South African teachers’ conceptualisations of gradient: A study of historically disadvantaged teachers in an Advanced Certificate in Education programme

Pythagoras. 2011;32(1):e1-e8 DOI 10.4102/pythagoras.v32i1.25


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Journal Title: Pythagoras

ISSN: 1012-2346 (Print); 2223-7895 (Online)

Publisher: AOSIS

Society/Institution: Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa

LCC Subject Category: Science: Mathematics

Country of publisher: South Africa

Language of fulltext: English

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Vimolan Mudaly (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Deborah Moore-Russo (Department of Learning and Instruction, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This study looked at how a group of South African secondary school mathematics teachers regarded the concept of gradient (slope). Results are reported from nine free-response items on a paper-and-pencil test administered to practising teachers who were pursuing qualifications to teach Grades 10–12 mathematics through an Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) programme. The findings suggest that teachers’ understanding of gradient varies greatly. A number of teachers in the study demonstrated very little to no understanding of this important concept, whilst others demonstrated a strong understanding of gradient and were able to conceptualise it in many different ways. Implications for teacher professional development are considered.