n Pythagoras - An exploration of learners' theorems-in-action used in problems on ratio and proportion : original research

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-2346
  • E-ISSN: 2223-7895



The purpose of this study is to explore Grade 9 learners' understanding of ratio and proportion. The sample consists of a group of 30 mathematics learners from a rural school in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Data were generated from their responses to two missing value items, adapted from the Concepts in Secondary Mathematics and Science test set in the United Kingdom over 30 years ago. The study utilised Vergnaud's notion of theorems-in-action to describe the learners' strategies. It was found that the most common strategy was the cross multiplication strategy. The data reveal that the strategy was reduced to identifying and placing (often arbitrarily) three given quantities and one unknown in four positions, allowing the learners to then carry out an operation of multiplication followed by the operation of division to produce an answer. The study recommends that the role of the function underlying the proportional relationship should be foregrounded during the teaching of ratio and proportion.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error