Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Search results for: Mpofu Vongai

2 Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science Interface: Content Considerations for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

Authors: Mpofu Vongai, Vhurumuku Elaosi

Abstract:

Many African countries, such as Zimbabwe and South Africa, have curricula reform agendas that include incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science (NOS) into school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It is argued that at high school level, STEM learning, which incorporates understandings of indigenization science and NOS, has the potential to provide a strong foundation for a culturally embedded scientific knowledge essential for their advancement in Science and Technology. Globally, investment in STEM education is recognized as essential for economic development. For this reason, developing countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa have been investing into training specialized teachers in natural sciences and technology. However, in many cases this training has been detached from the cultural realities and contexts of indigenous learners. For this reason, the STEM curricula reform has provided implementation challenges to teachers. An issue of major concern is the teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is essential for effective implementation of these STEM curricula. Well-developed Teacher PCK include an understanding of both the nature of indigenous knowledge (NOIK) and of NOS. This paper reports the results of a study that investigated the development of 3 South African and 3 Zimbabwean in-service teachers’ abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK as part of their PCK. A participatory action research design was utilized. The main focus was on capturing, determining and developing teachers STEM knowledge for integrating NOIK and NOS in science classrooms. Their use of indigenous games was used to determine how their subject knowledge for STEM and pedagogical abilities could be developed. Qualitative data were gathered through the use dialogues between the researchers and the in-service teachers, as well as interviewing the participating teachers. Analysis of the data provides a methodological window through which in-service teachers’ PCK can be STEMITIZED and their abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK developed. Implications are raised for developing teachers’ STEM education in universities and teacher training colleges.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, nature of science, pedagogical content knowledge, STEM education.

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1 Segmenting Ultrasound B-Mode Images Using RiIG Distributions and Stochastic Optimization

Authors: N. Mpofu, M. Sears

Abstract:

In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm for delineating the endocardial wall from a human heart ultrasound scan. We assume that the gray levels in the ultrasound images are independent and identically distributed random variables with different Rician Inverse Gaussian (RiIG) distributions. Both synthetic and real clinical data will be used for testing the algorithm. Algorithm performance will be evaluated using the expert radiologist evaluation of a soft copy of an ultrasound scan during the scanning process and secondly, doctor’s conclusion after going through a printed copy of the same scan. Successful implementation of this algorithm should make it possible to differentiate normal from abnormal soft tissue and help disease identification, what stage the disease is in and how best to treat the patient. We hope that an automated system that uses this algorithm will be useful in public hospitals especially in Third World countries where problems such as shortage of skilled radiologists and shortage of ultrasound machines are common. These public hospitals are usually the first and last stop for most patients in these countries.

Keywords: Endorcardial Wall, Rician Inverse Distributions, Segmentation, Ultrasound Images.

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