Working with a mathematics teacher in a primary school in Pemba to improve the teaching and learning process of place value concept

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Peter Kajoro

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Anjum Halai

Third Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Joseph C. Oonyu


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This study was an action research which inquired into how I worked with a class two mathematics teacher to improve teaching and learning process of place value concepts. The study was conducted in a primary school in Pemba. The participants of this study were grade two pupils and one grade mathematics teacher. At the reconnaissance stage the study found that the mathematics teacher did not fully understand the “place value” concepts and that her teaching was teacher centered. Secondly, the study established that instruction was through instrumental understanding since she used limited manipulatives and relied on traditional algorithms. Based on these findings intervention was planned in an attempt to overcome these challenges the mathematics teacher faced. This was done by introduction of constructivists learning approaches through cooperative learning model, using of relevant materials and learning for relational understanding. Post intervention findings indicated that the use constructivist approach through cooperative learning, using relevant manipulatives and teaching through relational understanding improved understanding of learning and teaching of place value concept. The indicators of improvement of the teaching and learning process were evident by: Firstly, the mathematics teacher and pupils were able to use various types of manipulatives to solve different types of mathematical operations. Secondly, mathematics teacher changed her style of teaching from teacher centered into student centered. Finally, pupils and mathematics teacher were able to solve various arithmetic operation using alternate algorithms.

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