Students’ desires for high-level teaching and learning opportunities: Views of Namibian Grade 11 students observed to have difficulties in learning mathematics
This study focusses on the views of students in learning grade 11 mathematics in terms of their needs and aspirations regarding access to high-level mathematics teaching and learning opportunities. Students who participated in this study (88 grade 11 Namibian students) were identified as having learning difficulties by their mathematics teachers, but these students did not (themselves)consider that they had difficulties. The author attempts to understand why students believed they do not have difficulties in learning mathematics. A qualitative method was employed, and the students were investigated via semi-structured interviews. The transcripts were analysed using an interpretational analysis. This study revealed that students display interest in learning mathematics and that they tend to feel comfortable with the subject despite certain influencing factors. The students’ perceptions are that their learning processes were negatively affected by aspects of systemic factors, teachers’ and students’ own factors, and access to learning resources. The students feel that they lack high-level access to teaching and learning, and this limits their potential for achieving the level at which they are expected to perform and be academically successful. In addition to the implications that emerged, this study makes recommendations on what should be done to address the negative factors perceived by the students.
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