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Maths Identity project helps learners with reasoning Identity project helps learners with reasoningAsiphe Nombewu /Corporate Communication<p>​​​​Stellenbosch University's (SU) Maths Identity project helps primary school learners with mathematic reasoning and stimulates positive attitude towards mathematics.<br></p><p>The project, aimed at engaging 80 Mathematics Education final year students in a school environment, is another example of how SU is an engaged teaching and learning hub that supports its students in developing the graduate attributes as set by the University.</p><p>Led by Dr Erna Lampen, a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the SU Faculty of Education, the maths project has engaged with over 500 school learners since its inception in the year 2017.</p><p>“The project was inspired by the plight of Grade 8 learners being promoted with extremely low marks. To ease this, we started this project and started working with a group of 80 final year students who engage with learners from Grade 4 to 7."</p><p>“In this project we focus our attention on the learners' attitudes, engagement and reasoning in mathematics. The earlier learners understand that mathematics is not only about marks, the better the engagement and in that way their attitudes toward the subject changes. We want learners to know that maths is also about intellectual engagement – our learners need to know that engaging and asking questions in class can yield better marks," she says.</p><p>Lampen says she believes primary school learners should awake to mathematics – that is become mathematical thinkers – hence the focus on building identity as mathematical thinkers.<br></p><p>According to Lampen, the project is about teaching final year students the right way of responding to learner reasoning in ways that promote engagement and agency as part of their academic work. “We have worked with AF Louw Primary School from 2017–2018, and before lockdown we were working with Laerskool Cloetesville," she says.</p><p>“We want to equip our final year students with the skills to notice and take up learner reasoning in the classroom. Our final year students are required to learn to listen intently and interpret what the learner has to say," adds Lampen.</p><p>She says although it has been a challenge for one lecturer to monitor the students' engagements, the schools have been appreciative and cooperative for the support.</p><p>Lampen says this project was born out of her passion for mathematics, “My research interests are within the broader field of pre- service teacher education, with particular focus on aspect of learner and teacher engagements in problem centred mathematics.</p><p>According to Lampen, it is essential for the teacher to be able to notice and respond to learner reasoning, and developing conceptual teacher talk specifically in the content areas of geometry and statistics.<br></p>
SU education students take the lead in e-learning education students take the lead in e-learningWilliam Sezoe<p>​​​​​​​​​​<br></p><p>With education students not being able to do their practical teaching blocks due to school closure caused by Covid-19, the education students at Stellenbosch University (SU) have recently released free activity packages to contribute to learners' education despite the current situation.</p><p>These packages are compiled by the Beyond Education program, an initiative of the Education Student Committee's (ESC) social impact portfolio. This project was launched in February 2020. Just before the national lockdown was implemented, the members of this program put together a concept to help learners who do not have access to internet or e-learning material. </p><p>According to Marcel Adams, founder of this program and member of the ESC, the group designed these activity packages for Grades R – 9 to provide curriculum-relevant activities that can help teachers who are unable to teach during the national lockdown period. </p><p>“We realised that teachers couldn't get through the first term's curriculum with the lockdown regulations in place. We also realised that not everyone has internet access, so we decided to lend a hand," explains Adams. </p><p>Adams says the packages include activities for the subjects Afrikaans, English and Mathematics. It has been put together in such a way that it can be shared via WhatsApp, since most people have access to this platform. </p><p>Linmari Matthee, a fourth-year student who is also part of the project, mentions that these packages have been requested as far as the Eastern Cape and Namibia. </p><p>“Being part of this initiative really warms my heart as I have experienced first-hand how grateful people (in Oudtshoorn) are for help. It also gives me a glimpse of what I might have to do as a novice teacher next year and I am thankful for that experience. I enjoy taking on this project with people who have the same goal in mind. It gives me hope for what the youth can still achieve," says Matthee. </p><p>According to Adams, they would also like to address social issues through the program by visiting schools and by bringing awareness to environmental conservation. By doing this they will be able to emphasise their part as future educators and leaders. </p><p>Adams mentions that many of their projects fell through because of Covid-19 and the national lockdown, but they are keeping busy with another initiative in the meantime. This one will specifically encourage matriculants in the form of a manual that will be filled with various tips and motivational messages.</p><p>“We were supposed to visit a school in the new term to address the class of 2020 and to motivate them for their final exams. Instead, we set up an electronic matric survival guide and sent these out in the same way we did with the activity packages," Adams explains. </p><p>Prof Michael Le Cordeur, Chair of the Department of Curriculum Studies at SU's Faculty of Education says forms of e-learning, such as the activity packages compiled by the Beyond Education group, could be the new normal. </p><p>“This country will never be the same again. Covid-19 asks for new solutions and ideas to be set in place. E-learning definitely forms part of the future, but as a country we are far from being prepared for it. The Department of Education, but also us as a university, still have plenty to do in order to close the gap," Le Cordeur says. </p><p>Anyone who would like to get involved or make a contribution to this project can contact Adams by email at . </p><p>​ <br></p><p><span class="ms-rteFontSize-1"><em>Original article source: Die Matie   </em>            </span>                                                      <span class="ms-rteFontSize-1"> ​<em>Translated by Elise Groeneveld</em></span><br></p>
