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Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre

Background

The ongoing crisis in Mathematics and Science education in our country is urgently calling for drastic steps to be taken by the private sector and stake holder organizations like universities to address the shortage of skilled and motivated educators in our school classrooms. Interventions to counter the declining numbers of skilled employees who enter the Science, Engineering, Technology and Commerce labour markets are now more needed than ever before.

The situation became even more complex after the introduction of the NCS Mathematics and Science syllabi in 2006. This resulted in even greater demand on the already beleaguered cohort of FET Maths and Science educators in our country.

The Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Unit in the Science Faculty of the NMMU has recently developed two structured Short Learning Programmes (SLP’s) to address the shortage of Mathematical skills amongst in-service Mathematics educators at the FET level. These SLP’s are SAQA accredited (12 first-year credits each as part of a full-time BEd FET degree programme at NMMU). Each SLP module (Code PFEM) is offered part-time over a six months period. The focus of each programme is on mathematical content, relevant pedagogies and skills linked to the integration of technology in the 21st century teaching and learning of Mathematics in the FET classroom and have been offered with great success to in-service educators in the Eastern Cape province since 2009.

As part of this project, a series of interactive multi-media content have been developed for Mathematics teaching. These content are adaptive within a Windows and Android tablets environment. The model covers the compulsory sections of the new CAPS Mathematics syllabus for Grades 10, 11 & 12, and together with the use of the CASIO calculator in the classroom and a series of CAPS Mathematics Exam preparation videos series, form the T&L resource basis of the MATHSUP initiative.

Purpose and Objectives of the MATHSUP Model

The Short Learning Programme that forms part of the MATHSUP initiative has various objectives amongst which the main one are:

  • Train in-service educators to be confident and effective in teaching the content of the new CAPS Mathematics school syllabus for Grades 10-12;
  • Expose and skill in-service educators in the techno-pedagogical use of selected computer and related modern instructional technologies that support teaching and learning of the CAPS Mathematics syllabus in the classroom;
  • Skill in-service educators to interpret, understand and solve a range of Mathematics problem types linked to learning outcomes of the new CAPS Mathematics curriculum.

Each SLP is delivered over six months via a semi-distance model with designated face to face contact periods interspersed with structured assessment opportunities and periods of self-study. A typical SLP programme schedule included:

Core benefits to Educators

After successful completion of the MATHSUP, educators should be able to:

  • Teach the content of the new CAPS Mathematics syllabus with confidence and understanding to learners in Grades 10, 11 & 12
  • Use technology to generate their own teaching resources for use in the Mathematics classroom
  • Integrate the use of graphics software and calculator technology to teach and/or generate teaching resources for the Mathematics classroom

Groups of Maths and Science teachers across the Eastern Cape Province