Ensuring the growth of effective science education across the African continent is of significant importance to addressing global issues in health, agriculture, economic development and environmental sustainability. There is now a significant number of researchers in science education for African contexts as universities proliferate across Africa and African postgraduate students study across the globe. While the challenges facing science education in Africa are many, an important strategy for supporting quality enhancement in teacher development and curriculum development is the provision of sound research into what works in the resource-restricted educational environments of Africa.
The ten papers in this Special Issue address a wide range of range of topics in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (MSTE) in Africa. Several papers focus on teacher development so that teaching strategies can engage students in meaningful learning. As these studies show, learning activities for students of all ages need to be designed so that they immerse students in interactive, authentic scenarios. There can be no shortcuts. It is time that MSTE world-wide focused on this principle. Let me be quite clear: There is ample research evidence that a factory model of education is inefficient and minimally effective. If we want to use precious resources wisely, educational policy needs to focus on teacher development and curriculum development to produce learning environments where students are enthused by learning and can achieve the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to contribute to the myriad of problems facing countries in Africa and the entire globe. This requires a genuinely transformational approach to conceptualizing education systems, physical designs for schools, initial teacher education and ongoing teacher development. The world cannot afford to waste resources by perpetuating existing outmoded models for schooling and teacher education.
I am grateful to colleagues world-wide who acted as peer reviewers for the Special Issue. This form of collegial service is often insufficiently recognized and yet it is the backbone of a global academic community. I am also deeply appreciative of the work of the editorial team of the EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education who have worked with the authors and myself to produce this Special Issue.
Finally, my heartfelt thanks to all the authors whose dedication to the refinement of their research has been done willingly and with diligence.
This collection is presented in the firm belief that it will be a useful resource for teachers, teacher educators and policy makers, as well as supporting further research on MSTE in Africa and elsewhere.