Examining the Nature of Learning within an Afterschool Mathematics Club: A Case Study of Four Learners

Penehafo Kaulinge - Pohamba, Mellony H. Graven, Debbie Stott, Daniel Opotamutale Ashipala


This study examined the nature of learning within an afterschool mathematics club established by the South African Numeracy Chair project. This study sought to establish what sort of progress in mathematical learning occurred in a grade 3 afterschool maths club, using assessment instruments associated with the Learning Framework in Number. The study also sought to understand the nature and effects of mentor mediation in the maths club, using Vygotsky’s notion of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) together with the notion and practice of scaffolding. This study was interpretive in nature drawing on qualitative methods with some elements of quantification in relation to learners’ progression. The club consists of 10 learners of mixed ability (5 girls and 5 boys) at a township school in Graham’s town, South Africa. Learners in this case study were selected through purposive sampling. As part of the data collection strategies, the learners were interviewed twice in terms of their numeracy proficiency.The assessment interview results revealed that, in terms of proficiency in early arithmetical learning, all four learners showed progress after spending four months in an afterschool maths club. This study also recommended Wright et al.’s (2006) LFIN framework to be used in assessing learners’ progress in mathematics, as it could inform the refinement of instructional design within the school curriculum and teachers’ education in the Namibian context.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/irhe.v2n1p21


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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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