Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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Tanzania 2017

2/4/17: goodbye, Aga Khan University

The end of my time here in East Africa is getting close so, as my Facebook friends know, I said goodbye to the Cathedral choir this morning, thank you for the shirts, look forward to wearing them and sending the photographs soon!  On Friday there was a goodbye lunch for another colleague and me, I hope this is all right, I would like to give the transcript - more or less - of what I said.  Leaving with a mixture of feelings, some things I won't miss, other things I certainly will!

There are many memories I will be taking away from my 4 and a half years here in East Africa, if I may I will tell you about just one of them.

19/3/17: the count down is on!

Very aware of things happening for the last time here in Tanzania.  I've used my Tanzanian bank account for the last time.  I've just bought petrol for the last time (probably).  I've bought 20 litre containers of drinking water for the last time.  I've attended various meetings which have been part of my life for the last 4.5 years for the last time.  Unless I'm asked to do more on a consultancy basis, I've done the last batch of marking.  I've been doing some clearing out of the flat - although this is considerably simpler than moving to come out here, a relatively small proportion of the things in the flat actually belong to me, the rest either coming with the flat or were bought from the furnishing allowance therefore get returned to the University - which, I would say, saves a huge job in otherwise disposing of the stuff.

12/3/17: launching my new website

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to check out my new website:


With now less than 4 weeks to go before leaving here, I've put together a website offering consultancy services in 3 areas:

- mathematics education;
- sustainable educational development;
- programme management in higher education.

All things I've learned a great deal about over the last 30 years, and looking forward to sharing something of what I know in the UK and beyond.  Very much looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead, if you know of suitable opportunities do let me know, I'd be very interested to hear from you!

5/3/17: what can we learn about mathematics teaching from the Chinese?

A very warm welcome to the post graduate teacher training course here at **** University.  And a particularly warm welcome to the teaching profession.  You are coming into one of the oldest professions in the world, working with the nation's youth to acculturate them into society and prepare them for the challenges of the working world.  Through your mediation children will do things which they could never do by themselves and which their parents would find unimaginable.  You will help shape the future of youngsters for decades to come, crucially engaging them with a love of learning as they adapt to the changing world around them.

19/2/17: Christian living (8): where does our information come from?

Please note that some of the information in this blog, explicitly or implicitly, comes from;

Garland, D.E. (2009). New International Version Application Commentary on Colossians and Philemon.  Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishers.


Right at the beginning of the year with a new group of Master of Education students, I pose the task: think of something you believe, maybe from you faith, professional or personal life, and be explicit as you can as to why you believe it.  To get discussion started I use my own example: as a car driver I believe that I must slow down before turning corners.

11/2/17: Christian living (7): communicating the gospel

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
He said, “Go and tell this people:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
Isaiah 6:8-10

Have to say, as an educator in various shapes and forms for 30 years now, I find this passage really hard.

29/1/17: Christian living (6): in the workplace

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,
not for human masters
Colossians 3:23


Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.
Attributed to Francis of Assisi

When I was considering coming to work for the Aga Khan University I was worried about the potential conflict of living as a Christian working for an organisation with its roots in Islam, and came to the conclusion that there would be no more conflict than working for a secular organsation as I had been previously.

22/1/17: I'm coming home!

It is with a mixture of feelings that I tell you that I have resigned my post with the Aga Khan University and am due to be returning to the UK in early April.  There have been some great times, our students are wonderful and I will miss them a great deal.  But even as I write the back up generator in my apartment block is pounding away, it's noisy, smelly and I'm acutely aware that many people do not have access to one as I do.  So I look forward to a (very nearly) continuous electricity supply, being able to drink the tap water, being able to walk down the street without constantly being offered taxi rides.

8/1/17: Christian living (5): praying

Question: for how long should I pray each day?

Answer: for 10 minutes more than you are already.

I really like this answer to what appears to be an imponderable question.  Praying is an amazing privilege, being able to come before our Almighty God.  And like all privileges, it brings responsibilities, not to take it for granted.  My Bible reading has me in Deuteronomy at the moment, not easy reading by any means, and a reminder of the holiness of God and what He is prepared to do to preserve the sanctity of His chosen people Israel.

1/1/17: Christian living (4): reading the Bible

A very happy new year to all my readers, may 2017 bring peace and purpose.  Hardly seems 5 minutes since I was wishing you a very happy 2016!  Ah well, the price of old age, I suppose....

Now back from a short holiday in Pemba, I was posting on Facebook during that time so if you didn't see the photos and would like to, please send me a friend request.  In advance of going back to work tomorrow, I'm wanting to share some thoughts on reading the Bible.  Trust you find them interesting, as always, interested to know what you think, and particularly interested to know how you go about studying the Bible.
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Recent Posts

17/2/19: at school (7): assembly on 'Who has control?'
20/01/19: at school (6): revising with my year 11 class
13/1/19: praying for our country at this time
23/9/18: Christian living (12): turning the established world view upside down?
27/8/18: a tour round some UK newspapers

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Jamaica trip 2012
Return to the UK 2017
Tanzania 2013
Tanzania 2014
Tanzania 2015
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Tanzania 2017
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