An active learning strategy for addressing dyscalculia in a mathematics classroom
Mokotjo, Lindiwe Gloria
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According to the White Paper 6 (DoE, 2001:3), mainstream education should provide an equal and fair education to all learners, regardless of their abilities. In South Africa, there is limited information about learners affected by dyscalculia and about any interventions available for such learners. More research indicates that dyscalculia is as prevalent as dyslexia in the classroom environment. However, less research is done on dyscalculia than on dyslexia. This study seeks to formulate an active learning strategy for addressing dyscalculia in a mathematics classroom. The Participatory Action Research (PAR) method is the chosen method in the study to explore the effectiveness of an active learning strategy in addressing dyscalculia in a mathematics classroom. It also creates an awareness of an existing learning disability in a mathematics classroom. Critical Emancipatory Research (CER) is the theoretical framework that underpins the study because of its view to emancipate and award an opportunity to transform the lives of the previously oppressed, while maintaining the respect and dignity of those participating in the study. Participants in this study include individuals who are struggling to learn mathematics and simple numeracy due to dyscalculia, education stakeholders who are responsible for the teaching and learning of mathematics in a classroom, an education psychologist, parents of affected learners, and a local specialist in dyscalculia. The collected data are analysed, using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). In conclusion, two findings emerge – that there is very little awareness of dyscalculia in mainstream education and that an active learning strategy (AL strategy) is effective in improving mathematics performance for all learners, including learners with dyscalculia.
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