Unveiling problem-solving strategies of pre-service mathematics teachers: A visual and discursive exploration
Mzwandile Wiseman Zulu 1 * , Vimolan Mudaly 1
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1 Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Education, School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pinetown, SOUTH AFRICA* Corresponding Author


This study explores how pre-service mathematics teachers (PMTs) in South Africa use visualization and self-discourse to solve mathematical problems. Visualization is known to enhance mathematics learning, while effective communication skills are critical for teaching and learning mathematics, especially in contexts, where the language of instruction may not be the first language of students or teachers. By understanding the visualization techniques and discursive properties employed by PMTs, insights can be gained into how to improve mathematics learning and teaching. The study is informed by the commognitive framework and uses qualitative data from a purposive sample of 10 PMTs who participated in a performance test and semi-structured interviews. The study found that PMTs rely on mental visualization for simpler mathematical problems but use both symbolic and iconic visual mediators for more complicated problems. The use of language to engage in self-discursive activity during problem-solving was found to be key for successful visualization.


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, 2023, Volume 19, Issue 7, Article No: em2299


Publication date: 01 Jul 2023

Online publication date: 05 Jun 2023

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