School of Education

Sarah Bansilal

Sarah Bansilal

AL: Mathematics & Computer Science Education


Academic Leader, Associate Professor, Cluster Leader


Mathematics Education


Contact Number



Edgewood Campus

Office Address

MTB, CU147

Degrees Held

  • B.Paed (UDW)
  • BSc( Hons) ( UNISA)
  • M.Sc (UNISA)
  • D. Maths Ed (Curtin)

Research Interests

  • Conceptual understanding in Mathematics and ML education; assessment; professional development of teachers; Rasch Analysis

Teaching Interests

  • I teach  a real analysis and a method course to fourth year pre-service teachers


  • James, A. and Bansilal, S. (2007). An exploration of the Durban beachfront Isizulu women beadmakers’ experience of learning beading.  Indilinga 6 (2).
  • Bansilal, S and Wallace, J. (2008). National Performance Assessment in a South African Context: Issues of Classroom Implementation and Task Design. African Journal for Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education,12, 77-92
  • Bansilal, S (2009). The Use of Real Life Contexts in the CTA: Some unintended Consequences, Pythagoras, (69), 17-27
  • Bansilal,S., James, A., & Naidoo, M. (2010).Whose voice matters? LEARNERS. South African Journal of Education,(30), 153-165
  • Bansilal, Sarah (2010) How much freedom does a teacher have in designing a learning event when adhering to assessment prescription? Education as change, 14(1), 77 — 90
  • Bansilal, S., & James, A. (2010) Indigenous Knowledge Practitioners’ Sustainable Livelihood Practices: A Case Study. Indilinga, 9(1), 73-83
  • Bansilal, S. (2011). Assessment reform in South Africa: opening up or closing spaces for teachers? Educational Studies in Mathematics, 78(1), 91-107
  • Bansilal, S & Rosenberg,T (2011). South African rural teachers’ reflections on their problems of practice: taking modest steps in professional development. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 23(2), 107-127
  • Bansilal,S. (2011) Unpacking Mathematical Literacy teachers’ understanding of the concept of inflation. African Journal for Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 15(2), 179–190
  • Bansilal, S & Mthembu, Z (2011) The impact of a Community Service Learning Project on the professional growth of pre-service teachers. Acta Academica, 43(4), 229-251
  • Brijlall, D & Bansilal, S. (2011).Student teachers’ engagement with re-contextualised materials: A case of numerical approximation. US-China Education Review 1(5), 691-702
  • Bansilal, S & Rosenberg,T (2011)An exploration of teachers’ reflections about their problems of practice, Progressio, 33(2), 91-106
  • Bansilal, S (2012). Arriving at the starting point? Exploring a teachers’ use of circular reasoning in a mathematics classroom,  Education as change, 16(1), 35-49
  • Bansilal, S & Naidoo, J. (2012). Learners engaging with Transformation Geometry. South African Journal of Education, 32, 26-39
  • Bansilal,S; Mkhwanazi, TW; Mahlabela,P. (2012). Mathematical Literacy teachers’ engagement with contextual tasks based on personal finance. Perspectives in Education, 31(3), 98-109
  • Bansilal, S (2012). Using conversions and treatments to understand students’ engagement with problems based on the normal distribution curve. Pythagoras, 33(1), 37-49.
  • Bansilal, S & Debba, R (2012). The role of contextual attributes in learners’ responses to a Mathematical Literacy assessment task. African Journal for Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 16(3), 302-316
  • * Bansilal, S & Mjoli,B. (2012) What can we learn from the KZN ANA  results? SA-eDUC JOURNAL 9, (2), accessed at
  • Bansilal, S.;  Goba, B., Webb, L.,James, A., & Khuzwayo, H. (2012). Tracing the impact: The case of a professional development programme in Mathematical Literacy , Africa Education Review (AERSpecial Edition for year 2012, 106-120
  • Khuzwayo, H.B. & Bansilal, S. (2012). Granting learners an authentic voice in the mathematics classroom for the benefit of both the teacher and the learner, Pythagoras 33(2), 88-94
  • Bansilal, S (2012) Learning by teaching and researching: The case of four teacher-researchers in a masters programme, Journal of Education, 56, 117-138
  • Brijlall,D., Bansilal, S & Moore-Russo, D. (2012). Exploring teachers’ conceptions of representations in mathematics in the light of promoting positive deliberative interaction, Pythagoras 33(2), 60-69
  • Bansilal, S. (2012). Exploring success rates in a professional development programme for in-service teachers, Alternations, 19(2), 236-256
  • Bansilal, S & Khan, M.B. (2013). Learning from previous experiments: The case of readability in national mathematics assessments. Acta Academica, 45(1), 79-99.
  • Bansilal, S (2013). Lizzy’s struggles with attaining fluency in multiplication tables. Perspectives in Education, 31(3), 94-105
  • Bansilal, S. (2013) Understanding the contextual resources necessary for engaging in Mathematical Literacy assessment tasks. Journal of Education, 58, 1-22
  • Bansilal, S., Brijlall, D., & Mkhwanazi, T.W.(2014). An exploration of the common content knowledge of high school mathematics teachers. Perspectives in Education, 32(1), 34-50.
  • Bansilal, S. (2014). Exploring the notion of Mathematical Literacy teacher knowledge. South African journal of Higher Education , to appear
  • Bansilal, S & Khuzwayo, HB. (2014) An exploration of the assessment and feedback practices in a practical teaching intervention for in-service teachersInternational Journal of Educational Sciences, to appear
  • Long, C., Bansilal, S., & Debba, R. (2014). An investigation of Mathematical Literacy assessment supported by an application of Rasch measurement. Pythagoras, 35(1), Art. #235, 26 pages.
  • Bansilal, S. (2014) Using an APOS Framework to understand teachers’ responses to questions on the normal distribution , Statistics Education Research Journal, accepted to appear.
  • Mbonambi, S & Bansilal,S. (2014). Comparing Grade 11 Mathematics and Mathematical literacy learners’ algebraic proficiency in temperature conversion problems. African Journal for Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, accepted to appear.
  • Bansilal, S. (2014)  Examining the invisible loop: Tutors in large scale teacher development programmes . Africa Education Review, accepted, to appear
  • Webb,L., Bansilal, S., James,A.,  Goba,B., & Khuzwayo, H (2013). Curricular reform for the teaching of Mathematical Literacy teachers in SA: Looking back to move forward. In L.Wood & C.C Wolhuter (eds.), Criticality, Creativity and Connections: In pursuit of educational innovations. Proceedings of the 2012 Annual Conference of EASA, 17-20 Jan 2012, Eastern Cape
  • Bansilal, S. (2014) Recognising and illuminating connections in proportional relationships, In H.Venkat ;  M. Rollnick; J. Loughran & M. Askew (Eds.), Exploring Mathematics and Science Teachers’ Knowledge, pp64-86.


  • I supervise various postgraduate students at the honours,  masters and doctoral levels

Community Engagement

  • I am involved in a school support programme called FOSHA ( Friends of Shallcross High Association) which works closely with Shallcross Secondary doing fundraising and support to teachers and learners.