Number sense levels of in-service primary school teachers in Chikankata district, Zambia.

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Hambale, Emady
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The University of Zambia
This study sought to assess number sense comprehension levels of In-service Primary School Teachers (IPST). This was a mixed method study where quantitative data was collected through a number sense assessment questionnaire. Out of 82 questionnaires, 69 were successfully completed and returned representing a return rate of 84%.Qualitative data was provided by six purposively selected teachers who were interviewed using questions based on number sense. The data from the questionnaire was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to come up with tables and charts and ideas of previous researchers on number sense were utilised to categorise the performance of IPST according to the four levels of number sense. One way ANOVA was used to determine if a significant difference in performance according to teaching experience period existed. To identify the strategies, each response from the interviews whether correct or wrong was coded as either number sensible or rule based. The theory of problem solving proficiency guided the study. The overall results of this study showed that IPST had low number sense with most of them scoring below the basic level when tested on number sense and no significant difference was observed on performance. Further, very few number sense based strategies were utilised and IPST were confident in answering questions that involved application of a rule. This study showed to what extent IPST possess the knowledge and skills that they are supposed to use for proficient teaching of numeracy. Based on the findings of this study, teacher preparatory institutions at primary school level to consider training teachers in ways that involves developing their number sense and that of learners. Keywords: Number Sense, In-service teachers, Numeracy
Arithmetic--Study and teaching. , Mental arithmetic.