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Community of Practice for the Teaching and Learning of African languages (COPAL): Consultative meetinghttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6111Community of Practice for the Teaching and Learning of African languages (COPAL): Consultative meetingSimthembile Xeketwana <p style="text-align:start;"><span style="text-align:justify;">​​​​(</span><span style="text-align:justify;">Picture) </span><em style="text-align:justify;">Mr Simthembile Xeketwana, Prof Johan Malan, Prof Mokgale Makgopa and Ms Phumla Kese</em><span style="text-align:justify;">​</span></p><p><span style="text-align:justify;">On the 20/11/2018 the isiXhosa unit in the Department of Curriculum studies hosted Prof Mokgale Makgopa, under the banner of the CoPAL Community of Practice for the Teaching and Learning of African languages, the sub-committee of Universities South Africa (USAF). This community of practice aims among other things “… to provide a structured opportunity for members of faculty to collaborate, network and exchange ideas on issues of common interest or concern, as well as recommending strategies for the sector to enhance access and success in the teaching and learning of African languages in the public universities."</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The visit by Prof Makgopa was specifically to the Faculty of Education at SU as he was tasked by the CoPAL to solicit the progress and practice of African Languages in the Faculties of Education in South Africa. Furthermore, the community is in the process of acquiring this information with the intention of “benchmarking, developing, advocating and sharing good practices and relevant information needed to advance the teaching of African Language in schools". </p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is for this reason that the isiXhosa unit took part in this initiative, where the academic staff involved in teaching isiXhosa in the Education Faculty and the acting Dean Prof Malan, reported on the progress, successes and challenges of teaching isiXhosa at SU. The issue of collaboration, was also at the centre stage in this meeting, where it was resolved that collaboration is needed today more than ever. Furthermore, there is a need for the CoPAL to formally invite the faculties of education in the country to join this community, since the African languages are not only taught in African languages' departments. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In light of the SU language policy which recognises isiXhosa as a language of teaching and learning, to be part of communities of practice such as CoPAL further confirms that at SU we are part of a bigger family and we need to continue sharing good practice through our research and teaching and learning initiatives.<br><br></p>
Faculty Education Blended Learning Seminarhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6087Faculty Education Blended Learning SeminarDr Anthea H M Jacobs T&L Advisor: Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) / Faculty of Education<p>​​​​​​<br></p><p><strong>FACULTY OF EDUCATION BLENDED LEARNING DAY 06 NOVEMBER 2018 held in R3008 Education Building from 09h00 – 12h45</strong></p><p>In 2017, the Faculty of Education started offering the Bachelor of Education Honours (B Ed Hons)  via Blended Learning (BL). This was a learning curve for staff, as many were exposed to online teaching for the first time.  </p><p>The first year was mainly about getting used to technology (SUNLearn)<a href="file:///C:/Users/Cyril%20Williams/Desktop/FACULTY%20OF%20EDUCATION%20BLENDED%20LEARNING%20DAY%2006%20NOVEMBER%202018%20held.docx#_ftn1">[1]</a>, but the Faculty felt that the time had come to engage more actively with the pedagogical side of this mode of teaching and learning – hence the idea to arrange a BL day.</p><p>To read the full article please follow link below  </p><p><a href="/english/faculty/education/Faculty%20Documents/NEWS%20FEED%20for%20WEB%20Final.pdf">https://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/education/Faculty%20Documents/NEWS%20FEED%20for%20WEB%20Final.pdf</a><br><br></p><p><br></p>
Education research in the spotlight at conferencehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5921Education research in the spotlight at conferencePia Nänny<p>​Three international guests and approximately 120 participants, including education researchers, policy-makers and PhD students, attended the fourth annual conference on Quantitative Education Research in Stellenbosch on 6 and 7 September.<br></p><p>The conference was hosted by ReSEP, a research group on Social Economic Policy situated within the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University (SU). The conference's aim is to consider education policy through a quantitative lens – unpacking the challenges faced by the education sector in South Africa and stimulating research and debate around these issues with the purpose of offering practical solutions.</p><p>Some of the topics presented and discussed were “Leadership and Literacy: Exploring linkages in rural and township school in South Africa", “Can we meaningfully measure school leadership and management in South Africa. The case of 60 township and rural schools" and “Quantitative research on early grade reading in African languages".