Mathematics teachers’ conceptual understanding of soft skills in secondary schools in Zambia
More details
Hide details
African Centre of Excellence for Innovative Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science (ACEITLMS), College of Education, University of Rwanda, RWANDA
Rwanda Polytechnic, Kigali, RWANDA
University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, TANZANIA
Publication date: 2022-06-15
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2022;18(7):em2128
Teachers’ conceptual knowledge contributes to the quality of teaching and learning of mathematics. The purpose of this study was to explore how mathematics teachers show understanding of soft skills and if they are aware of the methods that incorporate them in teaching and learning of mathematics. The sample consisted of 91 mathematics teachers, comprising 48 males and 43 females, who were purposively selected from secondary schools in Mazabuka district in Zambia. The parallel mixed design was used to collect data through a conceptual understanding test, developed using literature. Data were analyzed using JASP, SPSS software, and an excel spreadsheet. The findings revealed that the majority of mathematics teachers did not possess enough conceptual understanding of soft skills, and most of them were not aware of the methods and assessment strategies that incorporate soft skills. Additionally, mathematics teachers’ demographical factors such as age, gender, level of education and teaching experience were not found to have influenced teachers in the way they classified teaching and assessment strategies as very appropriate, appropriate, or not appropriate except in a few instances were gender and age had shown to have an influence. The study provides an insight into the needs of mathematics teachers to have adequate knowledge and preparation in the integration of soft skills in mathematics.
AlHouli, A. I., & Al-Khayatt, A. K. A. (2020). Assessing the soft skills needs of teacher education students. International Journal of Education and Practice, 8(3), 416-431.
Al-Mutawah, M. A., Thomas, R., Eid, A., Mahmoud, E. Y., & Fateel, M. J. (2019). Conceptual understanding, procedural knowledge and problem-solving skills in mathematics: High school graduates’ work analysis and standpoints. International Journal of Education and Practice, 7(3), 258-273.
Ananiadou, K., & Claro, M. (2009). 21st century skills and competences for new millennium learners in OECD countries. OECD Education Working Papers, 41(41).
Aworanti, O. A., Taiwo, M. B., & Iluobe, O. I. (2015). Validation of modified soft skills assessment instrument (MOSSAI) for use in Nigeria. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 3(11), 847-861.
Banda, M. (2016). Learner academic performance in both private and public schools: A case of selected schools in Kitwe district [Doctoral dissertation, University of Zambia].
Bicer, A., Chamberlin, S., & Perihan, C. (2020). A meta-analysis of the relationship between mathematics achievement and creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior, 0(0), 1-22.
Bisson, M., Gilmore, C., Inglis, M., & Jones, I. (2016). Measuring conceptual understanding using comparative judgement. International Journal of Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, 2(1), 141-164.
Bless, C., & Higson, S. (2000). Fundamentals of social research methods. Juta.
Blom, A., Cao, X., Andriamihamina, H., & Akinlawon, T. (2017). Job-ready graduates of secondary education in Botswana, Lesotho and Zambia: Reforming instruction, curriculum, assessment, and structure to teach vocational and 21st Century skills. The World Bank. https://documents.worldbank.or....
British Council. (2015). Unlocking a world of potential: Core skills for learning, work and society. British Council. https://www.teachingenglish.or....
Care, E., Kim, H., Vista, A., & Anderson, K. (2018). Education system alignment for 21st century skills: Focus on assessment. Center for Universal Education at The Brookings Institution.
CDC. (2013a). 2013 Zambia education curriculum framework. Curriculum Development Centre, MESVTEE.
CDC. (2013b). Mathematics syllabus (grades 8 and 9). Curriculum Development Centre, MESVTEE.
CDC. (2013c). O-level mathematics syllabus grade 10-12. Curriculum Development Centre, MESVTEE.
CDC. (2013d). Teachers’ curriculum implementation guide: Guidance to enable teachers to make best use of the Zambia education curriculum framework 2013. Curriculum Development Centre, Ministry of Education.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. Routledge.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education. Routledge.
Crawford, A., Weber, M. R., & Lee, J. H. (2020). Using a grounded theory approach to understand the process of teaching soft skills on the job so to apply it in the hospitality classroom. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 26(1), 100239.
