Education

Prof Peter Sullivan
Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Facult of Education, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Melbourne

The Education Faculty is committed to helping Monash South Africa build up its research related activity, and there are several aspects of the Development Informatics discussion that are of high interest. He compared some of the issues and experiences raised in the Workshop with his experience in Papua New Guinea where he was a lecturer in mathematics. Examples of “low-tech” problems addressed were calculations regarding timber industry (e.g. how many cubic meters of timber does a particular tree render?) and hospitals (e.g. dosage by body weight) that had to be routinely made by people with no maths background. He is concerned about the crisis of maths and science teaching described by Helen King and it is assumed that basic maths/science literacy are essential to participate in modern economies. He pointed to the success of community of practice, peer-to-peer approaches in teacher development in other countries. He commended the workshop for not being a set of answers looking for questions, nor focussing on questions that no-one is asking.