The Government of Kazakhstan supports the transition to secondary-level English-medium science and math instruction to improve workforce competitiveness. Through the U.S.-Kazakhstan University Partnerships Program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan and administered by American Councils for International Education, Columbia University Teachers College (TC), Suleyman Demirel University (SDU) and Kokshetau State University (KSU) developed and implemented an English-medium discrete mathematics course for pre-service teachers.

In 2020, U.S. and Kazakhstani partners launched their project with the aim to connect concepts taught in secondary mathematics courses to mathematics taught at the university level. Discrete mathematics is a rapidly growing and increasingly-used area of mathematics, with practical and relevant applications, that integrates digital technology and STEM applications.

Dr. Irina Lyublinskaya of TC and Dr. Karmak Bagisbayev of SDU worked closely to develop supplemental discrete mathematics textbooks for pre-service teachers. Both professors also assisted the faculty of Kokshetau State University in revising the discrete mathematics course which was then introduced and taught in the 2021 semester at both Kazakhstani universities. In addition, Dr. Lyublinskaya developed an online GeoGebra Book with technology investigations, applications, and simulations for the course. The course materials will be available to all Kazakhstani universities.

Speaking about the benefits of the project, Prof. Berik Ataev at Kokshetau State University said, “I often thought about how to connect theoretical subjects with real-life applications, but it wasn’t so clear to me before my participation in this project. The most valuable part of this project for me was learning how I can use technology and real-life applications in teaching the discrete mathematics course.”