Date of Award
Master of Education (MEd)
Dr. Winston Massam
Institute for Educational Development, East Africa
Making errors in mathematics during learning by students is a common occurrence in our classrooms. Errors signal gaps in students’ understanding, competencies or knowledge that require to be addressed. Teachers employ a wide range of approaches to identify these gaps to provide interventions. The purpose of this study was to explore how teachers deal with students’ errors in mathematics during teaching and learning inside and outside the classroom in a secondary school in Siaya County, Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to understand how teachers identify, communicate and follow up on students’ errors and the challenges that teachers faced while following up on the students’ errors. This qualitative study used interviews, lesson observation, focussed group discussions and document analysis to collect data. Data analysis involved organising, coding, seeking patterns and interpreting data. The study's findings show that when students make verbal mathematical errors in class, teachers usually respond with verbal cues and questions directed either to the specific student or to the entire class. The findings revealed that teachers' communication of students' errors was provided in the form of verbal and written communication provided by teachers to learners to achieve various objectives regarding the errors made by learners. The findings also revealed that while teachers followed up on students' errors, they used a variety of strategies to help students correct and understand their mistakes. The study recommended that mathematics teachers need to re-evaluate their current understanding of students' mathematical errors, their causes, and their importance in mathematics teaching and learning, as this will guide their teaching strategies, which will greatly aid in improving learners' mathematical understanding since by examining and discovering errors together with the students, teachers develop in the students the capacity to identify, ascribe, and rectify their own mistakes.
Owala, John Robert. (2021). Exploring how teachers deal with students’ errors in mathematics: a case of a secondary school in Siaya County, Kenya (Unpublished Masters Thesis). Dar es salaam: Aga Khan University