Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Winston Edward Massam

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fredrick Mtenzi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Learners who struggle with mathematics may have difficulties in comprehending the core ideas in mathematics. The concrete-representational-abstract (CRA) instructional sequence of teaching allows teachers to assist pupils in making sense of numbers and the mathematical concepts they represent. The use of concrete materials is critical in the teaching of mathematics to young children; they are the major instruments that early childhood teachers use to train young learners in their mathematics classes today. To encourage the use of concrete materials in mathematics instruction, this research investigates how mathematics teachers use concrete materials in the teaching and learning of mathematics, as well as issues related to their beliefs about the use of these concrete materials in teaching mathematics, specifically, fractions in grade three, its effects on pupils' learning, and enabling and disabling factors. Qualitative research approach was employed with a case study of one primary school. Teacher interviews, classroom observations, document analysis, and a focused group discussion were implored to collect data on the teachers' and pupils' beliefs and attitudes about the use of concrete materials, as well as any challenges in those beliefs. It is worth noting that the research revealed that physical experience provided by these concrete materials helps learners to have a better comprehension of mathematical ideas, which serves as the foundation for their conceptual mathematical knowledge. Teachers who use concrete materials successfully create a mathematically rich atmosphere in which young learners may critically evaluate concepts and solve problems. The usage of these concrete materials encourages the start of life-long mathematics learning in curious young learners even though it still comes with a few challenges in its implementation like large class size, time constrains, and inadequate resources.