The Factors Influencing Learner Achievement in Geography Mapwork at Grade 12 Level

By Elbie Mwenesongole.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Most learners find Geography map work difficult and they perform poorly in Geography as a whole. One wonders whether this is the cause for the learners’ failure or whether there are other factors that contribute to the poor performance in Geography map work at Grade 12 level in the South African schools. In this study( 2003-2005), the factors influencing learner achievement in Grade 12 Geography map work were investigated. The investigation involved 208 research participants from schools in the Mafikeng District. The aim of the study was to find out the factors that contribute to poor and good performance of learners in Geography map work. The survey method was used to collect data. The questionnaires and interview questions for both the educators and learners reflected the learners’ achievement, school problems and how the learners’ performance could be improved. Observation was both participatory and non-participatory. These observations served two purposes: to establish the teaching strategies / methods used in the classroom, and to establish the classroom interaction between educators and learners and their influence on learner achievement. The findings reveal that most learners do not perform well in map work because they lack motivation in doing map work, they lack basic skills to map reading, and finally, they lack basic mathematical skills. The study also revealed the need for re-skilling and retraining for all educators involved in teaching map work in areas of basic skills to map reading and interpretation, basic mathematical skills and the importance of motivation.

Keywords: Learner Achievement, Learner Performance, Mapwork, Map Reading, Map Analysis, Motivation, Quantitative Phobia

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp.529-544. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.530MB).

Dr. Elbie Mwenesongole

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, School for Continuing Education, North West University, Mafikeng Campus, Mafikeng, South Africa

I am a Senior Lecturer and the Chair of Teaching and Curriculum at the North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, in the Faculty of Education, School of Continuing Education. My research interest is in Teaching and Learning Strategies, and also in Teacher Development. I am mainly involved in up-skilling and professionally developing in-service educators from diverse educational and professional backgrounds to keep up with the changes taking place in our Education System. I am also the chairperson of the Research Committee in my School and our Niche area is “In-Service Training and Supervision”.


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