Exploring female learners’ perceptions of learning geometry in mathematics
In this article we explore female learners’ perceptions of learning Grade 11 geometry. Many learners have difficulty in learning geometry in mathematics, thus, teachers and researchers are constantly searching for reasons why learners have challenges with learning geometry with the aim of developing suitable pedagogic strategies to alleviate these challenges. An improvement in female learner performance advances learners’ pass rates in mathematics, which has the potential to improve the economic status of South Africa. Data was generated from 1 secondary school for girls in the KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. Qualitative data was generated through the use of learner journal entries and focus group interviews. All generated data was coded and analysed using the NVivo software program. Employing Piaget’s constructivist theory as a lens to analyse the data generated, the article highlights that the participants (N = 30) held both positive and negative perceptions of learning Grade 11 geometry. Findings from this study suggest that if teachers wanted to improve female learners’ performance in mathematics, then important steps needed to be taken to alleviate learners’ negative perceptions of learning Grade 11 geometry. Some suggestions are provided.
Keywords: analytical geometry; Euclidean geometry; female learners; learning; mathematics; perceptions
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