Call for Special Issue-Post-Apartheid Mathematics Education


THEME: Pedagogical and Social Transformations in Post-Apartheid Mathematics Education

                Guest Editors:          Dr Hlamulo Wiseman Mbhiza
                                                     Department of Mathematics Education
                                                     University of South Africa
                                                     Republic of South Africa

                                                     Prof. Zingiswa Jojo
                                                     Department of Secondary and Post School Education
                                                     Rhodes University
                                                     Republic of South Africa


This special issue offers insights into the pedagogies that enable effective mathematics learning within the South African post-apartheid context. Over the past decades, the view of education as a necessity for social improvement and progress has dominated individuals' perceptions across various societies. According to the South African Department of Basic Education (DBE), "the importance of education, as well as its role in human and social development, is hardly in doubt today" (DBE, 2010, p. 7) due to its association with securing better standards of living. This underscores the idea that education serves as a tool for individuals to enhance their living standards, including securing employment to sustain themselves, their families, their communities, and their countries at large. Consequently, every individual must receive a quality education, regardless of their socio-economic and educational background, to promote social justice and ensure equitable human development in society. Similarly, mathematics is viewed as a crucial subject that can improve an individual’s standard of living; mathematics knowledge is seen as vital for advancing socio-economic needs (Hodgen & Marks, 2013), expanding career horizons, and is valued for its inherent nature (Burghes, 2012). This is particularly significant in a country like South Africa, which has a history of racialising mathematics within the school curriculum.

Since 1994, various curriculum reforms have been introduced in South Africa to symbolise the transition from apartheid to a democratic educational system (Mouton et al., 2012). According to Christie (2006), "education policy and provision was one of many areas that required immediate attention to break from the racial distortions and assumptions of apartheid" (p. 378). These reforms seem to have failed to provide access for all learners, including full participation in general education and mathematics (Msila, 2007). It is distressing that, despite the curriculum reforms in South Africa since 1994, the standard and quality of education continue to be challenged, especially in terms of most learners' achievement levels in mathematics in various international, regional, and local tests (Howie & van Staden, 2012; Spaull, 2013). This situation also highlights the issue of access to qualified mathematics teachers and the effectiveness of teaching and learning mathematics, considering test results that suggest ongoing problems with mathematics achievement (for example, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS, 2011) and Annual National Assessments (ANA, DoE, 2014) results. Despite this background, there is a need for research and literature that provide a critical analysis of what it means to teach and learn mathematics in post-apartheid South Africa, share best practices learned through research on the subject, and demonstrate how social justice can be realised through mathematics education in South Africa.

Due to the complex nature of mathematics teaching and learning in post-apartheid South Africa, it is essential to employ research methods that combine different techniques and procedures. We invite contributions in the form of research papers, case studies, review articles, opinions, and conceptual and theoretical perspectives to enrich the discourse. Specifically, this special issue will welcome manuscripts that explore the following themes, among others:

  • Post-apartheid pedagogical reasoning and action.
  • Pedagogical responsiveness and inclusion in post-apartheid mathematics education.
  • Decoloniality in mathematics education.
  • Teaching and learning mathematics in multiple complex contexts.
  • Mathematics teaching and learning in rural schools.
  • Mathematics education research in post-apartheid South Africa.
  • Initial Teacher Education for Mathematics in the post-apartheid era.


Prospective contributors are invited to submit abstracts to the guest editors at and copy using the subject line “Post-Apartheid Mathematics Education”. A prompt response will be provided within three to five days, and if accepted, author(s) will be requested to prepare and submit their full manuscripts, and if otherwise, the authors will be notified accordingly. For submission guidelines and Article Processing Charges, including formatting and referencing style, please refer to the author guidelines provided at this link [].  


