Meet Prof Werner Olivier

Prof Werner Olivier

Prof Werner Olivier is the founder and the current director of the Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre (GMMDC) at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He has an extensive academic background as research mathematician and HoD of the Maths and Applied Maths Department at NMU over the period 1990-2010.

He also actively practices and promotes the scholarship of engagement in HE with the goal of improving the quality of teaching and learning of mathematics and physical sciences at secondary school and TVET college level. His passion and experience in STEM education is centered in the development, implementation and testing of large scale customized teaching and learning models that integrate technology, pedagogy and school curriculum content.
The focus of the GMMDC is on the research and development of innovation T&L models and programmes that are modern and aligned with the main paradigm shifts in STEM education.

Prof Olivier held a DST/FirstRand sponsored National Chair in Mathematics Education at NMU over the period 2011-2015. During this time, extensive action research and development were linked to implementations of an off-line techno-blended teaching and learning model for mathematics and physical sciences in secondary schools and TVET colleges in the Eastern Cape Province.

Apart from specialized learner incubation programmes aimed at improved access to HE, his work also includes a strong focus on professional development of in-service teachers and activities to promote modern approaches to establishing professional learning communities of mathematics and science educators in under-resourced school environments. Over the past three years Prof Olivier spear-headed the development of modern inter-active digital learning materials and innovative Android applications to support quality T&L at schools and colleges. He also established a GeoGebra institute at NMU that focuses on the integration open source dynamic graphics software in the teaching of mathematics. Under his leadership, the GMMDC has also developed and implemented innovative programmes to promote STEAM education amongst learners and educators in secondary schools in South Africa.

The main goal of these programmes is to ensure that creative mathematical problem-solving skills and connections between mathematics and art are promoted amongst teachers and learners in under-resourced schools.