Project information

Training maths teachers to beat poverty in Africa

To give more young South Africans a good education and better opportunities in life, AIMSSEC trains mathematics teachers and supports them in sharing ideas and resources with other teachers. There is an urgent demand for training as many under-qualified teachers have to teach mathematics.

January 2015 - December 2015

Charity information: African Institute for Mathematical Sciences - Next Einstein Initiative - Foundation, UK

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences - Next Einstein Initiative - Foundation, UK logo
  • Need

    Need

    Many South African mathematics teachers have below-basic levels of content knowledge, with high proportions of teachers unable to answer questions aimed at their pupils. On the premise that teachers cannot teach what they do not know or understand, the objective of our intervention is to raise the subject knowledge and didactical skills of primary and secondary mathematics teachers, which will lead to improvement in learner performance.

    Solution

    AIMSSEC develops expert mathematics teachers through a blended learning approach designed specifically for teachers in rural areas. Our model consists of intensive residential courses during school holidays, distance learning with online/mobile forums, assignments and teaching via the satellite TV network. Learning is through guided discovery, with an emphasis on understanding, mathematical thinking, discussion, collaborative learning and challenges rather than just mechanical practice.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    1. Improve teaching quality - increased content & pedagogical knowledge; conceptual understanding

    Activities

    » 1. Train 150 teachers on our 3-month Mathematical Thinking short course
    » 2. Train 25 subject advisers on key content area short course Modelling Probability & Statistics
    » 3. Train 25 subject advisers on key content area short course Geometry Measures and Applications
    » 4. Train 25 subject advisers on key content area short course Number, Functions & Algebra.

    We hope that 70 % of the teachers will pass the different courses and apply what they have learnt in their daily work.


    Aim 2

    Support teachers help each other via the AIMING HIGH Teacher Network http://aiminghigh.aimssec.org

    Activities

    » • more support in their work; • improved access to resources; • access to a network of fellow teachers

    Summative assessment on the course consists of a written test and two assignments; the marks for the test and two assignments combine to form the final mark


    Aim 3

    Develop professionally

    Activities

    » • becoming lifelong learners, and • progress to advanced studies.

    We hope that 70 % of the teachers will pass the different courses and apply what they have learnt in their daily work.


  • Impact

    Impact

    AIMSSEC courses include pedagogy in the form of work integrated learning. The modules include teacher-led workshops, which give teachers the skills to train other teachers and to become life-long reflective practitioners. ICT training starts from basic IT competency and develops skills in using technology in teaching. Language issues are covered in all modules, helping teachers to become comfortable in assisting their students to use mathematical terminology correctly and fluently.

    Risk

    AIMSSEC trains teachers from disadvantaged communities and needs to provide bursaries to be able to invite those teachers to attend the courses. AIMSSEC risks planning courses and not being able to raise the necessary funding. A lot of effort goes into fundraising and AIMSSEC receives some funding from government.. An international team of over 50 mathematics education experts teach without pay on AIMSSEC courses and AIMSSEC admits teachers from richer schools who do pay for the courses.

    Reporting

    Donors to this project will receive quarterly reports via email detailing numbers of attendance and numbers who pass the course.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £103,960

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £69,460 MT Course + Bursary 150 X 460= 69000, + 460 Bursary
      £11,500 Modelling Probability & Statis 25 X 460 = 11 500
      £11,500 Geometry Measures and Applicat 25 X 460 = 11 500
      £11,500 Number, Functions & Algebra 25 X 460 = 11 500
  • Background

    Location

    AIMSSEC is based in Muizenberg, South Africa, from which we run the distance learning courses. Stellenbosch High School is our training venue for residential courses. The school provides classrooms, sleeping accommodation and food. Lecturers and students all share the same accommodation. Teachers come from deep rural areas from all over South Africa to attend the courses in Stellenbosch.

    Beneficiaries

    The direct beneficiaries will be the teachers who attend the courses, but when they return to their communities they will influence their colleagues and their learners, not just in the first year, but in subsequent generations. This project will train 75 subject advisers who work for local government so many hundreds of other teachers and learners will benefit each year.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The courses are taught at a high level by an international team of unpaid maths education experts. The courses have been run 22 times since 2004 for 1240 students from all S. African provinces. The waiting list has over 400 applicants for bursaries. AIMSSEC graduates have reported record improvements in the matriculation grades of their learners. Local government education departments have confidence in AIMSSEC and pay for some students but expect their funding to be matched by other donations.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Dr Barrie Barnard

    Barrie has 32 years teaching experience as a mathematics teacher, 5 years’ experience as AIMSSEC Academic Manager designing training course materials

    Mrs Toni Beardon

    Toni founded AIMSSEC as a volunteer and the Cambridge University NRICH Project. Toni has 50 years experience and received an OBE for services to Maths

    Ms Sinobia Kenny

    Sinobia has 19 years experience as a mathematics teacher and education consultant in primary and secondary schools in the Cape Flats and in London

    Ms Lindiwe Tshuma

    Lindiwe has primary and secondary experience as a mathematics teacher and education consultant in Zimbabwe and South Africa and masters in linguistics