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Why Some Educational Systems are Better than Others
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Why Some Educational Systems are Better than Others

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  • 1. Why Some Educational Systems are Better than Others: Comparing Botswana and South Africa.
    Elspeth Mmatladi Khembo
    11 July 2011
    Linder Auditorium, Wits School of Education
  • 2. The StudyFactors affecting learner achievement
    Historical and policy contexts
    Processes of education policy change
    Mathematics Curriculum
    Supervision (Accountability)
    Teacher training (HEI) vs. Teacher supply (Colleges of Education)
    Teacher pay
    Teacher unions
  • 3. Role of the Grade 6 Mathematics teacher
    Coverage of all the topics of the curriculum
    High academic expectation of learners
    Improving learner achievement
    Preparing learners for the Senior Phase
  • 4. The StudyTeaching (Grade 6 Mathematics)
    At Grades 4 and 5 level
    Low level of mathematics pedagogical content knowledge
    Amount of time teaching mathematics low
    Focuses on Number, Operations and Relationships
    Routine mathematics procedures
    Average of 50 lessons South Africa and an average of 78 lessons in Botswana
    Slow pace of work within lessons
  • 5. The StudyGrade 6 learners
    Botswana learners scored higher in the pretest and made significantly higher gains over the academic year
    Learners in both countries had better knowledge of the Grade 6 mathematics curriculum
    Number Patterns
    Very poor knowledge of Grade 6 mathematics
    Measurement
    Data Handling
  • 6. Grade 6 Content knowledge (CAPS)
    Measurement
    Length/Mass/Capacity
    Time/Temperature
    Perimeter
    Area
    Volume
    Relationship between
    Perimeter & Area
    Surface Area & Volume (Rectangular Prisms)
    Data Handling
    Collecting
    Organising
    Representing
    Interpreting
    Double bar graphs
    Pie Charts
    Analysing
    Reporting
    Probability
  • 7. The StudyThe quality of the teachers
    Knowledge of Mathematics
    Pedagogic Content Knowledge (PCK)
    How well the teacher understands common mistakes made by learners and
    How to correct them
    Teaching quality
    Teaching experience
    Teacher preparation
  • 8. The StudyOpportunity to learn (OTL)
    What mathematics the teacher taught
    Low exposure to the mathematics curriculum
    How much mathematics taught
    school notebooks
  • 9. The study RecommendsEmphasizing otl
    Increased time on mathematics tasks
    Content coverage
    Spread and sequencing of topics
    Cognitive and curricular pacing within and across grades
    Carefully designed textbooks/workbooks
    Purposeful use of the textbooks/workbooks
    Increasing learner academic competence
  • 10. Teacher professional development
    In-service teacher training programme
    How to ensure take up that results in improved classroom practice
    ACE programmes vs. Short Courses
    Who should be trained
    Support (School Management)
    Motivation (Incentives)
  • 11. Development of the Culture of Mathematics: Focused Intervention
    Differentiated approach
    Pockets of Excellence (Connoisseurship)
    Efficiency vs. More Resources
    Well written textbooks
    Regular Assessment (Type of items)
    Error analysis
    Misconceptions
    Collaboration (Teachers and Researchers)
    Communities of practice (confidence/support)
    AMESA
    Monitoring & Implementation
  • 12. Conclusion…
    King Solomon: If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success. Ecclesiastes 10:10
    Lack of skill should be sharpened through training and practice
    Recognising where a problem exists
    Acquiring or honing the skills to do the job better
    Going out and doing it
    Not necessarily throwing money at our problems
  • 13. Thank you…