At the end of June in 2008, I made what would seem to some as a drastic career change. I left behind my full time work of 26 years in mathematics education in the School of Education at the University of Cape Town, less than a year after completing my three year term of office as President of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) and in the same year as getting official NRF research recognition.
It was not an easy decision to make, particularly given the very poor levels of mathematics teaching in schools and the enormous amount of work still needing to be done in this area. However life was offering me new challenges and I could leave mathematics education safe in the knowledge that there was a strong cohort of past students already making significant contributions to the field.
My move to becoming a freelance consultant teaching courses at the Graduate School of Business (GSB) and to various corporate organisations had begun by chance at a December 2000 celebration ´thank you´ party to past students after I was awarded UCT´s Distinguished Teacher Award. Kurt April, now a professor at the GSB, attended the party and after hearing of my interest in complexity theory, invited me to teach some sessions on his 2001 MBA course. And I haven´t been allowed to look back since then!
This web site has been set up with a variety of purposes in mind.
In the first instance, the pages of poems and articles give current students a way of accessing material that makes its unexpected way into my sessions - as is only right and proper in a unique session based on the input of those present! It also provides them with some further reading without printing large amounts of paper notes that may not be of interest.
I also wanted to provide a source which made available some of the remarkable work done by past students in the field of enactivism which has its source in complexity science and ecosystemic thinking.
Finally, I wanted to set up a record of the pre- and post- liberation articles that represented my work and writing during my tenure as a mathematics educator. The core of my teaching today is rooted in the very same challenges that I began to face up to in 1986 to adapt my teaching style and methods to attempt to prepare mathematics teachers for a future liberated South Africa. It is not co-incidental that I am finding that today´s leaders are facing similar challenges in the complex times we currently experience.