### Browsing by Author "Jaffer, Shaheeda"

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- ItemOpen AccessA case study of the constitution of school mathematics for the deaf in three primary school classrooms.(2012) Dalvi, Rubina; Jaffer, ShaheedaThis dissertation presents an investigation of the constitution of mathematics for a group of deaf learners in grades 4, 5 and 6. These learners were taught in sign language on the topics of integers, time and fractions. Four lessons were observed and video-recorded. The lessons were transcribed from sign language to English.
- ItemOpen AccessFacilitating Online(2014-09-15) Carr, Tony; Jaffer, Shaheeda; Smuts, JeanneThe guide contains the course model, week-by-week learning activities, general guidance to the course leader on how to implement and customise the course and specific guidelines on each learning activity.Course intended for training educators as online facilitators of fully online and mixed mode courses. The Centre for Educational Technology (CET) produced a Course Leader’s Guide to assist educators and trainers who wish to implement a course on online facilitation within their institution or across several institutions.
- ItemOpen AccessAn investigation into the constitution of absolute value inequalities by Grade 12 students in a selection of Western Cape State schools as displayed in students' solutions to a baseline test problem(2016) Ward, Julianne; Jaffer, ShaheedaThis dissertation is an investigation into the constitution of absolute value inequalities in Grade 12 students' solutions to the problem 2x − 3 < 4 in a baseline Mathematics test conducted in seven schools populated by students from working-class families in the Western Cape of South Africa. This study is located within the general problematic of the constitution of school Mathematics in pedagogic settings and the methodology draws from a study by Davis (2013a) who examined Grade 11 students' treatment of linear inequalities. This study uses a grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss 1967; 1999) as well as Weber's (1964) theory of ideal type categories to organize students' solutions into ideal type categories through comparative analysis. The methodology also draws from Bernstein's (1996) notion of the pedagogic device and in particular his evaluative rule and recontextualising rule as well as methodology by Davis (2010a; 2010b; 2010c; 2011a; 2011b; 2013b) for describing students' mathematical activity in terms of operations, domains and codomains. The production and analysis of the data is in two parts: part 1 analyses the recontextualisation of the topic of absolute value inequalities in the field of Mathematics in the relevant curriculum documents and a selection of relevant textbooks. Part 1 of the analysis informs part 2 which analysed the recontextualisation of the topic in students' solutions using ideal-type categories. From the analysis of students' solutions to the test item, three different levels of categories using three different sets of criteria emerged. The first level categorized attempted solutions in terms of how the notion of absolute value was maintained or disrupted, the second level categorized attempted solutions in terms of how the notion of order with regards to the logical connectives was maintained or disrupted and the third level categorized attempted solutions in terms of how the notion of order with regards to the order relations was maintained or disrupted. The results of this study confirm the general findings in the literature which show that students' treatment of inequalities is heavily influenced by their experiences of solving equations- as evidenced by students who inserted an equality symbol into their solution of an absolute value inequality problem. Another finding in the literature confirmed in this study is that one of the most common errors in students' solutions to absolute value inequalities is related to their inappropriate use or non-use of logical connectives. One of the most striking findings of this study is that the majority of students immediately treated the absolute value inequality as a linear expression or as two separate linear expressions, suggesting that for most students, the notion of absolute value is absent in their conceptions of absolute value inequalities. This study also found that the majority of students' computational activity consisted of operation-like manipulations such as "switching" which reverses the spatial orientation of the inequality symbol under certain conditions, thus constituting the topic, absolute value inequalities, as a combination of basic arithmetic and "operations" on symbols.
