Prof Marthie van der Walt completed both her MEd (2006) and PhD (2008) with Prof Kobus Maree (UP) as study leader/promoter. Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches are used in her research. Her research focuses on the possible value of meta-cognition for the teaching-learning of mathematics in the 21st century to foster self-directed learning (SDL).
It is impossible for teachers/lecturers to impart all the knowledge needed by a particular age group of learners, pre- or in-service teachers, or might need in the future and, on the other hand: when they are equipped with meta-cognitive knowledge, strategies and skills – that cannot become obsolete – they are empowered to become independent lifelong learners who have a language to think about their own cognition and have skills to manage their own thinking/cognition.
She also adapted the Study Orientation questionnaire in Mathematics (Maree et al., 1997) with which Grade 7 to 12 learners, their mathematics and guidance teachers could be introduced to basic principles of the effective learning of Mathematics and on the basis of which their attention could be drawn to the important role of the environment, circumstances and background in which Mathematics is learnt and in which success can be achieved. The Basic Mathematics questionnaire in Mathematics (Primary) (BM(P)) and the Mathematics Vocabulary questionnaire (Primary) (MV(P)) were designed supplementary to the Study Orientation questionnaire in Mathematics (Primary) (SOM(P)). Three instruments (i.e., the simple yet useable SOM(P), the BM(P) and the MV(P) ( or TriMATHS) that dispose of good psychometric characteristics and for use among grade 4 to 7 learners, were developed. TriMATHS is available in Afrikaans, English, Setswana and Portuguese (Jopie van Rooyen Partners Psychological test providers in Africa firstname.lastname@example.org)
She regularly peer-reviews manuscripts for publishing in national and international journals, and has published various articles and chapters in books herself nationally and internationally. She has also co-authored professional textbooks for school mathematics. She is/was study leader/promoter of several Master’s and PhD students.
She is/was project leader in several nationally and internationally funded research projects, for example an educational design research project: Using adapted lesson study to facilitate mathematics teachers’ meta-cognitive thinking skills (SANPAD project: 2011-June 2013). Her research also aims to contribute to theory building in Mathematics teaching and learning. Currently her focus is on metacognitive teaching-learning in higher education.