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Mathematics Education in East Africa

Anjum Halai and Geoff Tennant, editors
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
Springer Briefs in Education
[Reviewed by
Annie Selden
, on

This edited, 6-chapter, 80-page paperback volume discusses the current school level mathematics education situation in East Africa. The various chapters are devoted to issues of quality mathematics education in East Africa; harmonization of curricula across Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda; a comparative analysis of mathematics achievement across East Africa, insights from East African classrooms; teacher training in East Africa; and integration of ICT in East Africa.

It is the first in a series of projected reports on an ICMI (International Commission on Mathematical Instruction) project intended to enhance mathematics education in developing countries by “supporting the education capacity of those responsible for mathematics teachers, and to create sustained regional networks of teachers, mathematics educators, and mathematicians, linking them to international support.” Called the Capacity and Networking Project (CANP), it is a program concentrating on a different developing world region each year. Each program has a 2-week workshop of about 40 participants, half from the host country, and half from regional neighbors, who interact with international experts in mathematics, mathematics education, and school policy. This ICMI project is being conducted in conjunction with the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and with the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Although five CANP workshops have been held so far, this volume is the first in the projected series. The main idea of this volume is “to show the necessity in Eastern Africa countries of equipping the students with those mathematical skills that will enable them to compete effectively in Eastern African Community’s (EAC’s) envisaged common market and to facilitate mobility of students and teachers across the EAC partner sites. The six chapters of the book show the related difficulties and possibilities for the school systems in EAC, which come from a different colonial past (British and Belgian).”

Who might be interested in this volume? I can imagine that those who are conducting international comparisons of mathematics instruction and that those who work on mathematics education projects in East Africa, whether Peace Corp volunteers, researchers, or policy advisors, would be interested in the volume, as well as those just curious about mathematics education in East Africa.

Annie Selden is Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at New Mexico State University and Professor Emerita of Mathematics from Tennessee Technological University. She regularly teaches graduate courses in mathematics and mathematics education. In 2002, she was recipient of the Association for Women in Mathematics 12th Annual Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education. In 2003, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She remains active in mathematics education research and curriculum development. 

See the table of contents in the publisher's webpage.