INTRODUCING COMPUTERS INTO MATHEMATICS IN KENYA THROUGH EDUCATIONAL INNOVATIONS AT ALL ACADEMIC LEVELS

D. Stern

Maseno University (KENYA)
The general trend of research has been to become more and more specialised, partly induced by the building of knowledge from previous studies. Most researchers are aiming towards a perfect understanding of their area of specialisation. Working in Kenya makes it clear that an alternative approach is needed, in line with the mantra ‘as long as it is better it doesn’t matter if it is not perfect’. What is important is creating a culture of change and this requires positive changes to be encouraged by the existing incentives built into the education system. Change for the better must be recognised, supported and encouraged across the board to create positive feedback loops where each innovation does more than impact the direct participants. Successes become the catalyst for further innovations and as such do not need to achieve that much to be considered successful. An important aspect is to recognise how interlinked the education system is from schools all the way up to post graduate education. By taking small steps across the board change can be achieved without creating imbalance at key transition levels such as from school to university. Change is also much more sustainable if it is happening across the board. This paper draws upon experiences bringing computers into Kenyan mathematics and statistics education to illustrate how these ideas can be initiated.