The State of South African Mathematics Education: Situating the Hidden Promise of Multiple-solution Tasks
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North-West University, SOUTH AFRICA
Publication date: 2020-11-28
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2020;16(12):em1921
We live in the challenging times of the 21st-century with the increased need for humans to possess specific skills that will help them to be successful in this era. This means that education should in learners, develop these skills effectively. Different global countries have begun to recognize the significance of multiple solutions tasks in the teaching and learning of mathematics in the 21st-century. However, this practice is not visible in South Africa. Hence, the current study explores and synthetize the sparsely available literature on MSTs to answer the question: What is the significance of multiple-solution tasks (MSTs) in mathematics education and why is it relevant for South African mathematics education to make the exercise of producing multiple solutions accessible to learners? The literature that is being synthetized here is viewed through the optic lens of the social constructivism theory as proposed by Vygotsky and explicated in Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger`s Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. In the conclusion I engage in an argumentation that illuminates the significance of MSTs in mathematics education and provide reasons why it would be beneficial for the South African mathematics curriculum to incorporate MSTs.
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