- ItemOpen AccessAn investigation of what knowledge in valued and how it is communicated in a mathematics support course for first-year engineering students(2016) Rix, Renee; Le Roux, Kate; Jaffer, ShaheedaThere is longstanding and widespread concern that students find the transition from school to university mathematics difficult. There have been various practical responses to supporting students in this transition. Research conducted on these responses tends to focus on student perceptions and the impact on academic performance. However, research which explores the pedagogy implemented in support courses is lacking. Yet such research is needed if we are to understand what knowledge is valued and how it is communicated in support courses, which is an important first step in establishing whether these courses are replicable and whether they might indeed provide access to the knowledge valued in mainstream mathematics courses. My study investigates the implemented pedagogy of one particular mathematics support course for first-year engineering students. The pedagogy intended for the course is similar to the problem-centred approach (PCA), which is a competence pedagogy popular in selected white primary schools in South Africa in the 1990s. Critiques of school-level PCA - such as that it affords students insufficient "guidance" and that it is difficult to replicate – highlight the importance of understanding this support course's pedagogy. I made video records of one activity of the course in order to explore what knowledge the course values and how that knowledge is communicated to students. My theoretical framework is founded on Bernstein's (1996) theory of the pedagogic device, since it affords a language for speaking about the transformation of knowledge into pedagogic communication. I adopted theoretical tools from Davis's (2001; 2005) investigation of PCA at the primary school level. My study demonstrates the generalisability of these theoretical tools. Regarding what knowledge is valued in the course, I found that the central notion is problem solving. Problem solving serves as a vehicle for developing "sense-making". However, the notion of problem solving remains implicit since it is not discussed with students and students do not have an opportunity to solve the given problem independently. Regarding how knowledge is communicated, I found the implemented pedagogy to be a hybrid of Bernstein's competence and performance models. The former emerges in that much of the privileged knowledge remains implicit and the hierarchy between teacher and student is apparently flattened. The performance model is seen in teachers guiding students, both explicitly and implicitly. For example, they explicitly tell students to draw a diagram and how to check their answers. They implicitly guide students by modelling the problem-solving process and subtly positioning the students in complex ways. My results raise questions about whether students acquire the notion of problem solving in the course. Furthermore, the pedagogy identified may mitigate against students acquiring the sense-making disposition that the course intends to develop. My results bring into question the replicability of the course and how it may support students in their transition to university mathematics.
- ItemOpen AccessMathematics, pedagogy and textbooks : a study of textbook use in Grade 7 mathematics classrooms(2001) Jaffer, Shaheeda; Ensor, PaulaThis dissertation is concerned with a systematic description of the recontextualization of the practices of a textbook, Maths for all Grade 7 Learner's Activity Book, when it is incorporated into grade 7 mathematics teachers' classroom practices. In particular, the research described here focuses on the impact of the textbook on four grade 7 mathematics teachers' classroom practices. My study forms a sub-project of a larger research project which explores the impact of the textbook, Maths for all Grade 7 Learner's Activity Book, in 14 grade 7 mathematics classrooms. The research design of my study comprised two aspects: an analysis of a chapter from the textbook, Maths for all Grade 7 Learner's Activity Book, and an analysis of its use in classrooms. Data collected included a textbook chapter on measurement and the accompanying chapter in the teacher's guide, questionnaires (learner, teacher and school), teacher interviews, video recordings of observed lessons and learner notebooks. Drawing largely on Paul Dowling's Social Activity Theory and Paula Ensor's extension of this work in her study on teacher education, a theoretical model was developed for the analysis of data. The theoretical model was supplemented with theoretical concepts from Basil Bernstein's sociological theory of pedagogic discourse. While the model was developed in relation to the content and use of a specific textbook, the model can potentially be used for other mathematics textbooks or textbooks from other disciplines. Analysis shows that the textbook, which embodies an inductive, exploratory pedagogy, cannot on its own achieve learner's apprenticeship into mathematics, or teacher's apprenticeship into its privileged mode of teaching mathematics. The analysis of the teachers' use of textbook shows that in most cases, the privileged pedagogy of the textbook differed considerably from the preferred pedagogy of the teachers. Most teachers preferred a deductive pedagogy and used the textbook in ways which fragmented the mathematical knowledge presented to learners, reduced the mathematical complexity of the textbook tasks and consequently transformed the pedagogic intentions of the textbook. The research therefore concludes that the transformative role of the textbook needs to be accompanied by teacher development programmes.
