Perth-based primary school teacher Kim McHugh has helped bring cutting-edge mathematics education techniques to Tanzanian teachers and students after winning a global competition offering the professional learning experience of a lifetime.

Ms McHugh, who is the Numeracy Coach at 13 of WA’s most remote Aboriginal schools, just spent 10 days working alongside a team of experienced educators from not-for-profit Teachers2Teachers (T2T) Global and ORIGO Education, all with the aim of sharing expertise, collaborating with local teachers, and helping make mathematics meaningful, enjoyable, and accessible in the developing nation.

The Kallaroo-based teacher said she hoped her African experience would help her better integrate maths, language and culture into her classrooms. “I am honoured to have won this competition as well as the opportunity to travel to Tanzania and collaborate with educators,” said Ms McHugh, who has more than 30 years’ experience as a primary school teacher. “Education is something that everyone should have access to. However, many teachers in the developing world simply do not have the resources to give students the education to help them reach their full potential.”

Ms McHugh travelled to Tanzania with Dr Sara Delano Moore, who is the Director of Professional Learning for ORIGO Education’s US team and Chair of the company’s Mathematics Advisory Board. Dr Moore, who has regularly worked in developing countries over the past four years, said she believed the trip to Tanzania was ‘transformational’ for Kim. “We experience communities differently when we’re living and working there on a daily basis,” she said. “Kim has learnt from her new Tanzanian colleagues as much as she contributed to their knowledge. The opportunity to exchange resources and strategies, as well as realise the shared global challenges we face as educators means you see the world differently when you return home”.

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