Primary Education in Crisis: Why South African Schoolchildren Underachieve in Reading and Mathematics

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Juta and Company Ltd, 2008 - Academic achievement - 162 pages
In the past decade, the national preoccupation has been on the crisis in secondary schools. Lurking behind the intractable problem of low pass rates, the dysfunctional schools and the small number of higher grade mathematics and science graduates is the calamity in primary education. Drawing on the work of researchers in a range of fields including psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, economics, the health sciences, and mathematics education, this book documents the depth and scope of the primary education crisis and provides a comprehensive and rigorous explanation of its causes. Primary education in crisis pulls together the wealth of research on health, poverty, resources, language and teaching as factors in academic achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. At the centre of the book is an analysis of the published studies that systematically document what teachers teach and fail to teach, and why it is that teaching is at the heart of the crisis in primary education. The author suggests that there are no quick fixes, but only hard choices and that, for reform to succeed, it must be evidence-based.
 

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Socio-economic issues play a pivotal role in the education of learners. As a society, we all cry about how bad maths is in South Africa but not much is being done to improve quality. I have written a book entitled "The Mathematical genius in You" to help kids, what have you done? Lets be proactive and do something. I also have a website www.mathsgenius.co.za which is a free maths help portal. Do something also. 

Contents

Health and underachievement
31
Poverty and performance
51
Expenditure and outcomes
78
Language and learning
98
Teaching and knowing
120
Evidenceinformed conversations
139
Bibliography
147
Index
159
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About the author (2008)

Brahm Fleisch is an associate professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the School of Education, University of Witwatersrand. As researcher, lecturer and former bureaucrat he weaves a wealth of richly-textured insights into his work.

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