COCA is a research project funded by SANPAD and carried out by the School of Education of the University of Cape Town (UCT) and it's Schools Development Unit (SDU), the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and the Freudenthal Institute of Utrecht University.



To improve the teaching and learning of mathematics in the South African Foundation Phase, this project is aimed at the design and implementation of a new educational tool in South African mathematics education. This tool - called a Learning Pathway for Number (LPN) - can be considered as a mediator between the Revised National Curriculum Statement, mathematics textbooks, teaching and learning resource materials and educators' knowledge.

The Learning Pathway is intended to provide educators with a coherent conceptual educational map for didactical decision making when teaching number in the early grades of the Primary School.


The LPN gives educators an overview of the longitudinal learning process and the main stepping stones children have to pass in this process in order to develop an understanding of number in such a way that it gives children access to the mathematics in the higher grades by establishing a firm foundation for further growth.


The development of the pathway is based on the TAL trajectory for number and the related materials for professional development (TAL Information and NCRC modules) that were developed in the Netherlands.

The project runs from May 2004 to May 2007.

The project is aimed at:

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  1. Answering research questions
    • about the learning pathway the children go through when they develop understanding of number in the foundation phase of their schooling
    • about how educators can be supported in their professional development.
  2. Developing resource materials
    • for teaching number in foundation phase
    • for professional development of educators in foundation phase.

Project team

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Project leader SA: Prof. Dr. Paula Ensor, Dean of Humanities, UCT

Project leader NL: Dr. Marja van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, FI/UU


Project team:

Jaamiah Galant UTC/SDU (Research coordinator)

Cally Kühne, UCT/SDU

Corvell Cranfield, UTC/SDU

AnaPaula Lombard, Cape Peninsula University of Technology



More project info


New publications

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At PME 29, held at the University of Melbourne, Australia, from July 10-15 2005, the COCA team had three presentations:


Research Reports



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