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In this CRESTEM seminar, Hamsa Venkat discusses her work in mathematics teaching in South Africa.

Frameworks for studying the nature and quality of mathematics teaching abound in the mathematics education literature base. Skovsmose has noted though, that the vast majority of the theories and frameworks in the international literature emanate from the developed world, and argued that this biases the phenomena that can be constructively studied.

Hamsa and her team's work in urban South African primary classrooms, "normal" contexts include: classes of 50+, teachers and children in English-medium classrooms for whom English is not a first language, gaps in teachers’ mathematical content knowledge, authoritarian pedagogic forms, and children’s understandings trailing the specified curriculum in the early primary grades.

Hamsa's focus in this session is twofold: it will outline limitations when applying aspects of well-known frameworks to study teaching in such contexts; and share a framework her team have developed to study teaching that appears better suited, in research and development terms, to the conditions of our work.

The presentation will be online in Microsoft Teams. Please email Dr Richard Brock for the link to the event.

About the speaker

Hamsa Venkat holds the SA Numeracy Chair at Wits University, Johannesburg, now ending its second 5-year phase of R&D work in primary maths with a team of academics, postdoctoral and postgraduate students. Her South African work has focused on Mathematical Literacy and Primary Mathematics. Before this, she worked as a London high school teacher and teacher educator.