Exploring the use of assessment for learning in the mathematics classroom

Keywords: assessment for learning, mathematics, Grade 6, teachers, transformative learning


The study explored mathematics teachers’ use of assessment for learning (AfL) to create a classroom culture that responds to learners’ acquisition of knowledge in classrooms in Alexandra Township, South Africa. Within an interpretivist paradigm this study was guided by a qualitative approach, using a case study design. Nine Grade 6 primary school mathematics teachers were purposively selected for face-to-face semi-structured interviews to determine their understanding of AfL practices. Thereafter, participants were observed on their use of assessment for learning. Subsequently, documents were analysed. The findings revealed that mathematics teachers have an understanding AfL and that they depend on textbooks for AfL activities, which do not always take learners’ contexts into account. The study revealed AfL challenges because teachers teach mathematics in a language other than learners’ home language. Lastly, the study revealed the need for teachers’ pedagogical knowledge in using AfL practices to create an environment that responds to learners’ needs.

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