</p><p>The three international speakers were Prof Paul Glewwe from the University of Minnesota, who spoke on “What explains Vietnam's exceptional performance in education relative to other countries?", Dr Abhijeet Singh from the Stockholm School of Economics, who spoke on “Evaluating reforms for system-level change in education: Evidence from multiple Indian states", and Justin Sandefur from the Centre for Global Development in Washington DC, who discussed “Internationally comparable mathematics scores for fourteen African countries".</p><p>On Friday, there were two parallel sessions where PhD students presented their PhD proposals and ongoing research, getting feedback from the participants.</p><p>Prof Servaas van der Berg, lead researcher at ReSEP and incumbent of the National Research Chair in the Economics of Social Policy at SU opened the conference with an overview of flows through school systems in Southern Africa – looking at South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.</p><p>He pointed out a number of sobering patterns and trends, including the fact that while most children in Southern Africa attend primary school, many learners who should be enrolled in secondary school are not in some of these countries. Learners in all six countries also perform at a level far below the international average in international education evaluations. Prof Van der Berg highlighted several issues, including high drop-out rates, repetition policies (especially repetition without adequate support), the effect of remoteness (distance from main centres), shifts to outcomes-based curriculums and teacher supply and training.</p><p>“In South Africa we've done pretty well to get learners to remain in school and attain higher grades. However, that doesn't reflect the quality of learning," he said.</p><p>An important policy area that received much attention at the conference was setting benchmarks for reading fluency in African languages, and the need for teaching teachers how to teach reading in these languages. The weak state of mathematics education was also highlighted by a presentation on an intervention at Grade R level that considerably improved teacher knowledge but had only a small effect on children's learning.<br></p><p><strong>​Photo:</strong> Prof Paul Glewwe, Dr Abhijeet Singh and Prof Servaas van der Berg.<br></p><p><strong>Photographer:</strong> Anton Jordaan, SCPS<br></p>
SciMathUS helping students achieve their dreamshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5852SciMathUS helping students achieve their dreamsCorporate Communications/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie (Rozanne Engel)<p>​<br></p><p>There is a well-known Confucius quote: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." For students participating in the Science and Mathematics at Stellenbosch University (SciMathUS) Programme, this quote is especially significant.</p><p>SciMathUS students are not only given a second chance to qualify for higher education through the programme but they are also given an opportunity to participate in the SciMathUS Graduate Employability Initiative (SGEI), which helps them make informed career decisions and exposes them to the dream job they love.</p><p>The SGEI is a collaborative effort between SciMathUS, based at Stellenbosch University, and Thyme2B, a career and employability coaching company. The goals of the SGEI are to support current SciMathUS students to make informed career choices and to build and enhance their self-confidence and their people and soft skills. A next phase includes assisting fFormer SciMathUS students in developing and expanding their social networks during their higher education journey and supporting them in making the transition into first-time employment.</p><p>According to Dr Elza Lourens, a SciMathUS facilitator and the one who spearheads the SGEI, helping students with career choices and building social networks are vital to their career success. “Research shows that accessing the job market becomes increasingly difficult if a prior possible work network is not built. With the SGEI, we want to help students explore their passion and help them to decide on careers that will be best for them in the long term."</p><p>The SGEI was founded in March this year and is still in its pilot phase pending funding to continue helping SciMathUS students in the future. The initiative has helped the 100 current SciMathUS students with career choices and the development of networks. One of those students is Karabo Thobejane, a current SciMathUS student interested in Astronomy and Astrophysics. He was able to visit the South African Astronomy Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town to talk and spend the day with astrophysicist Mrs Shazrene Mohammed.</p><p>“Mrs Shazrene was very friendly and explained how things work in the career field of Astronomy. I was also fortunate to chat with other SAAO staff, astronomers, PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows at the SAAO. SciMathUS has so far been very critical to my growth. I learned that knowledge without understanding is worthless," says Thobejane.</p><p>Apart from career opportunities, the SGEI also helps develop students' people and communication skills in order to be able to ask the right questions and promote themselves effectively. According to Anuschka Bennet, a current SciMathUS student interested in Architecture and Civil Engineering, going through the SGEI has given her a sense of confidence, encouragement and fulfilment.</p><p>“The SciMathUS programme is definitely an enriching environment for people who are keen on developing their academic and critical thinking skills. I have developed an immense sense of diligence in SciMathUS, the programme has really helped me open up my mind to the unending opportunities there are in tertiary studies and showing me many different career fields," says Bennet.</p><p>The SGEI offers various workshops, coaching sessions, assessments, group interventions and conversations, to provide SciMathUS students with enough information to make informed decisions about their choice of career.</p><p>For more information on the SGEI and the SciMathUS programme, contact Dr Elza Lourens at 021 808 2608 or <a href="mailto:el3@sun.ac.za">el3@sun.ac.za</a>. <br></p><p>​</p><p>Photo: SciMathUS students visit a Radiologist.<br></p>
