Trainers and administrators from the KwaZulu-Natal office of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Basic Education attended a three-day UKZN Democracy Education Workshop run by the University’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies academics Professor David McQuoid-Mason and Ms Phumzile Xulu.
Titled: Democracy for All, the workshop was held on the Howard College campus using the new edition of the Street Law Democracy for All (DFA) Manuals (2017) and democracy videos produced by the Civics Academy for the Hans Seidle Foundation.
The Workshop was designed to build the capacity of IEC trainers and school educators to teach ordinary citizens and school learners about democracy and human rights in anticipation of next year’s general elections.
McQuoid-Mason informed participants about the “Learning Triangle” summary of research and the rationale for interactive teaching methods. He and Xulu used interactive teaching methods because the educational psychologists who produced the “Learning Triangle” found that interactive teaching and learning methods were the most effective, especially if they involved learners teaching each other.
McQuoid-Mason and Zulu demonstrated some of the interactive lessons from the DFA Learner and Educator and Manuals with participants divided into nine teams of five. On the first day, the teams were given 40 minutes to prepare their lesson presentations based on those in the manuals. The teams were then required to teach their lessons at various stages during each day of the workshop.
‘I feel confident that the information I obtained from this exercise enables me to stand in front of people from my local community with confidence to encourage them to participate in the governing of their country,’ commented a participant from the IEC.
A trainer from the KZN Department of Basic Education said, ‘I feel confident about knowing what democracy is and everything I learned in the workshop. I will be able to train my teachers with confidence because of knowledge gained from the workshop.’