Education students in Berlin students in BerlinElise Groeneveld<p>​​​​​In January of 2020, four students from the Faculty of Education visited the Humboldt University of Berlin as part of an annual exchange program. The students had the opportunity to observe classes taught by German education students during the practical block of their studies, and also learn more about how work-integrated learning is incorporated in Education students' curriculum at this particular university. They were also given a chance to informally assist during the German classes.<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Four%20maties%20in%20Berlin.jpeg" alt="Four maties in Berlin.jpeg" class="ms-rtePosition-4" style="margin:5px;width:294px;height:392px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><em> ​The four Maties ready to attend a seminar.​​</em></p><p>Nicole Minnies, Rozanne Theron, Alexa Plaatjies and Delmé Barkhuizen were selected as the successful candidates to represent Stellenbosch University in this exchange program. Applicants were asked to write an essay on the theme of the exchange which is multilingualism in the classroom. Shortlisted candidates were interviewed by Prof C van der Walt, Dr M van der Merwe and Mnr J Ruiters, the collaborators on the programme. After this, the final four were selected.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Berlin%20exchange%20university.jpg" alt="Berlin exchange university.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-4" style="margin:5px;width:275px;height:364px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><em><span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:"times new roman", serif;">Nicole Minnies in front of the “Mitte Kampus” of the Humboldt University in Berlin.</span></em><br></p><p style="text-align:left;">The students stayed in accommodation provided by the host university, a stone's throw away from where they would attend the classes. Apart from the academic obligations, the students enjoyed exploring the city of Berlin and its rich culture. <br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><br><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Students%20with%20German%20student.jpg" alt="Students with German student.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-4" style="margin:5px;width:375px;height:286px;" /><br></p><div style="text-align:center;"><em>Nicole Minnies and Alexa Plaatjies assisting a German student teacher with his project.​</em></div><div style="text-align:center;"><em><br></em></div><div style="text-align:center;"><em> </em><br></div>
WhatsApp groups handy tool to support rural teachers groups handy tool to support rural teachersCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>​When participating in short courses for their own professional development, teachers at remote rural schools should be supported via WhatsApp groups to help them overcome many of the challenges they face.<br></p><p>This is one of the main findings of a recent doctoral study at Stellenbosch University (SU). <br></p><p>“WhatsApp groups, as virtual communities of practice (VCoPs), could support the professional development of teachers, provide organisational support to implement the new knowledge and skills in the classroom, and ultimately have a positive impact on the performance of learners," says Dr Pauline Hanekom, a Life Sciences Facilitator and ICT Coordinator at SU's Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP). She recently obtained her doctorate in Curriculum Studies at SU.<br></p><p>Pointing to previous research, which showed how WhatsApp groups can support the creation of networks between teachers in rural areas, Hanekom says her study “highlighted the value of such groups for those teachers who are far from other short course participants and in many cases are the only Natural or Life Sciences teachers in their respective schools."<br></p><p>Hanekom says communities of practice (CoPs) are used globally to offer professional learning support to in-service teachers in these types of courses.<br></p><p>“An example of a CoP could be a group of teachers who share a concern about the educational needs of their learners, and who feel the need to deepen their knowledge and expertise by joining a teacher professional learning CoP. In this CoP they can interact on an ongoing basis, sharing and reflecting on lesson plans, sharing videos of lessons, interesting learner interactions and assessment tasks. They could also discuss educational challenges and lend moral and even physical support to each other."<br></p><p>“What we've found, however, is that virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) are being used more and more in situations where the physical remoteness of schools affects the feasibility of physical CoPs. However, little is known about the ways in which VCoPs can support participants or how they can effectively be designed, implemented and maintained."<br></p><p>Hanekom says the feedback from the participants in her study showed that they perceived WhatsApp groups to be very effective as VCoPs.  <br></p><p>“The students commented on how the groups allowed them to discuss and solve academic issues raised during the course, as well as their own teaching. It also allowed them to keep in contact, even though they stayed hundreds of kilometres apart. They could even plan the sharing of their often limited science resources for practical activities with each other.  <br></p><p>"They could also share their practical skills through photos and videos from their classrooms. As, in some of the groups, subject advisors from the education departments formed part of the VCoP, they could easily assist the students with policy and school curriculum issues."  <br></p><p>As part of her study, Hanekom created three WhatsApp groups consisting of in-service, qualified teachers in Natural (Grade 7-9) and Life Sciences (Grade 10-12), education department officials and course facilitators. The teachers in each group attended teacher professional learning (TPL) short courses that took place in three cycles. The first group participated in a five-month course, while groups two and three each participated in courses of four months.<br></p><p>To test the effectiveness of WhatsApp as a VCoP, Hanekom interviewed the participants and asked them to complete a questionnaire. She analysed this data, along with their WhatsApp group messages exchanged during the respective course cycles. </p><p>During the first cycle, participants could speak freely about any relevant TPL short course content and were allowed to post messages of mutual encouragement and even off-subject content, e.g. social conversations. During the second cycle they were discouraged to post off-subject content. They shared questions or problems that they encountered during the course and while teaching the TPL short course material. The third cycle was a highly structured VCoP guided by the facilitator. Via the WhatsApp group, participants could also ask questions or pose problems that they encountered when teaching the TPL short course material.<br></p><p>Hanekom says the WhatsApp groups also served to relay logistical arrangements for practical online sessions, and served as a discussion platform (during the broadcasts) on which participants could share their thoughts and input, as well as photos of their participation.  <br></p><p>She also developed a set of design principles that consider the conditions that could lead to the success or failure of WhatsApp VCoPs. In this regard, Hanekom points to the Department of Higher Education and Department of Basic Education, which called for a set of guidelines to not only support the creation of, but also aid in the optimisation of VCoPs. <br></p><p>“Even though teachers use WhatsApp as a messaging service to parents and learners, many have been hesitant to use it as a platform for a virtual community of practice, as they, until now, did not have such a set of guidelines."<br></p><p>“The design principles can also inform the use of VCoPs in all future TPL courses at SUNCEP," adds Hanekom.<br></p><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Pauline Hanekom</p><p>Centre for Pedagogy</p><p>Faculty of Education</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 9197</p><p>Email: <a href=""></a>; <a href=""></a>   </p><p><strong>ISSUED BY</strong></p><p>Martin Viljoen</p><p>Manager: Media</p><p>Corporate Communication</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p>Email: <a href=""></a> </p><p>  ​<br></p><p><br></p>
SU professor receives prestigious research award professor receives prestigious research awardCorporate Communication/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Rozanne Engel]<p>​​<br></p><p>Prof Lesley le Grange from Stellenbosch University's (SU) Faculty of Education recently received the prestigious South African Education Research Association (SAERA) Honours Award.<br></p><p>This the highest award bestowed by SAERA and is given annually to an individual or research entity for an outstanding contribution to educational research in South Africa. The award ceremony took place at the gala dinner of the annual conference of SAERA in Durban.</p><p>According to Prof Le Grange, he feels honoured to have received this award, but emphasises that ultimately he does not do his work for accolades alone. </p><p>He loves working in education and says that although the award will not impact directly on his teaching and research at SU, receiving this award will spur him on to reach even greater heights in relation to teaching and research.</p><p>“I don't do my work to receive awards, but it is a good feeling to be recognised for your contribution to research, and more so if the recognition is given by South Africa's premier education association," says Le Grange.</p><p>Earlier this year, the former Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, appointed Le Grange and Prof Yusef Waghid, also from SU's Faculty of Education, to the Council of Higher Education (CHE). </p><p>One of the main functions of CHE is to contribute to the development of higher education through intellectual engagement with key national and systemic issues, including international trends. </p><p>As a council member, Le Grange will help advise the Minister of Higher Education and Training on all aspects of higher education policy and conduct research to inform and contribute to addressing the short and long-term challenges facing higher education.</p><p>“I am pleased to be of service to the higher education sector in this new capacity, particularly at a time when the sector is presented with both opportunities and challenges related to the funding of higher education, graduate employment, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the decolonisation debates," says Le Grange.</p><p>For more information on SAERA, visit <a href=""></a>.</p><p>To find out more on the Council of Higher Education, click <a href="">here</a>.<br>​<br><br></p>
