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ACEMaths

The aim of the Saide ACEMaths project was to pilot a collaborative process for the selection, adaptation and use of OER materials for teacher education programmes in South Africa. A research article on the project entitled Collaborative Design and Use of Open Educational Resources: A Case Study of a Mathematics Teacher Education Project in South Africa by Ingrid Sapire and Yvonne Reed was published in Distance Education vol. 32 no. 2 August 2011. Our reflective report provides information on how the project was conceptualised and managed.

The units were adapted from a module entitled Learning and Teaching of Intermediate and Senior Mathematics, produced in 2006 as one of the study guide for UNISA’s Advanced Certificate in Education programme. The module is divided into six units which can be studied separately, but should be read together to provide comprehensive guidance. The solutions unit consists of general points for discussion relating to the teaching of the mathematical content in the activities. Step-by-step mathematical solutions to the activities. Annotations to the solutions to assist teachers in their understanding the maths as well as teaching issues relating to the mathematical content represented in the activities and suggestions of links to alternative activities for the teaching of the mathematical content represented in the activities.

Resources

Unit 1: Exploring what it means to ‘do’ mathematics

This unit gives a historical background to mathematics education in South Africa, to outcomes-based education and to the national curriculum statement for mathematics. The traditional approach to teaching mathematics is then contrasted with an approach to teaching mathematics that focuses on ‘doing’ mathematics, and mathematics as a science of pattern and order, in which learners actively explore mathematical ideas in a conducive classroom environment. 

Unit 2: Developing understanding in mathematics

In this unit, the theoretical basis for teaching mathematics – constructivism – is explored. Varieties of teaching strategies based on constructivist understandings of how learning best takes place are described. 

Unit 3: Teaching through problem solving

In this unit, the shift from the rule-based, teaching by telling approach to a problem-solving approach to mathematics teaching is explained and illustrated with numerous mathematics examples.

Unit 4: Planning in the problem-based classroom

In addition to outlining a step-by-step approach for a problem-based lesson, this unit looks at the role of group work and co-operative learning in the mathematics class, as well as the role of practice in problem-based mathematics classes.

Unit 5: Building assessment into teaching and learning 

Unit 6: Teaching all children mathematics

This unit explores the implications of the fundamental assumption in this module – that ALL children can learn mathematics, whatever their background or language or sex, and regardless of learning disabilities they may have. It gives practical guidance on how teachers can adapt their lessons according to the specific needs of their learners.