ORT SA senior mathematics facilitator, Julius Olubodun attended the 25th Annual National Congress of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA), which was held at the Edgewood Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pinetown from the 1st – 5th July 2019. The theme of the congress was “Developing Deep Mathematical Thinking through Mathematics Teaching”
ORT SA is an institutional member of AMESA and is actively involved in academic programmes of AMESA both provincially (called region) and nationally.
During the 2019 gathering of the congress, Mr. Olubodun conducted a 2-hour workshop for FET mathematics teachers and officials from the Department of Basic Education titled, ‘Constructing Trigonometric Reasoning’.
The feedback from participants was very encouraging. “ Trigonometric concepts become so visual through the activities and classroom practices that were demonstrated in this workshop” and “The weaker learners in my classroom have always been left behind when I teach through textbook approach, but the lesson I learnt from this session will help me to address the learning barriers of all learners in my classroom including the weak ones”.
Mr. Olubodun said he took away many lessons from the congress, including those from Professor Judit Moschkovich, mathematics educationalist at the University of California Santa Cruz whose research uses sociocultural approaches to study mathematical thinking and learning, mathematical discourse, and mathematics learners who are bilingual and/or learning English. “This will come in handy for me when helping learners in multilingual classrooms in our project,” said Olubodun. “Multiculturalism affects the learning and teaching of mathematics in South Africa.”
“Professor Zurab Janelidze of Mathematics at Stellenbosch University whose scientific work lies in the field of Category Theory with emphasis on “Reflection” as a basis of mathematical enrichment of students encouraged me to teach ‘thinking’ in my classrooms,” he said.
“Dr Vasuthavan Govender’s presentation on ‘Profiling of Mathematics Olympiad Learners’ provides direction for me to make use of profiling in order to make ORT SA’s intervention more impactful to individual learners,” he added.
“Dr Govender emphasises data collection, not only of learner’s marks, but examining in depth what each child’s skills are in certain areas and those that s/he may lack. This means drilling down to each and every learners’ capabilities and using that data for improving teaching in the classroom. It may be time consuming but if you want your learners to get their best results, individual profiling in depth is necessary,” explained Mr Olubodun.
Julius Olubodun and Professor Moschkovich