The Senior Phase Subject Advisors of Mathematics (SP-SAM) course was a collaborative initiative in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE). The goals of the course were to increase the capacity of subject advisors to deliver quality mathematics professional development, focusing on the specific challenges of Senior Phase Mathematics; to increase subject advisors’ skills in using computer software for teaching and learning mathematics; and to develop a vibrant and sustainable professional learning community between members of WMCS and the subject advisors.
The course was offered in 8 x 2-day units on the Wits Education Campus over 2017 and 2018. Subject advisors were introduced to the Mathematics Teaching Framework (MTF) and worked closely with aspects of the framework throughout the course. Specific attention was given to teaching and learning key aspects of Senior Phase Mathematics such as introductory algebra, integers, functions and introductory Euclidean geometry. Much time was spent grappling with various aspects of assessment and how subject advisors can support teachers in improving their assessment practices. In keeping with the GDE’s focus on the use of technology, several sessions focused on the use of Geogebra for teaching and learning different topics including functions and basic geometry, and on the use of spreadsheets for topics like financial maths.
Our collaboration with GDE and Senior Phase Maths Subject Advisors continues through follow-on activities at Wits, and through teacher-events which subject advisors arrange in their districts.