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Research ArticleOpen Access

An Assessment of Learners’ Engagement in Mathematics: Towards Building Mathematics Culture in South African Schools

Volume 4 - Issue 4

Bernard Moeketsi Hlalele*

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    • Department of Business Support studies, Central University of Technology, Republic of South Africa

    *Corresponding author: Bernard Moeketsi Hlalele, Department of Business Support studies, Central University of Technology, Free State Private Bag X20539 Bloemfontein 9300, Republic of South Africa

Received: May 07, 2018;   Published: May 21, 2018

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2018.04.001095

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Abstract

South Africa is the highest ranked emerging economy in Africa there being one of the most promising emerging markets globally. In the current highly technological economic world, mathematics education and mathematics performance are key resources in the global competition. This study used a modified Venn diagram model of student engagement to assess the level of engagement of learners in Mathematics. This study used a case study research design to assess the level of student engagement in mathematics. A sample of 80 high school leaners was drawn from grades 8, 10, 11 and 12. Responses were captured in SPSS and reliability was run whose results were a Cronbach’s Apha coefficient of 0.808, that is way above the threshold value of 0.7.

After grouping that was aided by scores and by deciles, the results showed that leaners are not engaged in mathematics teaching and learning. An ANOVA test was run between groups to check differences in means, the results showed a significant difference at 0.05 with P = 0,008471 < 0.05. A further test was conducted, this post hoc test showed all grades having equal means except grade 10 which revealed a significant difference with grade 11. This was however inconsistent with the performance levels these respondents obtained in their previous years. The conclusion was that all the respondents showed disengagement in mathematics teaching and learning. These results on the other hand are therefore consistent with the literature that shows South Africa far below other countries in global competitiveness in terms of mathematics. The study therefore recommends that authorities and all other relevant stakeholders adopt top-learner-performance countries such Singapore as shown in the brief literature review below.

Keywords: Learners’ engagement; Mathematics culture

Abstract| Introduction| Material and Methods| Results| Conclusion| References|