Education students going to Berlin in 2020! students going to Berlin in 2020!Prof Christa van der Walt<p style="text-align:justify;">​​As a result of a collaborative project between Stellenbosch University and the Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany), South African and German education students have the opportunity to see how work-integrated learning (in popular terms 'proef') is done in each other's country.   During August and September four education students from the Humboldt University in Berlin visited Stellenbosch University and did part of their practical training by accompanying four BEd SU students to Western Cape schools. ​<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/english/faculty/education/PublishingImages/student-achievements/Julia-Andre-Nicole.jpg" alt="" style="margin:0px 5px;width:400px;height:338px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><em>Two of the German students (Julia Ruleva and André Froelich) with SU student Nicole Minnies at the school where Nicole did her work-integrated learning.  </em><em>Photo: Public Domain</em></p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/english/faculty/education/PublishingImages/student-achievements/Julia-Sophia-Andre%20classroom.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:800px;height:295px;" /> </p><p style="text-align:center;"><em>The German students in action at the school.  </em><em>On the left is </em><em>Sophia Dilba and Julia Schleiffer and on the right André Froelich and Sophia Dilba. </em><em> </em><em>Photo: Public Domain</em></p><p style="text-align:left;">Prior to their arrival, four third-year Stellenbosch students were selected to pair up with the German students. These SU students will now fly to Berlin in January 2020 to do part of their practical teaching in German schools.  The Stellenbosch students are currently in their third year and were selected based on their ideas on, and arguments for multilingual education. The successful students who will travel to Berlin in January 2020, are Delmé Barkhuizen, Nicole Minnies, Rozanne Theron and Alexa Plaatjies.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/english/faculty/education/PublishingImages/student-achievements/SU-stds_2.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:512px;" /> </p><p style="text-align:center;"><em>Prof. Christa van der Walt (centre back) with the four SU students who will travel to Berlin in January 2020: </em><em>Delmé Barkhuizen, Nicole Minnies, Rozanne Theron and Alexa Plaatjies. Photo: Public Domain​​</em></p>
Talent Development Programme: First 2-year cycle completed Development Programme: First 2-year cycle completedMrs Celeste Links<p style="text-align:justify;">​The spring edition of the Talent Development Programme was hosted during the September school holidays.  The Talent Development Programme (TDP) is a joint project between the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP).  It is a prestigious residential and academic enrichment intervention that aims to bridge the gap between school-leavers and universities.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">A total of 324 Grade 12 learners attended the programme. The participants joined the programme in 2018 and attended a total of six holiday camps during the last two years.  An academically rich programme was followed with a practice based approach that provides participants with an opportunity to engage in challenging academics and critical.  In-class activities in both Mathematics and Physical Sciences was delivered by a dedicated team of education specialists.  The programme also included support from dedicated Career Guidance Coordinators and all learners were assisted with their university and bursary applications. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The foundational skills programme included a live broadcast from Stellenbosch University's Centre for Learning and Teaching, themed - “Becoming a moneywise student" <br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/english/faculty/education/suncep/PublishingImages/TDP/September2019/myBlendPhoto2019-10-14_154137.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:416px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ongoing support is delivered between contact sessions through the Siyavula intelligent platform. A session with the focus on the effective use of platform's exam preparation section was also broadcasted to the TDP learner community.  </p><p>We would like to wish the TDP class of 2019 well with their preparations for the National Senior Certificate examinations.  <span style="text-align:justify;">A sincere word of gratitude goes out to all our partners, the provincial education departments and the department of science and innovation for their contributions towards the success of the programme</span><span style="text-align:justify;">. </span><span style="text-align:justify;"> </span></p>
SUNCEP and Expo for Young Scientists: 20 years of proudly making a difference and Expo for Young Scientists: 20 years of proudly making a difference Mrs Erika Hoffman<p style="text-align:justify;">​In 2019 the Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP) celebrated 20 years of coordinating the Stellenbosch regional Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. During this time a total of 5 503 learners, displaying 3 298 projects, have participated at the regional level. Over 20 year 415 learners with 332 projects have represented the region at the national Expo.  Of these 332 projects, 269 won medals, 52 projects won special prizes and 16 projects were appointed as best in their category.  In this time 21 learners from Stellenbosch region have also represented South Africa in overseas Science competitions!