Fulbright Recipient : Dr. Roland Pourdavood
Teacher Education Department
South Africa, 2003-04
Photographer: Julie D'Amour-Léger
1. Brief description of the project
My Fulbright Lecture /Research Project in South Africa for six months can be presented in three categories: 1) collaborative teaching at university; 2) workshops in public schools; and 3) research. I taught several classes both in Intermediate and Secondary Phases with particular focus on number meaning and number relationships, geometry, nature of mathematics, algebra, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in mathematics. Workshops included numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, cooperative learning, and use of manipulatives. I collected data for understanding and interpreting complexities of teaching and learning with a particular focus on mathematics in multicultural and multilingual contexts. I also presented the findings of the research to university and public schools communities, and submitted several papers for publication.
2. Pertinence of Fulbright experience
As Horton and Freire (1990) put it, I made my road in the context of South Africa by walking with South African peoples. Prior to me trip, if I believed in the importance of history and culture in learning mathematics, then I believe it even more now. Mathematics, indeed, is social and cultural activities of people around the world. Thus, I will be more sensitive in my own classroom presenting mathematics that is culturally responsive and socially relevant to my students. In terms of research, I am convinced that if any transformation is going to occur in education, it ought to consider experiences of those actors who the research is about.
In this sense, the research not only belongs to the researchers but also it belongs to the "researchees" which means the active participants.