Inaugural Africa Day Lecture: Social cohesion in South Africa is possiblehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5675Inaugural Africa Day Lecture: Social cohesion in South Africa is possibleCorporate Communications Division<p>“By the time a black and a white South African at the age of 18 come to the university, they are already messed up in their heads. Depending on which schools they went to; the homes they grew up in; the churches, mosque or synagogues they went to – they are either struggling greatly with social cohesion, with being together with others that do not look like them, pray like them or speak their language … or they are able to get along more easily."<br></p><p>These were Prof Jonathan Jansen's opening words when he delivered the inaugural African Day Lecture at Stellenbosch University (SU) last night. Jansen was introduced by SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers, who described him as Distinguished Professor of Education at SU, President of the South African Institute of Race Relations, and President of the <span lang="NL" style="font-size:11pt;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;color:#1f497d;">Academy of Science of South Africa</span> Prof Jansen is regarded as one of South Africa's most prolific scholars.</p><p>The topic of his lecture was: “Can schools build an inclusive African identity? Tracing changes in the racial demographics of schools since 1994". According to Prof Jansen, settled patterns of school desegregation are discernible presently, 20 years after apartheid. These patterns are an indication of the prospects for social cohesion in South Africa.</p><p>He warns that young people cannot be thrown together just like that, and expected to get along. They need to be guided and taught how to get along. Prof Jansen is convinced that it is easy to change young people's thinking. </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0II9QoXkGHk" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p><em>People with cell phones click </em><em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0II9QoXkGHk&feature=youtu.be">here.</a></em><br></p><p>At the same occasion, Prof De Villiers launched the SU Africa Day Lecture Series as an annual institutional event to commemorate Africa Day. He highlighted the important role that SU will continue to fulfil in collaborating towards higher education, specifically research in Africa.</p><p>Prof De Villiers said that the University was already involved in more than 400 active projects with more than 600 partners from Africa in 42 countries on the continent. He also mentioned the valuable work of the Centre for Collaboration in Africa, which resorts under Stellenbosch University International.</p><p>“We are an African university. Yes, we are located in Africa, but it is also true that approximately 14% of our student body come from 117 countries across the world, and 56% of our international students are from African countries other than South Africa," Prof De Villiers said.</p><p>Africa Day commemorates the formation of the Organisation of African Unity – the forerunner of the African Union – in 1963. SU also celebrates African University Day, on 12 November, to mark the foundation of the Association of African Universities (AAU) – of which SU is a member – in 1967.</p><p><strong><em> </em></strong></p><p>Photo gallery: People attending the Africa Day Lecture at SU. Artist Wilken Calitz and singer Devonecia Swartz performed at the event after Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela ( Research Chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation) had a conversation after the delivery of the lecture. <br></p><p>Photos and video: Stefan Els <br></p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/AfricaDayLecture2018-30.jpg" alt="AfricaDayLecture2018-30.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:400px;height:267px;" /><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/AfricaDayLecture2018-95.jpg" alt="AfricaDayLecture2018-95.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:400px;height:267px;" /><br></p><p>​<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/AfricaDayLecture2018-62.jpg" alt="AfricaDayLecture2018-62.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:400px;" /><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/AfricaDayLecture2018-47.jpg" alt="AfricaDayLecture2018-47.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:400px;" /><br><br></p>
