'n Ondersoek na metakognisie in Wiskunde-onderrig en -leer met besondere verwysing na die senior fase / Martha Sophia van der Walt
Van der Walt, Martha Sophia
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Mathematical skill is viewed as critically important in a technologically sophisticated world. Since everyone needs to acquire at least some skills in this learning area, the poor performance of grade 12 learners raises concern. The process during which learners gain awareness of their own thinking processes when solving mathematical problems, is referred to as "metacognition". Metacognitive strategies include knowledge (of oneself as a learner, the task at hand and strategies to be used) and self-regulation (planning, monitoring and evaluation). Metacognitive strategies are linked interactively by its twin process of reflection, eventually facilitating the implementation of certain cognitive strategies. Since metacognitive strategies essentially comprise skills, facilitators of learning should facilitate learners' development and application of these skills and the study and mastery of mathematics in an integrated way, thereby ensuring that learners deliberately and intentionally apply these skills in a satisfactory way. It is important to note that "metacognition" is both directly and indirectly mentioned in the Critical Outcomes stated in Curriculum 2005 - after all, most of the outcomes referred to imply that learners should be directed to reflect on their own thoughts. The primary aim of my study was to investigate the possible value of metacognition for the teaching and learning of mathematics. I used a two-phased, consecutive, mixed research method involving learners as well as in-service and pre-service mathematics facilitators. Results of the quantitative part of my study were triangulated with the results of the qualitative part of my study. My findings indicate, inter alia, that learners' metacognitive strategies as regards prediction, evaluation, monitoring and reflection could be insufficient. In-service and pre-service facilitators of mathematics may very well possess metacognitive skills and utilise them intuitively, however, these skills are not implemented in their classes or learning to a satisfactory extent. Since this is a local study conducted on a relatively small scale, it would be inappropriate to infer. My findings do, however, suggest that implementation of and research on metacognition and metacognitive strategies in the teaching and learning of mathematics require attention at national. tertiary and secondary levels.
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