Relating the teaching of mathematics to pupils' daily life experiences

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


In developing countries like Pakistan, learning mathematics in schools is considered to be different from using it in daily life situations primarily because, approaches to teaching and learning mathematics sometimes do not encourage pupils to see connections between the two. Therefore, pupils often find it difficult to solve their daily life mathematical problems inspite of studying mathematics for several years in schools. In order to explore, how can the teacher relate the teaching of mathematics to pupils' daily life experiences (DLE)?, I conducted a study embedded in qualitative inductive research paradigm, in one of the primary schools in the private sector in Karachi, working with two mathematics teachers and 86 pupils of grade 4. The study consisted of three phases (entry negotiation, pre intervention, and intervention). The main purpose of the study was to find out how concrete experiences from DLE can make mathematical learning less abstract, and help pupils see connections between learning of mathematics in schools and its use in their daily life situations. The ongoing process of data analysis and interpretation was based on the predetermined major themes related to the research questions followed by sub themes emerged from the data collected. The study identifies some of the major issues concerning the teaching of mathematics through pupils' DLE. One of the findings suggests that the use of pupils' DLE in the teaching of mathematics as concrete mathematical representation helps them learn mathematics with understanding. On the basis of the findings this study puts forward some recommendations in relation to the teaching of mathematics. With additional professional support, teachers can design mathematical activities from pupils' DLE such as shopping, sports and so on. These activities can be used to relate the teaching of mathematics to pupils' DLE ensuring the relational mathematical understanding.

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