Original Research

Exploring mathematical discussion in word problem-solving

Percy Sepeng, Paul Webb
Pythagoras | Vol 33, No 1 | a60 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v33i1.60 | © 2012 Percy Sepeng, Paul Webb | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 October 2011 | Published: 15 August 2012

About the author(s)

Percy Sepeng, Marang Centre for Mathematics and Science Education, University of the Witwatersrand; Centre for Educational Research, Technology and Innovation, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Paul Webb, Centre for Educational Research, Technology and Innovation, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


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Abstract

This study explored whether discussion as a teaching strategy in mathematics classrooms could have positive gains in improving learners’ problem-solving performance, as well as their ability to make sense of real wor(l)d problems. This article discusses the partial findings of a bigger study that used a pre-test intervention or post-test mixed-method design and utilised both quantitative and qualitative data. Analysis of the data generated from both pre-tests and post-tests suggests that the intervention strategy significantly improved the experimental group’s problem-solving skills and sense-making performance. The statistical results illustrate that the experimental group performed significantly better than the comparison group in the post-test. The main finding of this study is that in classrooms of experimental schools in which discussion technique was successfully implemented, there was a statistically significant improvement in the learners’ competence in solving word problems.

Keywords

mathematical discussion; word problems

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Crossref Citations

1. Rural Learners’ Views and Perceptions about Their Experiences in Word Problem Solving
Nothile Kunene, Percy Sepeng
Journal of Social Sciences  vol: 50  issue: 1-3  first page: 133  year: 2017  
doi: 10.1080/09718923.2017.1311728