The African Origin of Mathematics – Wohu no sɛn?

African mathematics is metaphorical! It is a technical metaphor for the moral and spiritual principles that guide our lives. Each week this semester in our mathematics and science courses we pose an African philosophical challenge to our students. We give them an African proverb and challenge them to find the connection between our topic for …

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Ritualize Your Study Time

Ọgbọ́n ju ágbára Wisdom is greater than strength. I’ve been reading Ìjàpá stories lately. Ìjàpá is the trickster tortoise among the Yorùbá who is always using his cunning intellect to outsmart the people and achieve his (usually greed-based) goals. Ọgbọ́n ju ágbára is most definitely Ìjàpá’s motto. Although this is generally a noble adage, for …

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The “when will I ever use this?” question and the most important skill

One frequent question that I get from students is some form of “when will this ever be useful to me?” or “what is the real-life application of this?” These questions are typically asked with relation to mathematics problems. As an educator, the correct answer that I am supposed to give (according to the rules of …

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Founder of NKALA Education Held Back in the 7th Grade?!?

Up to that point I was an average student. I gave minimal effort in school to the point that every year I often wondered how I had made it past the previous grade. At that time I was much more concerned with playing basketball, riding my bike, and playing Sega Genesis. So you can imagine my surprise when the results of the assessment came in and I discovered that I had scored higher than many of my friends and classmates! Here I was, this mediocre student who had just scored higher than some of the smartest students in my class. I was excited. Although I had never cared before, now the possibility of taking advanced courses was giving me a sense of pride and confidence in my own abilities.