Exploring mathematics teachers’ practices in supporting learners with mathematical learning difficulties: (a case of a public secondary school in Bungoma county-Kenya)

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Veronica Sarungi

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Mussa Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Mathematical Learning Difficulty (MLD) is a common occurrence that affects a number of learners within classrooms. Learners with MLD exhibit profound difficulties in numeracy skills. These difficulties may be in some distinct mathematical domains and the effects spread to other subjects that may require numerical skills. Teachers‟ practices are pertinent in the intervention process from whole class teaching to support strategies targeting individual learners with MLD. This study explored mathematics teachers practices in supporting learners with MLD in a secondary school in Kenya. Research questions developed sought to find out the teachers perceptions about learners with MLD, considerations teachers made in planning for learners with MLD and support strategies that were used to remediate learners with MLD. The support practices were taken to encompass teachers‟ attitude, teachers planning and support strategies. A relationship of attitude, considerations in planning, support strategies and performance of learners with MLD was derived based on relevant literature review. An exploratory qualitative case-study design was used to collect data in one public secondary school using four mathematics teachers. Using interviews, observation and document analysis revealed that; participants identified learners with MLD by consistent progress monitoring, planned basing on the learners competences and utilized mainly ability grouping to improve the achievement of learners with MLD. In the groups, use of supportive resources and task analysis in formative assessment was used to support the students. However challenges that hampered the effective implementation of support practices included: inadequate skills in coming up with differentiated support activities in the large classes, crowded syllabus and time constraints. This study therefore recommends that, education policy makers should consider changing current guidelines on mathematics alternative B implementation. If every school had the option of offering both alternative A and B curriculum, it would ease the pressure on the teachers and learners with MLD.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library