Researching Values in Mathematical Literacy: Trials and Impediments

Sheena Rughubar-Reddy

Abstract


This paper is part of a qualitative study that was conducted with Grade 10 students in three schools in Cape Town, South Africa, exploring the possible integration of values into mathematical literacy classrooms in mainstream secondary schools. Although values lie at the heart of every learning area, they are seldom explicitly expressed in the Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy classrooms. Curriculum 2005 requires educators to instil in learners knowledge, skills and values. The Critical Outcomes require learners to be able to work effectively as a team, organization or a community, while the Developmental Outcomes seek to produce responsible and sensitive citizens. Vital to this development, are the values that give meaning to the individual’s spiritual and intellectual journey. This paper outlines the methodological difficulties encountered in researching the values that learners extract from their Mathematical Literacy lessons. A crucial issue that emerged was the reduced involvement of the teachers from the equation as they form an integral part of any lesson. Another challenge was finding an appropriate and shared vocabulary to discuss the types of values. I reflect on the differences in culture and personal value systems that have emerged, despite the fact that these were all schools in Cape Town.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n23p1413


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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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