The teaching of Euclidean geometry: a universal design for learning approach

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Thamae, Matheko Thabo
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University of the Free State
Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in supporting learners with extensive needs, disabilities and planning inclusive mathematics curricula. However, little has been documented about the effects of implementing UDL in the teaching Euclidean geometry. Hence the focus of this study was to explore the implementation of UDL to enhance the teaching of Euclidean geometry. Learners’ performance in Euclidean geometry had been a concern to all stakeholders in the education system locally and internationally. Several studies affirmed that the root cause of the poor performance in Euclidean geometry were the ineffective teaching strategies which resulted in teachers not meeting the needs of the learners in their classrooms. UDL is a curriculum framework designed to address diverse learners’ needs and create a conducive and enabling learning environment for all learners. The study was qualitative in nature, underpinned by social constructivism and adopted a participatory action research (PAR) as a research design. Data were collected from a team of five mathematics teachers with experience of more than ten years of teaching from Grades 8-10, the Mathematics HOD, the subject advisor, Mathematics coordinator for the senior phase, the Curriculum Education Specialist, and the UDL coach. The coach raised awareness about the diversity in classrooms and how the principles of UDL could be implemented to teach Euclidean geometry effectively. The lesson observations and focus group discussions were used as the primary data collection instruments. Data were generated through active engagement and discussion among the co-researchers using free attitude interview technique (FAI). The findings revealed that implementing UDL principles in teaching Euclidean geometry could make geometry content accessible and perceptible to all learners. This study could add to the body of knowledge as there was little documented about how UDL could be implemented to create inclusive and flexible teaching strategies for teaching Euclidean geometry and making the content accessible to the society of diverse learners.
Dissertation (M.Ed.(Mathematics Education))--University of the Free State, 2022
Approach, Euclidean geometry, diverse learners, universal design, universal design for Learning, universal teaching