Dawe, S. (2002). Focussing on generic skills in training packages. National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
Delinda, V., Amy, S., Christa, J., & David, H. (2009). Supporting the collaboration of special educators and general educators to teach students who struggle with mathematics: An overview of the research. Journal of Adolescence, 46(1), 56-77.
Dreyer, J. M., & Schoeman, S. (2003). Learning area didactics: Human and social sciences. UNISA.
Duffy, B. (2006). Supporting creativity and imagination in the early years. Open University Press.
Elder, L., & Paul, R. (2010). Critical thinking: Competency standards essential for the cultivation of intellectual skills. Journal of Developmental Education, 34(2), 38-39.
Farooq, M., & Shah, S. (2008). Students’ attitude towards Mathematics. Pakistan Economic and Social Review, 46(1), 75-85.
Fernández-Arias, P., Antón-Sancho, Á., Vergara, D., & Barrientos, A. (2021). Soft skills of American university teachers: Self-concept. Sustainability (Switzerland), 13(22), 1-25.
Frymier, A.B., & Houser, M.L. (2000). The teacher‐student relationship as an interpersonal relationship, Communication Education, 49(3), 207-219.
Graduate Student Instructor Teaching and Resource Center [GSITRC]. (2016). Teaching guide for GSIs learning: Theory and research. The University of California.
Hendriana, H. (2017). Teachers’ hard and soft skills in innovative teaching of mathematics. World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education, 15(2), 145-150.
Hidayati, W. S., Iffah, J. D. N., & Rafi, M. F. (2021). Soft skill attributes of high school teachers in teaching Mathematics. Review of International Geographical Education Online, 11(8), 2982-2998.
Hirsch, B. J. (2017). Wanted: Soft skills for today’s jobs. Phi Delta Kappan, 98(5), 12-17.
Huda, S. A., Ahmad, A., Himawan, H., & Azizah, A. N. M. (2021). Experiences of participants in teacher professional education on obtaining soft skills: A case study in Indonesia. European Journal of Educational Research, 10(1), 313-325.
Huss, J. A. (2006). Gifted education and cooperative learning: A miss or a match? Gifted Child Today, 29(4), 19-23.
IBM. (2015). IBM SPSS statistics for windows, version 23.0. IBM.
Ingersoll, R., Merrill, L., & May, H. (2014). What are the effects of teacher education preparation on beginning teacher attrition? Consortium for Policy Research in Education Research Report.
JASP Team. (2021). JASP (version) [Computer software].
Kaufman, J. C., & Beghetto, R. A. (2009). Beyond big and little: The four C model of creativity. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 1-12.
Kechagias, K. (2011). Teaching and assessing soft skills, MASS project report. School of Thessaloniki.
KICD. (2017). Basic education curriculum framework. Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Ministry of Education.
Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2008). Digital literacies: Concepts, policies and practices. Library Congress.
Lippman, L. H., Ryberg, R., Carney, R., & Moore, K. A. (2015). Workforce connections: Key “soft skills” that foster youth workforce success: Toward a consensus across fields. Child Trends.
Lomibao, L. S., Luna, C. A., & Namoco, R. A. (2016). The influence of mathematical communication on students’ Mathematics performance and anxiety. American Journal of Educational Research, 4(5), 378-382.
Marin-Zapata, S. I., Román-Calderón, J. P., Robledo-Ardila, C., & Jaramillo-Serna, M. A. (2021). Soft skills, do we know what we are talking about? Review of Managerial Science, 16, 969-1000.
Meir, B.-H. (2006). Concept-rich mathematics instruction: Building a strong foundation for reasoning and problem solving. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Minda, J. P. (2015). The psychology of thinking: Reasoning, decision-making, and problem-solving. SAGE.
MINEDUC & REB. (2015). Mathematics syllabus for advanced level S4-S6. Ministry of Education and Rwanda Education Board.
Morgan, G. A., Leech, N. L., Gloeckner, G. W., & Barrett, K. C. (2011). IBM SPSS for introductory statistics: Use and interpretation. Routledge.