Voices from the profession give advice to pre-service teachershttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5656Voices from the profession give advice to pre-service teachersPia Nänny<p></p><p>The Department of Curriculum Studies at Stellenbosch University recently invited several teachers and principals to address final-year pre-service Education students on the topic: “Classroom communication: insights from the profession".</p><p>The aim of the session was to share with student teachers real stories of how the speakers, as teachers or principals, facilitate processes of communication at their schools – all aimed at building a healthy environment that supports learning.</p><p>“We want the students to hear the voices from the profession so that they can understand the challenges, structures and processes with regards to facilitating communication at all levels at school," said Prof Maureen Robinson, academic coordinator of practical learning in the Faculty of Education.  </p><p>“We were looking for stories of challenges as well as possibilities; what they do to establish positive communication between learners, professional communication between teachers, and productive communication with the broader environment."</p><p>The invited speakers included Ms Wendy Horn from Protea Heights Academy, Mr Gary Skeeles from Rhenish Primary, Mrs Victoria Hani from Kayamandi High School, Mr Deon Wertheim from Bernadino Heights Secondary School, Mr Bennie Aucamp from Eikestad Primary and Mr Jeff King from Northpine Primary.</p><p>All the speakers spoke with passion, and showed evidence of their commitment and dedication to their learners, often in difficult circumstances. Some of the advice shared with the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and fourth-year BEd students was:</p><ul><li>Education is about creating and maintaining connections; never underestimate the value of a face-to-face conversation.</li><li>Be open and honest and communicate when you're struggling; this is not a weakness.</li><li>Be prepared and professional; remember, you are a role model.</li><li>Learners communicate in various ways – formal/informal, verbal/nonverbal; know your learners, understand what makes them tick and notice when they change.​</li></ul>
Tribute to former SU Centre for Teaching and Learning directorhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5619Tribute to former SU Centre for Teaching and Learning directorCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​​​Stellenbosch University (SU), the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and various academic departments are saddened by passing of a former director of the CTL, Prof Brenda Leibowitz. <br></p><p>Prof Maureen Robinson of the SU Department of Curriculum Studies and a friend and colleague of Prof Leibowitz, writes:​ </p><p><em>I  have known Brenda Leibowitz for over 30 years, both as a friend and colleague. She was a teacher during the turbulent school boycotts of the 1980s in Cape Town and is remembered dearly by many of her former pupils. She worked for some years in the Department of Education with the late Kader Asmal, as Director: Race and Values in Education, later moving into the fields of academic development and teaching and learning, seeing these as vehicles for the transformation of higher education. </em></p><p><em>Between 2004  and 2013  Prof Leibowitz worked at Stellenbosch University as Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The Centre supported the enhancement of all aspects of teaching and learning at the University. Areas of focus of the Centre included: coordination of the University's Extended Degree Programmes, support for tutor programmes, the professional development of academics, student feedback, integrating academic literacy in the curriculum, E-learning, development of teaching and learning policies and strategic documents, the First-year Academy and various research projects. She was concurrently Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies, convened a module in the MPhil in Health Science Education and supervised several PhD and Masters students.</em></p><p><em>In 2014 she moved to the University of Johannesburg, where she was offered a Chair in Teaching and Learning.  This was recently accepted as a new SARCHi Chair, an expression of the high regard in which she was held in the academic community.   </em></p><p><em>From the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of South Africa (HELTASA) comes the following words: </em><em>Brenda has been taken from us too soon, when there was still so much more to share and so much still to do in academic development. Rest in peace, Brenda, and be sure that your legacy to higher education in South Africa is enormous and will continue not least in the form of HELTASA</em></p><p><br></p><p><em><strong>Photo: </strong><a href="http://heltasa.org.za/a-tribute-to-brenda-leibowitz/" style="text-decoration-line:underline;">HELTASA</a><br></em></p><p>​<br></p>
