An investigation into an afterschool intervention programme aimed at improving learners' mental computation skills

by Kwethemba Michael Moyo

Institution: Rhodes University
Department: Faculty of Education, Education
Degree: M. Ed.
Year: 2015
Keywords: After-school programs  – Namibia; Mental arithmetic; Mental arithmetic  – Study and teaching (Secondary); Mental arithmetic  – Study and teaching (Secondary)  – Activity programs; Mathematical ability
Record ID: 1481379
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10962/d1017352


This case study centres round an afterschool intervention programme aimed at enhancing mental computation skills of Grade 8 learners at a secondary school in the Erongo educational region of Namibia. Nine research participants took part in the study, and the mental computational strategies exhibited by these participants constitutes the unit of analysis. The study is anchored within an interpretive paradigm and is theoretically underpinned by constructivist epistemology. Kilpatrick, Swafford and Findell’s (2001) model of mathematical proficiency provides the conceptual framework supporting the study. The research was carried out in four sequential phases – an initial pre-test, the intervention itself, a follow-up post-test, and a focus group discussion. The study highlights the underdevelopment of mental computation skills and the associated lack of appropriate mental computational strategies in secondary school learners. It is recommended that appropriate time within the school curriculum be allocated for the development of learners’ mental computation skills.