n African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education - Additive relations word problems in the South African Curriculum and Assessment Policy Standard at foundation phase

Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1811-7295
  • E-ISSN: 2469-7656
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Drawing on a literature review of classifications developed by each of Riley, Verschaffel and Carpenter and their respective research groups, a refined typology of additive relations word problems is proposed and then used as analytical tool to classify the additive relations word problems in South African Curriculum and Assessment Policy Standard (CAPS) for Foundation Phase. Inconsistencies and errors within the CAPS are exposed. Two different typologies are presented in the CAPS: first 'compare, combine and compare' and then 'change, compare and equalise' problem types are presented. For the latter typology 'join' and 'separate' actions are imposed onto static situations. Rather than referring to the 'whole-part-part' structure which is common across all problem types, a generalised 'start-change-result' structure is imposed. This is both incorrect (static situations do not have this structure) and inconsistent with the articulated distinction between take-away and difference models for subtraction expressed elsewhere in the CAPS. In light of this analysis it is recommended that adapted curriculum guidelines are developed and circulated to Foundation Phase teachers, teacher educators and curriculum advisors. The refined typology of additive relations word problems may be used to underpin professional development initiatives for Foundation Phase teachers, and for structuring the setting of the annual diagnostic assessments at this level.

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