Simmons School, Kenya

At SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Dean David Chard and Associate Professor Leanne Ketterlin Geller are conducting research on the mathematics performance of students in Kenya. The three-year project, which is in its first year, is a joint effort between RTI International, USAID and the Kenyan Ministry of Education.

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Research begins in Kenya

An update from Associate Professor Leanne Ketterlin Geller:

Schoolchildren in Kibera

During October, we conducted math education research at a school in Kibera, a slum outside of Nairobi and the largest slum in Africa. Our goals were to develop a mathematics assessment that was relevant to the Kenyan context and to create an intervention to support math achievement.

See a slideshow of photos from Kenya’s Kibera slum. slide show

The photos don’t capture the smell of burning coal, human waste or burning trash; nor do they capture the pestering insects and homeless dogs. But what I do hope they capture is a sense of playfulness and happiness in the children. I didn’t sense despair or hopelessness from the children we saw.

And the community (although depressingly poor) was bustling with activities. Women were washing clothes and cooking, and the men were making repairs to the facades of their homes and hauling wood, coal and goods throughout the community. I’m still processing what we saw and heard, but it was an amazing experience.

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