An Ethnomethodological analysis of learners' ways of working in a high-stakes Grade 12 Mathematics National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination: The case of Trigonometry
Simons, Marius Derick
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In South Africa the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination is the capping external examination taken at the culmination of twelve years of schooling. Levels of success in the examination offer examinees access to a variety of career options. High levels of success in the mathematics examination are a pre-requisite for entry into studies linked to so-called elite careers. However, performance of examinees in the NSC Mathematics examination is not of a requisite standard and only a few examinees achieve results that fall within the high levels of the achievement bands. In order to give mathematics teachers and others insight into performance in the NSC Mathematics examination, various forms of feedback are provided. One purpose in doing so is to provide teachers with an understanding of the examinees' ways of working in order for them to adjust their classroom practice to address mistakes displayed in the work of the examinees. The feedback provided is primarily of a superficial kind with the mere listing of such mistakes. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not it is possible to analyse the production of the responses of examinees in the NSC mathematics examinations more meaningfully.