TEACHERS’ DEVELOPMENT OF LEARNER’S META-COGNITIVE STRATEGIES THROUGH MATHEMATICS PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE RURAL PRIMARY SCHOOLS OF THE EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA

S.A. Tachie, M.J. Molepo

Walter Sisulu University (SOUTH AFRICA)
It is an undeniable fact that acquisition of mathematical skills for problem solving is critically important in today’s sophisticated technological world. There is growing evidence that meta-cognition application is an important component of academic success in general and on mathematical achievement in particular. Teachers' application of meta-cognition therefore directs and reflects their teaching-practice behaviour which influences learners' learning with understanding (in problem solving). The purpose of this paper is to report on the progress of a qualitative research study on the extent to which mathematics teachers implement meta-cognitive strategies for the development of mathematics learners’ meta-cognitive strategies through problem solving in the rural primary schools of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Fifty-five teachers from twenty-three primary schools and 30 from Mthatha district participate in the study. Teachers are selected from twenty-three primary schools whereas learners from one selected school. The selected participants are believed to be information rich who can help answer the research question. Questionnaires were administered to 50 mathematics teachers for pilot study. Interviews are conducted with 3 teachers and 2 learners, and lessons are observed. The interviews are focused on teachers’ knowledge or understanding of meta-cognitive elements and strategies on mathematics problem solving. Observation is centred at teachers’ way of using meta-cognitive elements and strategies in the classroom and the way learners solve problems using those elements and strategies. The progress made will be reported with regard to the following aspects: the conceptual background, problem statement, theoretical framework, research questions, setting of aims and objectives of the study, literature reviewed, selection of the participants, ethical clearance, and data already collected. The preliminary findings will be shared at the conference. This include: teachers ability to prepare lessons effectively with meta-cognition knowledge, effective delivery of their prepared and refined lessons to develop their learners’ meta-cognitive strategies in their various schools, teachers use of meta-cognitive strategies lesson delivery to develop their mathematics learners’ meta-cognitive strategies as well and learners exhibit meta-cognitive strategies in solving mathematical problems.

Main research question: How does the use of meta-cognitive strategies in problem solving situations by senior primary mathematics teachers (SPMT) support learners’ development of meta-cognitive strategies through problem solving in the rural schools?