  • A concise title
  • Author/s name/s
  • Author(s) institution/affiliation
  • Contact details
  • An abstract (250 words or less)
  • Five keywords

TIMEFRAME (February 5th – September 30th, 2024) 

  • Abstract submission begins on the 5th of February and ends on the 15th of March 2024.
  • Abstracts are accepted or rejected within three days of submission, and if accepted, you will be required to submit your full article.
  • Submission of full articles starts immediately and ends on the 15th of July 2024
  • The Journal operates on a continuous publishing model. This means that articles are considered individually, sent for peer review, and, if accepted at any time of the year, are immediately made available online on an article-by-article basis.


  • A similarity index of 10% or less is required for an article to be considered for review. Upon submission, all articles will undergo screening using Turnitin software.
  • The Article Processing Charge is payable by the corresponding author or affiliation(s), as applicable, upon acceptance. Authors eligible for a waiver or discount may approach the Journal before submission. For more information, see the APC waiver and discount policy at [].
  • Please visit the author guidelines, download, and use the submission template for your full article.


  1. Hlamulo Wiseman Mbhiza is an esteemed academic whose research primarily encompasses Rurality, Mathematics Education, and Teaching Practice. He earned his Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Education Honours, Master of Education by Dissertation, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand. Dr. Mbhiza's academic journey has led him through various roles, including lecturing positions at prestigious institutions such as the University of the Witwatersrand, Independent Institute of Education (Rosebank College), Instill Education, and the University of Limpopo. Presently, he serves as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics Education at the University of South Africa. Throughout his evolving research career, Dr. Mbhiza has made significant scholarly contributions, authoring and co-authoring book chapters and journal articles. His academic excellence is further highlighted by his receipt of several distinguished scholarships, including those from the NIHSSSAHUDA and the NRF. Additionally, Dr. Mbhiza plays a vital role in the academic community as a Deputy Editor for the Africa Education Review journal, accentuating his commitment to advancing the field of Mathematics Education.


  1. Zingiswa Jojo is a Full Professor in the Department of Secondary and Post School Education at Rhodes University. Her research is primarily focused on Mathematics Teacher Education, with a particular interest in the conceptual understanding and meaningful teaching of Geometry and Calculus Concepts, Ethnomathematics, and the integration of indigenous knowledge in mathematics teaching and learning across all educational levels. Prof. Jojo is actively involved in conducting and leading community projects aimed at enhancing the capabilities of mathematics teachers by enriching their content knowledge and pedagogical skills, thereby contributing to the improvement of mathematics education at all levels. Her work reflects a deep commitment to both academic excellence and the practical application of research findings to benefit educational practice in mathematics.


Burghes, D. N. (2012). Primary problems: A first curriculum for mathematics. Politeia.

Christie, P. (2006). Changing regimes: Governmentality and education policy in post-apartheid South Africa. International Journal of Educational Development26(4), 373-381.

Department of Basic Education (2010). Towards a basic education sector plan (working document). Pretoria: Department of Education.

 Department of Basic Education (2014). Report of the annual national assessment of 2014. grades 1 to 6 & 9. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education.

 Hodgen, J., & Marks, R. (2013). The Employment Equation: Why Our Young People Need More Maths for Today's Jobs. Sutton Trust.

Mouton, N., Louw, G. P., & Strydom, G. L. (2012). A historical analysis of the post-apartheid dispensation education in South Africa (1994-2011). International Business & Economics Research Journal, 11(11), 1211-1222.

Msila, V. (2007). From apartheid education to the Revised National Curriculum Statement: Pedagogy for identity formation and nation building in South Africa. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 16(2), 146-160.

South Africa. International Journal of Educational Development, 26(4), 373-381.

Spaull, N. (2013). South Africa’s education crisis: The quality of education in South Africa 1994-2011. Pretoria: Centre for Development and Enterprise.

Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (2011). Towards equity and excellence: South African Perspective. Pretoria: Human Science Research Council.

Van Staden, S., & Howie, S. (2012). Reading between the lines: contributing factors that affect Grade 5 student reading performance as measured across South Africa's 11 languages. Educational Research and Evaluation, 18(1), 85-98.