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    The Pedagogy of Mathematics in South Africa: Is There a Unifying logic?

    Mathematics is a loaded term: society seems to divide between those few who experience sheer joy from the subject, and the majority for whom it is a phobia. Nations obsess about their ability to impart and absorb mathematical knowledge; global comparative studies on the matter are taken as grounds for national pride or shame. Post-apartheid South Africa has had its own share of self-flagellation, with much research into the reasons behind the country’s poor comparative performance.
    This book on the pedagogy of mathematics offers an overview of that research, re-asserting some of the findings of previous studies. These include evidence that the state of mathematics teaching and performance in South Africa today reflects the impact of its colonial and apartheid past, and a racist system that presupposed that keeping mathematical knowledge from the oppressed would prove their supposed inferiority. However, this book goes beyond historical issues to pose crucial questions: why at all do we teach mathematics? What is the subject’s actual utility to life? And there is a unifying logic informing our South African way of teaching mathematics?In seeking to answer these questions, the authors explore some of the best practices in mathematics  education, both locally and internationally. They argue for possible methods of nurturing mathematical thinking amongst young people in South Africa.
    Key issues to emerge are the importance of teaching mathematics in a way that links to learners’ concrete social environment, and the necessity for joint efforts on the part of government, unions and private partners. In addition, the study argues for the importance of teachers’ developing a deeper understanding of mathematics, and of creating learners with productive mathematical identities, capable of making sense of mathematics in South Africa’s diverse languages.
    The Pedagogy of Mathematics in South Africa: Is There A Unifying Logic is an important book for anyone interested in how to accelerate the slow improvements in mathematics that are underway in South Africa.​ 
    ​​To purchase the publication please contact Angela McClelland at angela@ste.co.za or 011 646 2844.
     

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