Namibia is situated in the southwest of southern Africa and borders Angola to the north, Botswana to the east, South Africa to the south and Zimbabwe to the north east.

VIPROmaths research agenda in Namibia

This website is created by the Namibia MEd and PhD students in Mathematics Education registered at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.  The objective of the website is to form a platform on which the students and the principle researchers of the project can communicate with each other, share interesting information and data, remind each other of forthcoming events and simply stay in touch.  Members of this cohort of students are spread across Namibia, some working in remote areas with limited access to good resources and infrastructure.

We meet on a regular basis for one week contact sessions at NIED in Okahandja.  Our central theme of visualisation processesin the teaching and learning of Mathematics forms the overarching research theme and agenda that binds this community of post-graduate students together.  The body of knowledge that is generated will thus consist of a collection of works of the individual students.  Our work will be synthesized and collated at the end of the project in the form of a book.

The individual research questions of the students’ research projects fall into four clusters, namely:

  • Visualisation as a pedagogy
    • What is the role of visualisation processes as a teaching tool in the development of mathematical knowledge?
    • What is the nature (kinds, types and qualities) of visualisation processes in the teaching of mathematics?
    • How are visualisation processes and using manipulatives related?
  • Visualisation and cognition
    • What does learning using visualisation processes entail?
    • What visualisation process enable learners to construct conceptual understanding and meaning making of mathematical concepts?
  • Visualisation as a key mathematical construct
    • How do visualisation processes relate to mathematising?
    • What is the role of visualisation in the construction of metaphors?
  • Visualisation as a medium for epistemological access
    • What are the roles of visualisation processes in the inclusive classroom?  This would specifically relate to visualisation processes for those at the margins of the mainstream classroom, ie for mentally, physically and emotionally challenged learners.

The empirical research approach will typically be classroom-based.  The individual studies are mostly ethnographic case-studies and/or action research projects in the context of:

  • teachers and leaners in individual classrooms;
  • tracking and evaluations of interventions of this project;
  • larger scale inter-school studies.

 

The research orientations of the individual research projects are mostly underpinned by an interpretivist paradigm whereby we are committed to understanding the phenomena we are researching and interpreting within the natural, social and cultural context of the participants.  The overarching research strategy is characterized by mixed method approaches.  These include quantitative approaches in analyzing big data sets such as questionnaires and surveys.  Here descriptive statistical analysis is used to provide a broad overview of the phenomenon at hand.  Invariably most of the research is qualitative in nature which is framed by case study, action research and ethnographic principles. 

VISITORS TO THIS SITE ARE ENCOURAGED AND INVITED TO ENGAGE WITH THE RESEARCH GROUP ON ISSUES OF VISUALITATION IN MATHEMATICS.  OUR RESEARCH GROUP IS COMMITTED TO THE PRINCIPLE OF MAKING AVAILABLE TEXTS, RESOURCES AND RESEARCH FINDINGS FREE OF CHARGE.