The series of lectures focused on teaching mathematics in the primary schools. The first lecture, “What primary school teachers need to know about the mathematics they teach” focused on teaching mathematics at the foundation phase. The second lecture, “The Transition Years, Grade 6 to 9: What Mathematical development should take place over these years” focused on the intermediate phase, while the third lecture “The Shape of Geometry and the Geometry of Shape” concentrated on mathematics teaching at the senior phase. An additional lecture “Educational materials from a publisher's perspective: Factors that affect the product” was presented by Mrs Karen Usiskin.
Participants from various institutions, including schools, non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), universities and education departments attended the lectures and engaged in discussions.
Prof Zalman Usiskin is an Emeritus Professor of education at the University of Chicago, where he was an active faculty member from 1969 to 2007. He continues at the University as the overall director of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP), a position he has held since 1987. He is also a co-Principal Investigator of the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum.
His research has focused on the teaching and learning of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, with particular attention to application of mathematics at all levels and the use of transformations and related concepts in geometry, algebra, and statistics. His broader interests cover all aspects of mathematics education K-12, with particular emphasis on matters related to curriculum, instruction, and testing; the selection and organisation of content; the teaching and learning of mathematics; international mathematics education; teacher education; the history of mathematics education; and educational policy.
Prof Johann Engelbrecht, Dr Caroline Long, Dr Gerrit Stols, Dr Sonja van Putten, Dr Batseba Mofolo-Mbokane and Mr Gabriel Mokoena of UP’s Faculty of Education were instrumental in coordinating the lectures.