Die invloed van geskikte agtergrondmusiek op die studie -oriëntasie en prestasie van graad 8-leerders in wiskunde
Uren, Grethe Rachelle
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The poor performance in mathematics of South African learners in grade 8 is of great concern. This may be attributed, inter alia, to the negligence towards study orientation of learners in mathematics. In order to alleviate this problem, a programme of intervention that focuses on the improvement of the study orientation of learners in mathematics should be implemented at schools, with the aim of improving the mathematics achievement of learners. This study investigated appropriate background music as a means of intervention. More particularly, the effect of the background music on the study orientation and mathematics achievement of grade 8 learners was investigated. Study orientation comprises a number of aspects, including: the learner's study habits and attitude; problem solving behaviour; study milieu; level of anxiety; and information processing in the context of mathematics. These aspects are interdependent and mutually supportive. The utilisation of appropriate background music in the mathematics classroom is considered as a study orientation optimisation technique, which is in turn an important precondition for the improvement of learners' mathematics achievement. Appropriate music includes instrumental works of the Baroque, Classique and Romantic eras, with which learners did not have negative associations. The selection of the music was made by conducting a pilot study, prior to the empirical study. This study took place in grade 8 classrooms of two secondary schools in Potchefstroom. One school consist of learners from the "Afrikaner" culture. The other school's medium of education is English and consists of learners from different cultures. A pragmatic approach is followed using the mixed-methods sequential explanatory design. The pretest-posttest control group design is used in the quantitative research. A qualitative study took place by means of interviews, questionnaires and observations to determine the experience of learners with the background music and to enlighten the quantitative results. The influence of appropriate background music had a varied effect on the study orientation of learners. This variation of effect can be attributed to cultural differences and can therefore not be generalised. The background music had a positive effect on the study orientation of high performance learners. It also prevented further deterioration of the study orientation of low performance learners. The background music may influence the study orientation of grade 8 learners positively due to its calming effect, as long as the culture of the learners is taken account of during the selection of the music. The mathematics classroom should also be arranged with a good quality sound system and remote control.
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