Postgraduate programmes 2019http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3578Postgraduate programmes 2019Media: Opvoedkunde / Education<p>​​The Faculty of Education offers Bachelor of Education Honours programmes based on a mixed / blended learning mode.  <br></p><p>Students can apply for one of the following programmes:</p><ul><li><strong>BEd Hons (Educational Development and Democracy) </strong></li><li><strong>BEd Hons (Educational Support) </strong></li><li><strong>BEd Hons (Foundation Phase Education) </strong></li><li><strong>BEd Hons (Language Education) </strong></li></ul><p><strong>What is the Mixed / Blended Learning mode?</strong></p><p>These programmes consist of an appropriate mix of:</p><ul><li>Face-to-face contact sessions on-campus</li><li>Telematics broadcasts to existing satellite sites </li><li>Electronic learning by using SUNLearn (the learning management system of Stellenbosch University) which includes modern teaching techniques, online discussion groups with fellow students and lecturers, electronic assignments, etc.</li></ul><p><strong>How does new offering differ from previous programmes offered?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Previously students who enrolled in the BEd Hons programmes had to attend classes on campus during the evenings at least twice a week. Now, however, students only have to attend two contact sessions (spread out through the year during school holidays) which allows students from anywhere in South Africa to participate in these programmes with regular contact with their lecturers.​</p><p><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><a href="/english/faculty/education/Documents/BEdHons_2019%20intake_updated.pdf" target="_blank">Download</a></strong> the document with more information, programme-specific requirements and programme structure.</p>
Tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Stellenbosch University http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5593Tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Stellenbosch University Asiphe Nombewu/ Corporate Communication<p>​​<br></p><p>Staff and students of Stellenbosch University (SU) this week (12 April) gathered on the Red Square on campus to pay their respects to freedom fighter and “mother of the nation" Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who died on 2 April at the age of 81.</p><p>Madikizela-Mandela, who struggled with a long illness, will be laid to rest at Fourways Memorial Park in Johannesburg on Saturday 14 April.<br></p><p></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0mJXUpgMZU4" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p>Click <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mJXUpgMZU4&feature=youtu.be"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-4" style=""><strong>here </strong></span></a>to go to the link to the video<br></p><p>Prof Ronelle Carolissen, Vice-Dean: Teaching and Learning of SU's Faculty of Education, delivered a tribute at the on-campus memorial service, speaking about her experience working with victims of sexual violence as a volunteer psychologist during the apartheid years. An extract from her speech follows below:</p><p><em>“As a Psychology student volunteer working with victims of violence and torture during the 1980s, I saw many Ma Winnies who were tortured, humiliated and degraded, both on the streets and in prison. I saw their families, and the fragmentation inflicted by an apartheid government propping up white privilege. Security police did not like opponents, their families or service providers like me.</em></p><p><em>I specifically remember one patient – a female MK soldier who had been raped by four police officers while imprisoned. As a clinical psychologist during the early 1990s, I listened to her story. And in the period following 1994, I saw many policemen, white and black, who were tortured by the gruesome memories of killings … of children buried in unknown and forgotten sites, and of families still looking for their children. I wish I was making all of this up.</em></p><p><em>How does one simply carry on living like an ordinary human being after all these horrendous and inhuman experiences?</em></p><p><em>During her lifetime, Ma Winnie did not have a chance to integrate with everyday life. She not only experienced the brunt of oppression herself, but also witnessed and shared the pain of other women and men. She was banished to Brandfort for nine years, kept in solitary confinement for 18 months, and was the only ANC member summoned to appear in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, despite all the rapes that had taken place in MK camps.</em></p><p><em>Over the past few days, I have heard so many white and black South Africans expressing outrage at all the lies and persecutory tales told about Ma Winnie. So, what do we do? Fake news is not restricted to a Trump world. Fake news exists everywhere, including South Africa. Fake news serves the interests of the ruling elite. As university students and academics, we have access to resources, platforms for debate and opportunities to educate ourselves about our country and the world. This is a privilege that few people have. We have to read and share stories from our communities. We have a duty to add more narratives when a single destructive narrative dominates. There were no perfect saints and no perfect sinners in South Africa.</em></p><p><em>Ma Winnie will forever remain a symbol of the disproportionate burdens that black women have had to endure. We recognise her immense and sacrificial contribution to South Africa. In this spirit, we extend our heartfelt, sincere condolences to her daughters and family. After all, Ma Winnie was not only the mother of the nation, but Zindzi and Zenani's mother too. </em></p><p><em>Rest in peace, Ma Winnie. Perhaps you will be better understood in death than in life. Perhaps you had to die for the truth to be told."