n Journal of Educational Studies - Grade 7 teachers’ use of mathematics textbooks in small-group work : lessons from Zimbabwe - research

Volume 16 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1680-7456


This study describes how grade 7 teachers in Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe, a predominantly rural area, used the Step in New Primary Mathematics Grade 7 textbooks in small-group teaching. Limited research has been conducted on how grade 7 teachers use mathematics textbooks in this way. Social-constructivist theory and the pragmatic paradigm were used to ground the study. A mixed methods approach was taken, consisting of structured questionnaires (90 respondents), faceto- face interviews (six) and lesson observations (six). Over 52% of the grade 7 teachers in the province used the mathematics textbooks in small-group work in their lessons. Some of the tasks used were not suitable for small-group work, and in two of the six lessons there were no report backs from groups to the whole class. In order to develop the desired cognitive and social attributes in learners, teachers require competency to identify or adapt textbook tasks for use in small-group teaching. Teachers should devise more effective ways of allocating tasks to small groups and reporting on the findings from the groups in mathematics lessons.

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