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Demographic profile and perceived INSET needs of secondary Mathematics teachers in Limpopo province

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Abstract:

The findings of a study on the demographic profile and perceived INSET needs of secondary Mathematics teachers in Limpopo province are described. The survey instrument employed was the Science Teacher Inventory of Needs for Limpopo province (STIN-LP). Most teachers who responded to this survey teach at a rural or township school, are between 20 and 40 years old, and have between four and ten years experience in teaching Mathematics. Standard 10 is the highest academic qualification of half of the teachers, with 67% of teachers having an M+3 as their highest professional qualification. Teachers indicated interest in all the 38 INSET need items included in the STIN-LP with motivating learners to learn Mathematics, using audio-visual equipment and applying mathematics to daily life of learners among the most important need. The least support was indicated, among others, for needs related to the history of mathematics, improving content knowledge, how mathematics is used in society, and teaching large classes. Poor communication of INSET activities was reported to be the greatest barrier to INSET participation. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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