</em></p><p>Several students at the memorial service also spoke to SU's Corporate Communication Division about what Madikizela-Mandela's legacy meant to them:</p><p><strong>Bantubonke Louw: </strong>“When I hear the name 'Nomzamo', it reminds me of my mother, as it does every other African child. When they call her the “mother of the nation", it speaks to her motherly nature. It speaks to that spirit of care for anybody that she came across, which is clear to see in pictures and videos of all her interactions. While resolute about politics, she was a mother to everybody. She was a unifier and a nurturer."</p><p><strong>Nomzamo Ntombela: </strong>“When we speak of Ma Winnie and her contribution to the liberation of the country, it brings into question the role SU has played in empowering its women, and women of colour in particular, to operate in leadership spaces, be holistically supported, and contribute to the liberation of other young women on campus. We don't have many women of colour standing for leadership positions on this campus due to years of historical erasure, and when I think of Ma Winnie, I think of how difficult it must have been for her to exist in such a male-dominated space."</p><p><strong>Lonwabo</strong> <span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;color:#1f497d;">Nkonzo</span> <strong>: </strong>“The name Winnie Madikizela reminds me of when I decided to be part of #FeesMustFall. The struggle and what Ma Winnie stood for encouraged us to be vocal in the movement. Seeing women come to the fore, only for men to claim all the credit – that was something I found to be equally relevant today."</p><p><strong>Simthembile Xeketwana: </strong>“When we talk about Ma Winnie, I think of a hero and a very brave woman. A mother who is proud and will do anything and everything to protect her children. I think of someone who puts the needs of others before her own. In some of the videos, we see Ma Winnie fighting apartheid police. In one video, she is seen telling the police that a boy they were trying to arrest was under-aged. She was a mother and a hero."</p><ul><li>Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was born as Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela on 26 September 1936. She was a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician, and the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela. A loyal member of the African National Congress (ANC), she served as a member of Parliament from 1994 to 2003, and again from 2009 until her death.</li></ul><p> <br></p><p><br></p>
Maths teachers struggling with English http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5565Maths teachers struggling with English Corporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>Grade 4 to Grade 7 (Intermediate Phase) Maths teachers in under-resourced schools in the Eastern Cape are not proficient in English, the language they are supposed to teach in, and their knowledge of mathematic content is not up to scratch. <br></p><p>This is one of the findings of a recent study at Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p>“Maths teachers in the Intermediate Phase (IP) struggle to master English and this lack of competency compromises the quality of mathematics instruction," says Dr Lindiwe Tshuma a Research Fellow at SU and a Specialist in Primary Mathematics at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre (AIMSSEC) in Muizenberg. <br></p><p>“The data suggest that while some teachers make an effort to teach in English and promote learner discourse in the prescribed language of instruction, the practice was not consistent," she adds.<br></p><p>Tshuma, who recently obtained her doctorate in Curriculum Studies from SU, endeavoured to analyse the existing relationships between IP teachers' language competencies and mathematics instruction at primary schools in the Eastern Cape. She says her study was motivated by her work with IP mathematics teachers from under-resourced schools in the Eastern Cape.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“These teachers are often non-specialists and have to teach mathematics due to the shortage of specialist mathematics teachers at primary school level, more so in under-resourced school that cannot attract and retain better qualified teachers."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">As part of her study, Tshuma used English Language Competency Assessments, Mathematics Word Problem Assessments, questionnaires, interviews and classroom observations. Both IP mathematics teachers and IP mathematics teacher educators from different universities in the country participated in the study.<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Tshuma1.png" alt="Tshuma1.png" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:453px;height:306px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She assessed the teachers' competency in English through the administration of standardised English Language Competency Assessments, piloted in five different universities in South Africa. These assessments checked teachers' comprehension of the language while the mathematics word problem assessment checked their application of the English language in solving mathematics word problems.<br></p><p>Tshuma says the study showed that a teacher's competency in English does indeed relate to the delivery of IP mathematics content to learners. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Teachers with a better mastery of the language of instruction are in a better position to explain new terms to their learners and to create language learning opportunities within mathematics content delivery."