Alignment and mismatches between Grade R educators’ views of their own practices and curriculum expectations in mathematics education: A reality check

Faith Nomathemba Tlou, George N. Shava

Abstract


Mathematics learner performance that seems to scar the South African education needs more attention and more detail in how classroom practice occurs. This paper aims to make a reality check of the currently obtaining situation regarding alignment or misalignment of practice and curriculum expectations. Data was obtained from fourteen Grade R classrooms taped and captured from a bigger project in the Eastern Cape. A series of four taped lessons per class were selected by the Grade R educators themselves which they evaluated to indicate their own practices using an adapted COEMET tool by Clements and Sarama to assess the quality of their teaching. A thematic analysis approach is employed in analyzing the captured lessons and interviews. The findings  of this paper reveals that educators view some of their practices in terms  fostering cognitive development, use of large and small groups, use of play in mediating learning and skill focused activities as well as their roles in initiating activities as being very much aligned to the Mathematics curriculum expectations. However there are some of their practices they view as a mismatch of the Mathematics curriculum expectations with regards to assessment of social, emotional and self-regulation skills, educator centred teaching and use of age inappropriate activities. The insights of the study make it imperative to invest in professional development for Grade R educators and are important in identifying the alignments, the gaps, and the mismatches that exist in the sector.


Keywords


Alignment, Eeducator practices mismatch, Professional development.

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References


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