Professor Renuka Vithal appointed Chair of International Study on School Mathematics Curriculum Reforms Agriculture, Engineering & Science

Ms Busisiwe Goba and Professor Renuka Vithal at the 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education at the University of Hamburg, Germany.Ms Busisiwe Goba and Professor Renuka Vithal at the 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Professor Renuka Vithal, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning at UKZN and Professor of Mathematics Education in the School of Education, will chair the next study of the International Commission for Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), on “School Mathematics Curriculum Reforms: Challenges and Changes”, together with Professor Yoshinori Shimizu of the University of Tsukuba, Japan.

This announcement was made during the opening of the 13th International Congress of Mathematics Education (ICME-13) recently held at the University of Hamburg (Germany), where Vithal was co-chair of a Topic Study Group on the “Social and Political Dimensions of Mathematics Education”.

‘It is an immense honour and privilege to be invited to Chair an ICMI Study,’ Vithal said. ‘I am particularly excited about leading this study, having recently been a member of the Ministerial Committee that investigated issues related to the National Senior Certificate, to gain a deeper understanding of school mathematics curriculum reforms that are taking place in many parts of the world and to explore what is shaping them.’

ICMI Studies are conducted by international teams of leading scholars and practitioners selected by ICMI. These studies, which can take several years, begin with a discussion document that invites papers on the topic, followed by a ICMI Study Conference of invited authors and culminating in a major ICMI Study volume.

Several academics in Mathematics education from UKZN’s School of Education participated in ICME-13, which is held only once every four years and is the largest international conference in Mathematics education attended by over 3 000 delegates. 

Ms Busisiwe Goba presented a paper from her doctoral studies on analysing mathematics education masters’ and doctoral theses in the decade after the demise of Apartheid. Ms Catherine Kazunga and Professor Sarah Bansilal presented research on challenges of upgrading in-service Mathematics teachers, while Dr Zanele Ndlovu’s paper focused on her research with pre-service mathematics teachers. University lecturers’ perceptions of using technology to teach Mathematics was the subject of Dr Jaya Naidoo’s paper; and Professor Michael de Villiers presented enrichment for the gifted in geometry. It was also an honour for UKZN to have Ms Busisiwe Goba and Dr Jaya Naidoo to represent South Africa at the ICMI Annual General Meeting.