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“On the other hand, teachers with a poor mastery of the language of instruction are unable to effectively assist learners to perform basic reading and writing skills or to guide learners to explain mathematical concepts in their own words; skills through which the mathematical content is often assessed."</p><p>“The study highlights teacher competency in the language of instruction as one of the most significant predictors of mathematics performance; this is particularly significant since the country's indigenous languages are yet to be fully developed to support mathematics instruction."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Linguistically underprepared</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tshuma says teacher education institutions are not doing enough to linguistically prepare IP mathematics teachers well enough to use English meaningfully as a language of instruction. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It is the duty of all university education departments as well as other teacher education institutions to develop and improve IP mathematics teachers' English language competence."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“One of the ways of improving the quality of IP mathematics education should include investing in  teachers' linguistic infrastructure right from initial teacher education curriculum through to  Continuing Professional Teacher Development programmes. Teachers alone cannot plug this gap in mathematics education; they need the support of teacher education institutions and other stakeholders in education."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Teachers need to be equipped with the necessary skills on how to learn new content through language."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Competence in English is necessary for teachers to engage in high quality mathematics instruction in English. However, it may not be sufficient. They also need content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and specific knowledge of how to teach mathematics to English learners."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tshuma points out that only 1 out of the 10 sampled teacher educator institutions provided modules that focus on the use of English as language of instruction, but unfortunately the modules are provided at Master's level which the majority of teachers in under-resourced schools would not have attained by the time they are deployed to schools.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She adds that although English is a foreign language to the majority of the teachers who use it as language of instruction, the mere fact that our current Language in Education Policy requires them to use English in the classroom calls for high levels of proficiency in that language. The Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications requires IP teachers to at least have Additional Language proficiency in English. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“However, the answers provided by the teachers in the English language proficiency assessment as well as in the Mathematics word problems revealed grammatical and idiomatic errors and this study consequently infers that Additional Language proficiency in the medium of instruction is not good enough for an IP mathematics teacher."<br></p><p>Tshuma worries that if the status quo remains, poor teacher language competency and grasp of the mathematical content knowledge is likely to be passed on from the teachers to the learners. <br></p><p>“We may want to ask who is failing the nation: are the teachers failing the learners or<strong><em> </em></strong>are the teacher educators failing the teachers who in turn fail the learners?"</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Without enshrining English at the expense of other official languages there is a need to cater for the English learners who are in the education system today and are supposed to be taught and assessed in English, as stipulated by the current education policy." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tshuma says she hopes her study will contribute significantly to the current debate on language use in education and stimulate awareness among developers of teacher education curriculum, so that teachers' mastery of the language of instruction is prioritised for the delivery of meaningful content in under-resourced classrooms. <br></p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li><strong>Main photo</strong>: Pixabay<br></li><li><strong>Photo 1</strong>: Dr Lindiwe Tshuma in her office.<br></li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr Lindiwe Tshuma<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Specialist in Primary Mathematics </p><p style="text-align:justify;">AIMSSEC, Muizenberg</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tel: 0217879265</p><p style="text-align:justify;">E-mail: <a href="mailto:lindiwe@aimssec.ac.za">lindiwe@aimssec.ac.za</a> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>          ISSUED BY </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Martin Viljoen<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Manager: Media</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Corporate Communication</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p style="text-align:justify;">E-mail: <a href="mailto:viljoenm@sun.ac.za">viljoenm@sun.ac.za</a> <br></p><p><br></p>