<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">From 24 – 27 September 2019 the Eskom Expo International Science Fair (ISF) took place at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg. The ISF brought together the brightest young scientists from across South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Learners competed in 13 categories that included Agricultural science, Chemistry, Computer science, Energy, Environmental studies, Engineering and Social sciences. The Stellenbosch region's learners managed to secure three bronze medals, eight silver medals, one gold medal, one learner was a category winner. </p><p>Stellenbosch-region won four special prizes:<br></p><ul><li>Mgutsi Batandwa was awarded bursaries from Eskom and Siemens for his project on developing a low budget virtual class platform.  </li><li>Katleho Baartman received a tablet and a R25 000 upgrade for the laboratory at his school, Zwelethemba High School for his project that developed a prototype spectacle to aid the blind around obstacles.  </li><li>Chilandri Muller investigated the influence of Magnesium on ATP production in mitochondria and the Royal Society of Chemistry awarded her research with a R8 000 special prize.</li></ul><div style="text-align:center;"><img src="/english/faculty/education/suncep/PublishingImages/EXPO%202019/ISF2019/ISF2019_Collage.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:600px;height:429px;" /><div style="text-align:left;"><br></div></div><div style="text-align:justify;">​“Participating in the competition not only equips learners with solid science and technology skills but also helps them to settle on a future career path, supplement their life skills and growing their confidence. Expo is about bringing change in the way children think about science and their career choices and to instil critical, out-of-the-box thinking. It is about investing in learners because they are our future, they are the ones who need to come up with the solutions for the current problems in the world." </div><p><br></p>
SU lecturer aims to produce culturally responsive educators lecturer aims to produce culturally responsive educators Asiphe Nombewu / Corporate Communication<p>​​​​​​​​​Faculty of Education lecturer Dr Zelda Barends has implemented a Social Impact project aimed at improving Foundation Phase teaching and learning for both the student teacher and learner.<br></p><p>The “I Can Read – Read to Serve, Serve to Read" project was implemented in February this year, and is another example of how Stellenbosch University (SU) is an engaged teaching and learning hub that supports its students in developing the graduate attributes as set by the University.</p><p>According to Barends, the project started as a means to bridge the gap between the world of theory and practice for the student teacher. Through the programme, student teachers provide Home Language support activities focusing on phonics and word building (two of the core components for reading skill development) to learners in certain aftercare facilities in the Greater Stellenbosch community.</p><p>Currently 75 Bachelor of Education degree students are participating in the project. Activities include helping learners write a story which would later be published in a workbook for the relevant grade. The programme also adds to the development of the student teachers by preparing them to work with learners from various contexts.</p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Picture1.jpg" alt="Picture1.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:304px;height:396px;" /> </p><p>“As a black woman, I had the privilege of going to schools my parents were unable to attend. At those schools, the teachers did not quite understand the issues each learner faced and what their barriers to learning were. Teachers often have a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching," she says.<br></p><p>“Teachers need to be aware of their bias and by engaging with learners early in their teaching careers they learn and consider each learner's context," adds Barends.</p><p>Barends says she wants SU's Faculty of Education to deliver teachers who understand and respect their learners, and who are equipped to deal with differences in the classroom. </p><p>Barends, who is also the coordinator of the Foundation Phase Bachelor of Education programme, says the project has had a positive impact on both the learners and SU students involved in the project. </p><p> “There has been growth in the learners; they write longer descriptive sentences now. In addition to this, even my students know now not to be quick to correct the learners. The students have learnt that just because a learner uses a language differently, it does not mean they are wrong. The students had their 'aha' moments in the classrooms," she says.</p><p>“I was pleased to witness the engaged teaching and learning that happened during the sessions. The literature speaks of culturally responsive teachers who are skilled at teaching in cross-cultural/ multicultural settings; that is exactly what we want our students to become," says Barends.<br></p><p><br></p>
Visit by University of Nebraska (Lincoln) to the Education Faculty by University of Nebraska (Lincoln) to the Education Faculty Prof Christa van der Walt<p style="text-align:justify;">​From 27 – 30 July a team of academics and postgraduate students visited the Faculty of Education to participate in discussions around postgraduate studies and the training of teachers.  On 27 July the whole team attended the Faculty's Postgraduate Saturdays and Prof Ted Hamann read a paper on how a little data can sometimes do big things.  On Tuesday 30 July the group split up to attend two local schools, while others toured the campus.  The aim of the visit was to investigate the possibility of further exchanges and collaboration.<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/NebraskaNeelsie.jpg" alt="NebraskaNeelsie.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:450px;height:208px;" /><br><strong>The Nebraskans investigating the Neelsie!  </strong><strong>From left to right: Prof Ted Hamann, Laura Hall, Samantha Thomas and Lindsey Culver-Johnson.</strong><br></p>