TEACHERS AND STUDENTS VIEWS PERTAINING TO THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SCHOOL GEOMETRY IN BOTSWANA JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Geometry is one of the mathematical strands offered in school mathematics. Through the learning of geometry concepts students develop problem solving skills and become critical thinkers. Unfortunately performance on geometry questions by Botswana students is not good as shown by their performance in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2003, 2007 and 2011. Good performance in geometry is very crucial because it is linked to other mathematical content and is a foundation of many science based careers. Mathematics teachers need to have the appropriate content and pedagogy in teaching geometry concepts. By so doing they will be able to explain the geometry concepts and select appropriate teaching methods. The use of dynamic geometry has been found to increase students’ understanding of geometric concepts by making them ‘less abstract’. Thus it should be incorporated in the teaching and learning of geometry concepts. This study sought to explore the challenges that teachers and students encounter in the teaching and learning of geometry concepts. Data was collected from form 3 students (n=198) and mathematics teachers (n=18). The data was collected using questionnaires (closed and open questions) and focus group interviews. The data from the closed questions was analyzed using SPSS and reported as frequencies. As for the interview questions they were analyzed by searching for common responses from the respondents which led to the development of themes. The results of the analyzed data indicate that indeed there are challenges faced by both teachers and students. They include shortage of resources and application of pedagogical content knowledge. The study recommends, in addition to others, that teacher training in the colleges of education should increase geometry content knowledge and incorporate use of dynamic geometry software.