Multiplicative reasoning: An intervention’s impact on Foundation Phase learners’ understanding

Report on research undertaken to improve learners’ understanding of and attainment in multiplicative reasoning when solving context-based problems. The research site was a suburban school serving a predominantly historically disadvantaged learner population, and involved teachers and learners from three classes in each of Grades 1–3. A 4-week intervention piloted the use of context-based problems and array images to encourage learners to model (through pictures and diagrams) the problem situations, with the models produced used both to support problem solving and to support understanding of the multiplicative structures of the contexts. The findings of this study demonstrate that young learners can be helped to better understand and improve their attainment in multiplicative reasoning,