Blue and white mosaic at the Mosque Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco

Chahine awarded grants for South Africa work

College of Education and Human Development Associate Professor Iman Chahine has been awarded two 3-year grants ($1 million and $1.3 million, respectively) from the National Research Foundation in South Africa to study curriculum development.

Chahine will work with Josef de Beer, faculty member at North West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa on both grants, which focus on training South African teachers to incorporate indigenous knowledges – knowledge that is unique to a specific culture or society – into math and science curriculum.

“The aim with the project is to assist teachers in their pedagogical content knowledge development through short learning programs in life sciences, physical science ethnomathematics, and technology,” she said. “These interventions will train teachers to design instruction emphasizing the processes of scientific thinking underlying South African indigenous knowledge systems and to connect this knowledge to the Curriculum and Assessment Standards.”

Chahine hopes that at the close of these grants in 2018, she and de Beer will be able to take what they’ve learned and apply it to schools in the U.S.

The National Research Foundation was established as an independent government agency to promote and support research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge, and thereby contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all South Africans. For more information, visit