Grade 9 Mathematics Learners’ Strategies in Solving Number-Pattern Problems
Erica Dorethea Spangenberg 1 * , Aphane Koko Pithmajor 1
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1 University of Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA* Corresponding Author


Many Grade 9 mathematics learners face difficulties in solving number-pattern problems due to insufficient exposure to strategies in solving such problems. The aim of this exploratory qualitative study was to investigate Grade 9 mathematics learners’ strategies in solving number-pattern problems. The problem-solving conceptual framework of Singer and Voica (2013) highlighting four indicators, namely decoding, representing, processing and implementing, underpinned the study. Ninety Grade 9 learners were purposively selected from three rural schools (30 from each school) to participate. Qualitative data were collected through a written activity and semi-structured one-on-one interviews. The study found that learners utilise four main strategies to solve number-pattern problems, namely (1) direct counting; (2) direct proportion; (3) recursive strategy; and (4) mental image representation. Knowledge about learners’ strategies can assist teachers in their pedagogies to teach number-pattern problems. The study adds to the research on problem solving, specifically pertaining to number patterns.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

EURASIA J Math Sci Tech Ed, Volume 16, Issue 7, July 2020, Article No: em1862

Publication date: 10 May 2020

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