Mathematics teachers' awareness of metacognitive strategies during the process of an adapted lesson study in the Intermediate Phase
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Mathematics education is a human activity that helps to develop mental processes in order to enhance logical and critical thinking which will contribute to one’s decision-making process and to solve problems (DBE, 2011c). For one to be able to do Mathematics, strategies should be generated in order to solve problems. The performance in Mathematics is very poor and educational researchers have identified various reasons for the poor performance in mathematics. Therefore, South Africa has developed an assessment tool known as the ANA, to determine the learners’ weaknesses in mathematics at national, provincial, district and school level (DBE, 2013). An approach research (in the South African context) was to explore Intermediate Phase Mathematics teacher’s awareness of their metacognitive strategy use. The main purpose of my research study was to understand, to what extent Intermediate Phase Mathematics teachers become aware of metacognitive strategies during an adapted lesson study process. To achieve this purpose, the study aims to investigate the teachers’ awareness of metacognitive strategies before and during an adapted lesson study process. Empirical qualitative research based on a design research approach took place within the interpretative paradigm. Descriptive data was generated by means of semi-structured focus group interviews and a reflective diary was held with double-medium participants who were selected. The data were analysed by means of content analyses which proceeded by using mind maps, where codes and themes were related to the literature. The results show that most of the teachers were aware of the metacognitive strategies, but it can be that they lack knowing when, where and how to use these metacognitive strategies as they do not plan their lessons on a regular basis. Teachers also feel more comfortable when planning lesson collaboratively as they feel that they learn from one another. In conclusion an adapted lesson study could be a positive plan of action to provide teachers with the opportunity to plan lessons collaboratively and reflect on one another’s’ ideas. Teachers can become more aware of their metacognitive strategies when planning lessons in order to implement these metacognitive strategies during their lessons. In this way learners could be empowered to become metacognitive (think about their thinking) and to reflect on their actions which might contribute to their performance of mathematics.
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