n Education as Change - Opening up spaces for learning : learners' perceptions of Mathematical Literacy in Grade 10

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In this paper we consider the perceptions of learning of Grade 10 Mathematical Literacy students in an inner-city Johannesburg school. Data collected from a questionnaire given to all Mathematical Literacy learners and interviews with a sample of learners confirmed that highly negative experiences of learning Mathematics had been transformed into highly positive perceptions of learning Mathematical Literacy across 2006 - the first year of the subject's implementation in schools. Our analysis of features that figured within this shift in learners' experiences led to the identification of contrast within the nature of tasks and the nature of interaction that provided openings for enhanced participation, communication, and understanding and sense making. In this paper, we argue that such contrasts appear to be necessary to break with negative prior experiences and further, that 'designing in' contrasts in tasks and interaction may be an important part of the message to give to Mathematical Literacy educators if they are to change the negative prior experiences of mathematics learning of many Mathematical Literacy learners.


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