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ERIC Number: EJ899558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1544-0389
Using Blended Learning to Facilitate the Mathematical thought Processes of Primary School Learners in a Computer Laboratory: A Case Study in Calculating Simple Areas
Naidoo, N.; Naidoo, R.
Journal of College Teaching & Learning, v4 n7 p79-94 Jul 2007
Primary school learners' first encounters with mathematics in a traditional learning environment often create lifelong "math phobia."(Papert 1980) The situation in a country emerging from an oppressive education system designed to educationally disempower the majority of the population is much worse. The typical scenario in a previously disadvantaged South African primary school is a classroom filled beyond capacity with the educator struggling to establish an effective learning environment. Thus the educator resorts to rote learning, drill and practice and "chalk and talk" methods of teaching. The individual needs and levels of learners are disregarded and blanket assessment methods are employed (Naidoo and Naidoo 2006b). Collaborative learning is minimal or non-existent. These traditional teaching strategies often disregard cultural and social factors, and pre-knowledge frames of learners. Furthermore there is a dire shortage of qualified mathematics educators in the South African schooling system. Therefore there is an urgent need for alternative teaching and learning strategies to address the teaching of mathematics in primary schools. The introduction of networked computer laboratories to previously disadvantaged South African primary schools enables the use of computers as powerful tools to analyze the thought processes of learners during their early encounters with mathematics. A blended learning approach using a networked computing environment and LOGO mathematics to facilitate the teaching and learning of area in a Grade 5 class produced significantly higher grades and an enhanced learning experience, both for learners and the educator, as compared to a second Grade 5 class utilizing traditional teaching and learning methods only. This study entailed the use of software to promote collaborative learning encompassing both learner-learner and learner-educator interaction. Apart from the educator using the computer as a medium of instruction via the software, learners were allowed to actively provide input. Furthermore the software allowed the educator to view learners' progress during activities and provide real-time input via the computer. (Contains 4 tables and 6 figures.)
Clute Institute. P.O. Box 620760, Littleton, CO 80162. Tel: 303-904-4750; Fax: 303-978-0413; e-mail: Staff@CluteInstitute.com; Web site: http://www.cluteinstitute.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa