Cape Teaching & Leadership Institute

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Course detail

Foundation Phase Addressing Barriers to learning Mathematics - THIS COURSE IS STILL OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS, SO APPLY TO ATTEND IT.

20 - 31 May 2019 (Applications close 06 May 2019)
This course is for:
Grade 1 - 3 Mathematics Deputy Principals, Heads of Department, Principals, Teachers
About this Course

Foundation Phase Addressing Barriers to Learning Mathematics (Grade R - 3)




This course is a follow up on Mathematics content course, only teachers who completed that course qualify to apply, and with the exception of Learning support teachers and special schools teachers.

What are barriers to learning?


Barriers to learning and development often refer to the challenges faced by learners during the learning process as a result of a broad range of experiences in the classroom, at school, at home, in the community and/or due to health conditions or a disability. These factors may lead to the inability of the system to accommodate diversity and cause learning and development to collapse or it can prevent learners’ access to education (Dept. of Education, 1997:12; 2014:13).  


These barriers to learning manifest in different ways and only become obvious when learning breakdown occurs or when learners “drop out” of the system.


All barriers to learning and development should be addressed in our classrooms and schools as outlined in Education White Paper 6: Special Needs Education of July 2001.


This course will therefore cover the following content areas, specifically looking at barriers to learning that present within each area.


  • The aim of this module is to create awareness about factors that create barriers to teaching and learning. Participants explore extrinsic and intrinsic barriers to learning that present in their classrooms as well as strategies to support learners.
  • The aim of this module is to unpack number concept development in the Foundation Phase. Participants are exposed to activities which enhance their understanding of difficulties learners experience with the development of number concepts and basic calculations. Strategies to support struggling and gifted learners are suggested and activities developed during the sessions.
  • This module explores the importance of teaching and learning about patterns. Participants engage in practical activities to enhance their understanding of patterns and relationships. They investigate and create patterns for slow and bright learners.

  • This module aims to explore the difficulties learners experience with space and shape. Participants develop a deeper understanding of the difficulties learners have in acquiring the correct mathematical language to communicate their ideas. They understand the importance of building, constructing and manipulating concrete material. Challenging activities for slower and gifted learners are developed.

  • This module aims to enhance participants’ understanding of all aspects of measurement. They discover why the teaching and learning of measurement is important and why certain concepts such as time are difficult for young learners to grasp. Participants are exposed to ideas and examples of interesting practical activities. They examine which of these are suitable interventions to meet the needs of both struggling and bright learners.

  • This module will expose participants to the key points that learners need to know about data handling in the Foundation Phase. They explore the different types of graphs and use strategies and resources that will help learners overcome difficulties in representing and analysing data.
  • The course will clearly outline the barriers to understanding these concepts and being able to bridge the gap between words and numbers. Focus areas will include visual discrimination, visual memory and auditory discrimination. Teachers will explore the use of concrete objects such as counters, dominoes, building blocks, playing cards, puzzles, marbles, abacus, beads, snakes and ladders and pictures to help the learners make a connection between theory and practice. Some children do better when they can touch, move and set up the objects that represent the problem.


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Lumka Ndlungwana