The AIMSSEC version of the FaSMEd toolkit can be accessed at fasmed.aimssec.ac.za.
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre (AIMSSEC) is an outreach initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) based in Muizenberg, Cape Town.
AIMS was established in 2003, in partnership with the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and the Western Cape, to:
- promote mathematics and science in Africa
- recruit and train talented students and teachers
- work to build capacity for African initiatives in education, research, and technology.
AIMS has institutes in Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda and Tanzania and plans for a total of 15 by 2020.
AIMSSEC works in partnership with the University of Fort Hare. Since a consultation exercise in 2002/3, AIMSSEC has provided 3-month and 2-year blended learning courses for serving primary and secondary teachers from disadvantaged communities, particularly in rural areas, all over South Africa (a total of more than 1000 students over 10 years and currently 250 to 300 students each year). AIMSSEC provides subject leader training to enable teachers to upgrade their subject knowledge and to train other teachers, spreading the benefits more widely. The AIMING HIGH Teacher Network supports teachers across South Africa. Students receive bursaries and much of the teaching is done by visiting lecturers from overseas on an unpaid voluntary basis. The AIMSSEC graduates contribute to courses as teaching assistants and coordinate sessions at learning centres around the country that receive AIMSSEC TV broadcasts from Stellenbosch. In 2012 AIMSSEC won a UNESCO-HAMDAN prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers in developing countries.
Marie Joubert is a Senior Research Fellow in Mathematics Education at AIMSSEC. She had a twenty-year career in teaching mathematics, computing and ICT in secondary schools before she joined the University of Bristol as a PhD student and researcher. Her research interests are in three overlapping areas: mathematics education, computers in education and professional development. Her experience includes, for example, research on the use of handheld computing devices across all curriculum areas, the use of computer software in the teaching and learning of mathematics, effective professional development for teachers of mathematics. Her most recent past projects include:
- the STELLAR EU Network of Excellence, where she made a significant contribution to the scientific leadership of the Network
- research related to formative assessment in mathematics (the Mathematics Assessment Project)
- developing and evaluating professional development toolkits to support teachers of mathematics and science in adopting enquiry-based approaches to teaching. (Mascil)
Ingrid Mostert completed a B.Sc. (Hons) in Mathematics at Stellenbosch University in South Africa before teaching mathematics and science for a year. She then taught mathematics on a bridging programme (aimed at helping learners gain access into university) for 3 years while completing her Masters in Education, also at Stellenbosch University. After taking a year off to travel in South America she spent 4 years coordinating an in-service teacher education programme offered by Stellenbosch University in conjunction with AIMSSEC (The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre). The programme was aimed particularly at teachers living in rural areas across South Africa. During these 4 years she explored ways in which technology can be used to support teaching – both in the classroom and for in-service teacher education offered to teachers in remote locations. After taking off another year to travel, this time in East Africa, Ingrid again became involved in in-service teacher education, mentoring and research.