n Learning and Teaching Mathematics - Mathematical proficiency and practices in Grade 7

Volume 2009, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 1990-6811


The evolvement of a mathematically literate society is one of the goals of mathematics education. One way of achieving this is by promotion of mathematical reasoning. RAND Mathematics Study Panel's (2002); Mathematics practices and Kilpatrick et al.'s (2001) Strands of Mathematical Proficiency provide frameworks for developing mathematical reasoning in our learners. Practices and proficiency can be achieved by exposing of learners to appropriate experiences in the classroom.

In this paper I attempt to investigate the extent to which the assessment standards in respect of different learning outcomes of the South African school mathematics reflect the tenets of mathematics practices and mathematical proficiency, with particular emphasis on Grade 7.
Each of the verbs that were used in describing assessment standards was classified according to the strand(s) of mathematical proficiency and / or practices that it promotes. The results show that conceptual understanding and adaptive reasoning are mostly promoted by the assessment standards with 37.3% and 24.1% occurrences respectively. On the other hand, justification 2.4%; generalization 1.2%; and productive disposition 0.0% are least promoted. These findings are discussed at the end of the paper.

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