The effectiveness of computer-aided teaching on the quality of learning geometric concepts by grade 7 learners at a selected primary school in KwaZulu-Natal
MetadataShow full item record
The emphasis of geometry is of such significance that the current National Curriculum Statement has included the learning of two-and three-dimensional shape from grade R. However it is observed that teachers rely on textbooks for their knowledge of a dynamic topic such as nets of solids. Learners do not have an opportunity to explore the different orientations of solid shapes. Not many teachers use technology to assist their pedagogy. Quality processes in mathematics education emphasise the use of technology in teaching and learning. A study was performed using “Poly”, which is free open-source software for mathematics teaching and learning. This software was chosen because it was an easy to use application. It was able to show the different orientations of the solid shapes. Three-dimensional geometry can be explored using this software. The research is based on a social constructivist view of learning and the methodology used is a case study. The Piagetian and van Hiele stages of development will be the basis of the researcher’s investigation. Piaget’s theory is based on age development whilst van Hiele alludes to the different stages of geometrical development. A control group was compared to the experimental group consisting of 20 learners each. The research was conducted in KwaZulu-Natal and involved a teacher with a class of 40 learners. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected and were analysed. The data consisted of classroom observations and learner questionnaires and interviews. The findings of this study affirm that the use of technology in the teaching of geometry can enhance conceptual understanding. Classroom management breaks from routine while using Poly. Poly has the potential to improve learners' educational experiences; it can enable the effective application of constructive, cognitive and collaborative models of learning. Poly is not just a mathematical tool but also a tool for thinking and helping to enhance learners’ learning. It can serve as a vehicle for helping learners to foster fundamental geometrical concepts. The assessment of the use of computers in mathematics by the learners of the experimental classes indicates that application of computers enables increasing the interest of the learners in mathematics and introduces more variety to the studies, making them more enjoyable and interesting.