Mulenga, I. M., & Kabombwe, Y. M. (2019). A competency-based curriculum for Zambian primary and secondary schools: Learning from theory and some countries around the world. International Journal of Education and Research, 7(2), 117-130.
NCVER. (2003). Defining generic skills: At a glance. National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
Ngang, T. K., Hashim, N. H., & Yunus, H. M. (2015a). Novice teacher perceptions of the soft skills needed in today’s workplace. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 177(2015), 284-288.
Ngang, T. K., Yunus, H. M., & Hashim, N. H. (2015b). Soft skills integration in teaching professional training: Novice teachers’ perspectives. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 186(2015), 835-840.
OECD. (2018). The future of education and skills: Education 2030. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Working Papers, 1-23.
Pachauri, D., & Yadav, A. (2013). Importance of soft skills in teacher education programme. IJERT International Journal of Educational Research, 41(5), 22-25.
Parks, M. R. (1994). Communicative competence and interpersonal control. In M. L. Knapp, & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (pp. 589-618). SAGE.
Piaget, J. (1968). Six psychological studies. Vintage Books.
Piburn, M., Sawada, D., Turley, J., Falconer, K., Benford, R., & Bloom, I. (2000). Reformed teaching observation protocol (RTOP) reference manual. ACEPT Technical Report No. IN00-3. Assessments/RTOP Reference Manual.pdf.
Pollitt, A. (2012a). Comparative judgement for assessment. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 22(2), 157-170.
Pollitt, A. (2012b). The method of adaptive comparative judgment. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, 19(3), 281-300.
Quieng, M. C., Lim, P. P., & Lucas, M. R. D. (2015). 21st century-based soft skills: Spotlight on non-cognitive skills in a cognitive-laden dentistry program. European Journal of Contemporary Education, 11(1), 72-81.
REB. (2015). Curriculum framework: Pre-primary to upper secondary 2015. Rwanda Education Board. https://mudarwan.files.wordpre....
Rittle-Johnson, B., Siegler, R. S., & Alibali, M. W. (2001). Developing conceptual understanding and procedural skill in mathematics: An iterative process. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(2), 346-362.
Schwab, K. (2017). The fourth industrial revolution. Crown Publishing Group.
Shah, S., & Udgaonkar, U. S. (2018). Influence of gender and age of teachers on teaching: Students perspective. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, 7(1), 2436-2441.
Silva, E. (2009). Measuring skills for 21st-century learning. The Phi Delta Kappan, 90(9), 630-634.
Simuchimba, N. N., & Mbewe, S. (2021). The nature of stakeholders’ attitudes towards female teachers of mathematics in Lusaka district of Zambia. Zambia Journal of Education, 6(1), 33-54.
Skemp, R. R. (1986). The psychology of learning mathematics. Plenum.
Spitzberg, B. H., & Cupach, W. R. (1989). Issues in interpersonal competence research. In Handbook of interpersonal competence research. Recent research in psychology (pp. 52-75). Springer.
Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for behavioural sciences. Library Congress.
Stronge, J. (2010). Effective teachers=student achievement: What the research says. Eye On Education.
Talavera, E. R., & Perez-Gonzalez, J. C. (2007). Training in socio-emotional skills through onsite training. European Journal of Vocational Training, 40(1), 83-102.
Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A. (2009). Foundations of mixed methods research: Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches in the social and behavioural sciences. SAGE.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills [P21]. (2015). P21 framework definitions.
Theodora, B. D., & Marti’ah, S. (2018). The difference of KTSP and Kurikulum 2013 implementation, family environment toward career choosing readiness. Dinamika Pendidikan [Educational Dynamics], 12(2), 159-169.
Umeghalu, E. O., & Obi, C. E. (2020). New teachers’ soft skills and productivity in secondary schools in Rivers State, Nigeria. European Journal of Education Studies, 7(1), 136-156.
van Harpen, X. Y., & Sriraman, B. (2013). Creativity and mathematical problem posing: An analysis of high school students’ mathematical problem posing in China and the USA. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 82(2), 201-221.
Webb, N. M. (2009). The teacher’s role in promoting collaborative dialogue in the classroom. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 79(1), 1-28.