The main purpose of the programme is to enhance pre-service and in-service teachers’ experiences with regard to Sustainable Living as well as Values-based and Social Entrepreneurship Education through creativity, reasoning, language usage, critical thinking and action.
The pilot programme started in 2017. Co-ordinated by senior lecturer Dr Angela James and facilitated by award-winning author, Masters student and Director of Global Forum 4 Literacy, Ms Fiona Khan, it offered one module with four workshops. In 2018, the programme expanded to three modules and 10 interactive, thought-provoking workshops, facilitated by Khan, UKZN alumnus and DUT lecturer Dr Surversperi Rajah and Ms Berenice de la Croix, Social Entrepreneur. Tutor, Mr Luthando Fundzo assisted with administration and developed leadership skills.
First-year to Master’s level students and teachers from different specialisations attended the programme. During the closing function’s reflection session, Master’s student, Mr Izuchukwu Okoye Ogbalu said, ‘I initially was not interested and motivated in pursuing my studies in Education, but after this programme, I have learnt a lot in terms of what is Education. I intend to stay in Education and I have learnt how our communities could be optimally influenced by education.’
James noted that many student reflections (verbal and text) described how they learnt innovative teaching, and value focused and social entrepreneurship strategies as well as the effectiveness of using these in a relevant and effective manner in the classroom.
‘A prominent factor is that the programme created a platform for students and teachers where they could interact and scaffold each other as there were international students, Golden Key holders, award-winning poets, community leaders and teachers from various disciplines who are School of Education alumni. It was clear through discussions and the overwhelming motivation that this programme is very beneficial for all teachers (pre and in-service),’ said James.
The programme will be implemented in 2019 once funding is received. ‘As a community engagement initiative, this will improve the quality of teaching and learning that can be possible in our schools. We invite students and teachers to attend the programme when it is advertised,’ added James.