Strategies Used by Grade 6 Learners in the Multiplication of Whole Numbers in Five Selected Primary Schools in the Kavango East and West Regions

  •  Alex Mbonabi ILUKENA    
  •  Christina Nyarai UTETE    
  •  Chosi KASANDA    


This research paper reports strategies used by Grade 6 learners in multiplying whole numbers in five selected primary schools in Kavango East and West regions. A total of 200 learners’ mathematics exercise books were analysed in order to identify the commonly used strategies by learners in multiplying whole numbers. A total of ten teachers teaching grade 6 mathematics were also requested to complete a questionnaire which required them to indicate the strategies that they employed in class when teaching multiplication of whole numbers. The teachers indicated that they used a variety of strategies including repeated addition, complete-number (Including doubling), partitioning and compensation to teach multiplication of whole numbers. The results also disclosed that the majority of the learners’ mathematics exercise books reflected the use of the traditional method of repeated addition contrary to the teachers’ claims. It was also found that a few of the learners used other strategies such as long method, short method and learner “invented” strategies. Additionally, the mathematics curriculum for upper primary learners (Grade 4-7 mathematics syllabus) requires learners to use paper and pencil algorithms to carry out multiplication of whole numbers without calculators (Ministry of Education, Arts & Culture [MoEAC], 2015, p. 2). However, at Grade 6, learners were expected to use paper and pencil algorithms to multiply numbers within the range 0-100000. Analysis of the learners’ exercise books indicated that the majority were not able to multiply a two digit by a single digit, a two digit by a two digit and a three digit by a two digit number.

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