Mathematics, Science and English support for high school learners: Case studies and tools
Focus: The Zenex Learner Support Programme has been running since 2005 and the last cohort is completing Grade 12 in 2016. Learners, teachers, principals and NGOs/service providers that formed part of the project in the last 11 years have developed tools and case studies informed by evidence from research as well as what worked in implementation, that can be applied in practice at any interested school. The tools encompass:
- Benefits and Tools of School Clubs and Communities of Practice in Mathematics, Science and English
- Creative models of high school learner academic support and mentorship
- Creative school leadership practices in the current policy context
Dinaledi Teacher Training Materials
Focus: Principles of English Language Teaching (PELT) materials and Work Schedule developed by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA). This included a copy of the official FET assessment standards for languages. The material was developed to address the concern that the majority of South African learners’ low levels of competence in English as the language of learning and teaching contributed to their poor performance in science and mathematics. It was piloted with Grade 10 and 11 English (First Additional Language) teachers in selected Dinaledi schools in Gauteng, Limpopo and Western Cape from 2007 – 2009.
Primary Mathematics Research Project Training Manual
Focus: In response to the poor performance of South African learners in mathematics evidenced in the comparative studies both nationally and internationally, Eric Schollar and Associates (ESA) designed the Primary Mathematics Research Project (PMRP) to provide an empirical investigation into the outcomes of primary mathematics education. The investigation resulted in the production of materials for the teaching and learning of Learning Outcome One (LO1) in mathematical basic operations in Grade 4 to 6 based on the findings.
The PMRP materials were developed and then tested in 20 schools in Limpopo in 2007. The development of the materials was funded by Shuttleworth Foundation. Field testing and the adaptation of the materials were funded by the Zenex Foundation. The findings of the research were that the materials can improve learner performance in LO1 within 14 weeks and more so when the programme is followed to the letter. As such ESA designed a model of training that can be used to train curriculum specialists in the department to effectively support the schools to integrate PMRP into their work and to independently manage the programme.