SARChI Chair in Mathematics Education
In 2009, Prof. Jill Adler was awarded a SARChI Chair in Mathematics Education (previously called the First Rand Foundation (FRF) Chair in Mathematics Education). The award was granted on the strength of a proposal for a mathematics development and research project to be implemented in ten secondary schools in Gauteng. The project was named the Wits Maths Connect Secondary Project (WMCS).
The Chair is funded by the FRF and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and is now located within the SARChI office of the National Research Foundation (NRF).
To Strengthen the mathematics pipeline in secondary schools
- Phase 1 focuses on both the Grade 9 - 10 transition, and the transition from school mathematics into mathematics-related study in tertiary institutions.
- Phase 2 focuses only on the Grade 9 - 10 transition (as this is the more critical 'leakage' in the secondary school). The aim is thus for more learners to be able to choose Mathematics in Grade 10 and to succeed, and ultimately for more learners to qualify to study mathematics-related courses at university.
Professional development (PD) work
This helps teachers improve their mathematical knowledge. Key mathematical concepts necessary for success in the secondary school years are focussed upon. An overarching research agenda is woven into the project goals and vision. This includes a focus on teachers' take-up from the PD as well as the impact of the PD on learner attainment.
The development and research work is in the hands of a dynamic team comprising existing staff members and postgraduate students of the Wits School of Education and others specifically recruited for the project from the GDE and elsewhere.