A Comparative Study of Students' Mathematics Knowledge in the Foundation Phase Programme
Abstract: The Paper reports on the results of the Primary Teacher Education Project mathematics assessment, which was administered to the first and fourth year students at a university in South Africa. An online test was administered to 232 first-year and 84 fourth-year preservice students on the foundation phase course. The first years wrote the test in the first semester of 2018 and the fourth years wrote in the second semester. The aim of the paper was to compare the performance of the students, and to determine whether there was any change in performance, or improvement of content and pedagogy, as students move from year 1 to year 4. To achieve this aim, the study was conducted using a quantitative approach, where online questionnaires were administered to the selected students. The comparison of the descriptive statistics of the results of the first-year group, fourth-year group in 2018 at the same university yielded disappointing results, with a very large difference in results, and poor performance. The first-year students achieved an average score of 55.26%, compared to 25.3% average of the fourth-year group. In terms of mathematics content, the first-year students performed better in all the content areas. Recommendations were made to the findings.