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South African teachers’ conceptualisations of gradient: A study of historically disadvantaged teachers in an Advanced Certificate in Education programme

By Vimolan Mudaly and Deborah Moore-Russo


This study looked at how a group of South African secondary school mathematics teachers regarded the concept of gradient (slope). Results are reported from nine free-response items on a paper-and-pencil test administered to practising teachers who were pursuing qualifications to teach Grades 10–12 mathematics through an Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) programme. The findings suggest that teachers’ understanding of gradient varies greatly. A number of teachers in the study demonstrated very little to no understanding of this important concept, whilst others demonstrated a strong understanding of gradient and were able to conceptualise it in many different ways. Implications for teacher professional development are considered

Topics: slope, average rates, pedagogical content knowledge, common content knowledge, Mathematics, QA1-939
Publisher: AOSIS
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.4102/pythagoras.v32i1.25
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:526cee0221d9441bbeb7cf1fce91fad4
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