Twinned Teachers’ Mathematical Discourse Using Problem-Solving
Tšhegofatšo Phuti Makgakga
Department of Mathematics Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
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algebraic word problems
learner performance
mathematical discourse
problem solving

How to Cite

Makgakga, T. (2023). Twinned Teachers’ Mathematical Discourse Using Problem-Solving. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 6(2), 138-157.


Discussing and debating mathematical ideas through integrating natural and mathematical language is vital for conceptual understanding and ultimately for learner performance. In schools with low performance, it is likely that teaching mathematics follows an approach largely involving rote learning. In rural Limpopo where schools are isolated, professional development takes the form of twinning, where a well-functioning school twins with a school in need. In this study two teachers twinned to teach algebraic word problems to Grade 11 to improve learner performance through a problem-solving approach. A central aspect of the study was attention to discourse informed by the commognitive framework, where both natural language (learners home language and the language of instruction) and language of mathematics spoken by the teachers and encouraged in the learners, was the focus.  This quasi-experimental design was implemented to examine the effect of the twinned teachers discourse in a class where English, the language of instruction, was a second language. In the study a pre-test and post-test were administered to the experimental group of 34 learners, and to a comparison group of 40 learners. The study aimed at testing the hypothesis that the twinned mathematics teachers’ discourse using a problem-solving approach informed by the commognitive framework has a significant effect on learner performance in algebraic word problems. In summary, using the commognitive framework in implementing problem-solving approach with the twinned teachers’ mathematical discourse had significant effect in improving learner performance of algebraic word problems in the target group.

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