Approaches to Teaching Mathematical Computations: What Foundation Phase Teachers do!


  • Maphetla M Machaba Department of Early Childhood development, University of South Africa
  • Matseliso L Mokhele Faculty of Education, University of Fort Hare


This investigation emanates from the realisation that grade three children at schools in disadvantaged areas perform poorly in basic mathematics computations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The aim of the research was to establish the approaches teachers use when teaching mathematics computation. The qualitative approach, together with the research techniques commonly used with it, namely observation, interviews and document analysis were deemed appropriate for the investigation. The outcomes of the investigation revealed that the multilingual grade three classes made it difficult to assist all children who experienced mathematics problems because teachers could not speak all the other languages that were not the language of learning and teaching (LoLT) of the school. Another obstacle that prohibited teachers from spending adequate time with children with mathematics problems was the time teachers were expected to spend on intervention programmes from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) aimed at improving schooling in general. Teachers could not make additional time that could afford children the opportunity of individual attention. With regard to the approach used for teaching mathematics, this study established that the teachers used the whole class teaching approach which is not a recommended approach because each child learns differently. It is recommended that teachers use a variety of teaching methods in order to accommodate all children and also encourage children to use concrete objects.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n3p388


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How to Cite

Machaba, M. M., & Mokhele, M. L. (2014). Approaches to Teaching Mathematical Computations: What Foundation Phase Teachers do!. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(3), 388. Retrieved from




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