n South African Journal of Education - Mathematics, Devan, and project work

Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



I analyse the efforts of one learner, Devan, and a student teacher, Sumaiya Desai, in whose class he participated, as she attempted to realise what may be referred to as a social, cultural, political approach to the school mathematics curriculum through the practice of project work. The focus is specifically on the actions and reflections of Devan as he participated in the project work experience and overturned his casting as a "failing" mathematics learner in a Grade 6 mathematics classroom. I theorise the practice of project work through the data related to Devan and the conceptual tools of project work: problem-orientation; participant-directed; inter-disciplinarity; and exemplarity, and use this framework to organise the structure of this paper. Through this conceptual framing, the challenges and possibilities that such classrooms pose, for learners like Devan but also for the theoretical ideas and associated practice, are made visible and I discuss the potentiality that remained unexplored.

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