- ItemOpen AccessPedagogic evaluation, computational performance and orientations to mathematics: a study of the constitution of Grade 10 mathematics in two secondary schools(2018) Jaffer, Shaheeda; Davis, Zain; Ensor, PaulaThis study takes as its starting point Bernstein’s proposition that evaluation is central to pedagogy. Specifically, along with many researchers who draw on his work, Bernstein claims that explicit evaluative criteria are critical to the academic success of learners from working-class families and low economic status communities. The research problem stems from a hypothesis, derived from the literature, that social class differences in learner performances in school mathematics suggest differences in the functioning of pedagogic evaluation, and therefore differences in what is constituted as mathematics, and how, in pedagogic situations differentiated by social class (e.g. Dowling). The contention of this study is that insufficient finegrained analyses have been undertaken to surface the computational specificity of what it is that constitutes evaluative criteria in mathematics education studies of pedagogy. The study examines the functioning of pedagogic evaluation in what comes to be constituted as mathematics by teachers and their learners, and in the specialisations of mathematical thought in pedagogic situations. The study set out to investigate the functioning of pedagogic evaluation in two schools differentiated with respect to the social class membership of learners. Two Grade 10 teachers and their learners in each school served as research participants. Methodological resources for describing the functioning of pedagogic evaluation in terms of the computational activity of teachers and learners derive from the work of Davis, which draws on a computational theory of mind (e.g., Chomsky; Gallistel & King; Spelke). Bernstein’s theory of the pedagogic device, with its focus on who gets what knowledge and how, serves as a general descriptive frame structuring the study. The analysis reveals the following: (1) the commonly used descriptions of evaluative criteria as explicit/implicit are analytically blunt and consequently mask the complexity of criteria operative in pedagogic contexts; (2) differences as well as strong similarities in the functioning of evaluation and, therefore, differences and similarities in what is constituted as mathematics are evident in pedagogic situations differentiated with respect to social class; (3) an orientation to mathematics that constitutes mathematics as computations on the typographical elements of mathematical expressions is common to pedagogic situations involving learners from both upper-middle-class/elite families and working-class families; and (4) greater variation and inter-connectedness in computational resources is realised in pedagogic situations involving learners from upper-middle-class/elite families than in those involving learners from working-class families, where computational resources are relatively restricted and weakly connected. The differences between the two types of situations appear to be enabling of greater flexibility in mathematical thought and action for upper-middle-class/elite learners, on the one hand, and restricting for working-class learners, on the other. The contribution of the thesis is four-fold. The study: (1) provides a methodology for exploring the complexity of pedagogic evaluation by describing the computations performed by learners and teachers in mathematical terms, thus contributing to Bernstein’s account of pedagogic discourse as it applies to the teaching and learning of mathematics; (2) contributes to our understanding of the structuring effect of evaluation on learners’ mathematical thought; (3) contributes to the methodological resources developed by Davis for describing the constitution of mathematics in pedagogic situations; and (4) extends analyses of the constitution of mathematics in pedagogic situations to those populated by learners from upper middleclass/elite families in the South African context, albeit in a limited way.
- ItemOpen AccessThe role of ICTs in higher education in South Africa: one strategy for addressing teaching and learning challenges(University of the West Indies, 2007) Jaffer, Shaheeda; Ng'ambi, Dick; Czerniewicz, LauraOne of the most common problems of using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education is to base choices on technological possibilities rather than educational needs. In developing countries where higher education is fraught with serious challenges at multiple levels, there is increasing pressure to ensure that technological possibilities are viewed in the context of educational needs. This paper argues that a central role of educational technology is to provide additional strategies that can be used to address the serious environmental and educational challenges faced by educators and students in higher education. The educational needs manifest in South African universities include addressing general lack of academic preparedness, multilingual needs in English medium settings, large class sizes and inadequate curriculum design. Using case studies from one higher educational institution, this paper shows how specific and carefully considered interventions using ICTs can be used to address these teaching and learning concerns. These examples serve to demonstrate some ways in which teaching and learning may be enhanced when uses of educational technology are driven by educational needs. The paper concludes that design of educational technology interventions should be driven by educational needs within the context of a broader teaching and learning strategy which requires buy-in of both educators and learners.
- ItemOpen AccessA study of the constitution of Grade 8 mathematics within the context of the Revised National Curriculum Statement in five Western Cape schools(2013) Arendse, Nicole; Jaffer, ShaheedaThis dissertation is an investigation into the constitution of school mathematics within the context of the Revised National Curriculum Statement in a selection of Grade 8 mathematics lessons in five working-class schools in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The study is located within the broad framework of the sociology of education, specifically drawing on Bernstein's (1996) sociological theory of education and his pedagogic device. This study focuses on the way in which the content of the evaluative rule of the pedagogic device is realised in the particular selection of schools. My theoretical framework relies on of the work of Davis (2010a, 2010b, 2010c, 2011a, 2011b, 2011c, 2012, 2013a & 2013b) and Bernstein (ibid.). These theoretical resources were drawn on to describe and analyse the mathematical activity in the five schools as well as serving as a means for generating analytical resources for describing the constitution of mathematics. In my analysis I present an account of the computational activity of teachers and their learners and the regulation of mathematical activity in fifteen Grade 8 mathematics lessons. I use these descriptions of computational activity to discuss the realisation of content against a general background of curriculum reform that has de-emphasised explicit use of formal definitions. I explore what mathematical content was recognised and constituted in relation to topics announced by teachers and use the mathematics encyclopaedia as a resource to ascertain the content that substitutes for formal mathematical definitions, axioms and propositions.