Research and Evaluation
Knowledge Management at the Core of CASME's Operations
The formation of CASME was a significant moment in the history of mathematics and science education in South Africa. It acknowledged the fundamental injustices of Apartheid education and represented a decisive move on the part of its founders.
In 2005, science and mathematics remain at the centre of our hopes and dreams for a better society. These subjects provide the basis for successful modern living and cannot be separated from our everyday lives. CASME maintains that professional mathematics and science teachers are the key agents for meeting the challenge of accelerating scientific and technological advancement.
The Jula Carnegie Project was initiated and implemented in 2002 by the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME) through funding from the American-based Carnegie Corporation.
The overall goal of the project was to contribute towards the improvement of the performance of senior secondary learners in Mathematics and Physical Science in Kwazulu Natal province in general and in the Ukhahlamba and Zululand regions in particular. Professional development of teachers in these regions was a main strategic objective for the project. CASME has been involved in this field since 1985 and had accumulated a lot of expertise to execute such a project successfully.
The word Jula encapsulates the vision of the project. This is a Zulu word for deep. The project envisaged helping teachers and learners gain deeper understanding of the mathematics and science concepts. This would contribute to the enjoyment of the subjects and consequently improve their attitudes towards the two subjects.
The major outcome judgement of this evaluation can be summed up in few words.
There is no doubt that Casme has had a very profound, positive influence on science and mathematics education in KwaZulu-Natal.
Every piece of available evidence from every source that could be tapped pointed to the successes of Casme, and, despite deliberate probing, no negative evidence of any substance regarding the overall goals of Casme came to light.
This report could be filled with glorifying evidence and testimonials heaping praise on both the organization and, most particularly, the highly competent and dedicated individuals within Casme. However, beyond providing positive reinforcement to Casme, such a report would be of little use.
Casme is not without problems, and as South Africa changes, so must Casme change. As such, the bulk of this report is dedicated to providing information and suggestions for change that should serve Casme as it strives to meet the challenges of the future. However, readers should bear in mind the overall positive judgement of Casme as they progress through this report.