 41, No 1 | a520 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v41i1.520 | © 2020 Abigail K. Roberts, Erica D. Spangenberg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 2019 | Published: 28 September 2020

About the author(s)

Abigail K. Roberts, Department of Science and Technology Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Erica D. Spangenberg, Department of Science and Technology Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Many learners are unmotivated to learn mathematics due to a lack of attention, irrelevance of mathematics, low self-confidence and dissatisfaction. However, peer tutoring can afford learners opportunities to engage with other individuals who have overcome similar challenges in the learning of mathematics and who can motivate them to become increasingly mindful of the task at hand at their own pace in a one-on-one relationship. This article reports on Grade 12 peer tutors’ views on their role in motivating Grade 8 and Grade 9 learners to learn mathematics in relation to the four categories of learner motivation, namely attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction (ARCS). The four categories adapted from the ARCS model of motivation were used as a lens to view and analyse the data using theoretical thematic analysis. This qualitative article utilised pre- and post-interviews as data collection instruments. Ten of the best-performing Grade 12 learners at an ex-model C school in Gauteng province in South Africa were purposively selected to participate in the research. The findings revealed that peer tutors view their role to motivate learners to learn mathematics peculiar to seven positions, which can inform future research on intervention strategies to improve mathematics performance. This article introduces research on an adapted use of the ARCS model of motivation in motivating learners to learn mathematics, which is a novel way of bringing new perspectives to research on motivation in mathematics at secondary school level.

Keywords

Mathematics; motivation; peer tutor; learning; secondary school

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