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Hope for maths teaching


School maths added to the general mood of public worry in 2016. But there was a plus.

The Department of Basic Education decided to allow school learners in grade 7-9 to progress to the next grade with a maths pass mark of as low as 20%, provided they had passed all their other subjects. The announcement was alarming for many South Africans.

Dr Craig PournaraBut there is some good news: Wits’ Transition Maths 1 course is making a strong positive impact on maths teaching, according to course co-ordinator and Wits alumnus Dr Craig Pournara (left). The performance of teachers on the course has improved by over 12 percentage points and is boosting the results of their learners too.

Transition Maths, a programme of professional development for school teachers, was initiated in 2012 by the Wits Maths Connect Secondary research and development project, led by alumna Prof Jill Adler.