Informative, inspiring, relevant, challenging, empowering and thought-provoking.
These were some of the check-out words used by course participants during the final session of the Leadership in Education short course hosted by the Faculty of Education in collaboration with the Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert (FVZS) Institute for Student Leadership Development at Stellenbosch University (SU).
More than one participant mentioned that they learned a lot and suggested that some of the course topics be included in the Faculty's mainstream offering.
The content stimulated thought and challenged them to think differently about education and their role as educators, they added.
The Leadership in Education short course is one of three faculty-specific short courses facilitated by the FVZS Institute.
The aim of this co-curricular course is to help participants gain insight into the leading and transformative role that prospective and in-service educators can play in improving various aspects of South African education.
Themes included: Teachers as agents of social change; South African education through a constitutional lens; Social impact and the economics of education; Language in education and Decolonising the South African curriculum.
Participants handed in a course portfolio that displayed the integration of the course-related themes into their practical lesson preparation, presentation and observation in their school-specific context and the South African schooling system at large.
Course coordinator MK Nompumza, who was instrumental in the design and implementation of this short course in 2016, was very happy with the outcome of the course.
“I believe the participants really gained significantly from participating in this course. If I had to summarise the aim of this course in one sentence, it would be to make prospective students aware that they exist within in a broader context."
During the sessions participants discussed, among other things, the role that educators can play in bringing about social change and the widely accepted notion of education playing a vital role in lifting people out of poverty, empowering women and the youth, and promoting human rights and democracy.
They also explored South Africa's quintile system and the notions of private vs public schooling in the South African context.