Teachers' strategies for teaching mulitiplication and division to grade 3 and 4 learners in Western Province,Zambia
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The purpose of this study was to interview and observe primary school teachers teaching multiplication and division to grade 3 and 4 learners in Western Province, Zambia. This was done in order to understand the strategies that they employ and to identify the challenges they may be encountering for possible curriculum enrichment in schools. Learning of mathematics is still a challenge to most of the learners in Zambia as evidenced from mathematics continuously recording poor performance over the years Ministry of General Education (MoGE, 2015) indicates that the overall performance in mathematics has remained low over the years and since 1999 the National Mean has remained below 40 percent for grade 5. Five grade 3 and 4 classes were conveniently selected, two class teachers for both grade 3 and 4 from the selected five schools (two schools from Mongu and three from Sioma). The two grades were chosen because this is the time when pupils begin to learn concepts and strategies to solve multiplication and division and assumed that strategies used may be the cause of low performance. The districts were convenient to the researcher. In order to collect in-depth information, interviews and observations were carried out and data was qualitatively analysed. The findings of the study suggested that teachers and learners had challenges in teaching and learning multiplication and division due to strategies used. This is because the strategies used have limited view as such they may have future challenges in learning mathematics because multiplication and division are key topics in mathematics education. The findings further show that most of the teachers introduced multiplication and division as repeated addition, regrouping and multiplication table was also used as a strategy when teaching. This gap created at this level might affect performance in higher grades. Despite the challenges observed, the study argues that there is potential to overcome these challenges and concludes by recommending; that teaching of multiplication and division should be done in a way that could build a strong foundation at grassroots level. For instance helping learners master the multiplication table especially for digits 0-9 is very critical in the learning of multiplication and division. A longitudinal research to prove the claim should be carried out and write books guiding teachers on how to teach for conceptual understanding.
The University of Zambia
- Education