Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptions of Sense-Making in Word Problem Solving: A Case of Postgraduate Students at a University of Technology

Percy Sepeng


In this paper, I discuss teachers’ conceptions of what means to solve mathematical word problems that are connected to their daily lives. The role of social and cultural issues as well as participating teachers’ were explored in relation to their understanding of what constitute modelling in word problem-solving. The results presented here are part of a wider study that followed a mixed-methods design with the qualitative results informing the quantitative data. For the purposes of this study, data that were collected via administering a test and conducting focus group with few selected teachers from a University of Technology in South Africa are presented. The main finding of this study is that teachers demonstrated a tendency to relegate multiple modelling techniques when they engaged with mathematical word problem solving. Moreover, the manner in which the participating teachers made meaning to word problem task seemed to be connected to issues reating to both the language of the solver as well as that used in the mathematical word problem task.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n11p370

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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