Meta-cognitive Skills and Strategies Application: How this Helps Learners in Mathematics Problem-solving
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School of Mathematics, Natural Science and Technology Education, Bloemfontein, SOUTH AFRICA
Online publication date: 2019-03-05
Publication date: 2019-03-05
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2019;15(5):em1702
Learners’ problem-solving in mathematics is often problematic for both the learners and teachers and this needs to be addressed by applying relevant skills and strategies in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Meta-cognitive skills and strategies acquisition is vital for a learner’s academic success and particularly in mathematics problem-solving. The paper investigates the relevance of learners’ use of meta-cognitive skills and strategies in mathematics problem-solving. A qualitative approach was used, including a case-study design; observation and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. Four rural schools, four mathematics teachers and four learners from different schools (one from each school) were selected for the study. Content analysis was used to analyze the data together with verbal quotes that supported themes that emerged. The aim was to obtain condensed and broad descriptions of the phenomena. The findings revealed that learners’ use of meta-cognitive skills and strategies, such as task analysis, planning, monitoring, checking and reflection, self and group-monitoring skills, reading and writing skills, self-regulation skills (SR) and self-assessment (SA) helped them in mathematics problem-solving. The learners could also solve problems more easily through group discussions and thinking about their own thinking. Recommendations were made to benefit learners and further improve their use of meta-cognition for successful problem-solving.
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