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Classroom Innovation in SA

The following video was created as part of an application for the Google Teacher Academy.  There are two themes to choose from: Motivation and Learning or Classroom Innovation. I somehow was drawn towards the Classroom Innovation and had few versions to it before this final one.

Working with teachers in promoting classroom innovation is challenging and rewarding at the same time, but creating this one minute movie has opened some insight into what classroom innovation can be. I guess when you are forced to keep your ideas into a strict time frame; it helps to focus your views.

What is not in the movie is the South African perspective, as I see it, which I would like to share:

 More than 16 years ago, during Apartheid, there were different education systems assembled according to race; Black, White, Indian and Others known as BANTU education. Now 16 years Post Apartheid, the country has gone HUGE way into integration of all races into one system of education, but still has HUGE way to go as far as performance in education and infrastructure are concerned.

Most Township schools have these concerns to consider: Number of learners in a class (can get 6o to 100 learners per class), crowded classrooms, dire infrastructure, low teachers’ proficiency, poverty, hunger and families strike by loss to HIV/AIDS.  Child-house hold is the phenomena in those townships and teachers are mothers, social workers, nurses, psychologist in addition to their teaching profession.

I therefore found it very difficult to define classroom innovation to these classrooms, as what I wish for them is that these classroom meet basic needs first , with children well fed, secured homes and environment and not being abused on the way to school or when going home from school. 

At ORT SA we try and contribute together with our funders by working with teachers to upgrade their skills and knowledge in subject matters as well as in mentorship and leadership skills. We can only hope that the bit we are doing is assisting to transformation in education in SA.

My thoughts are that mobile phones, which are fast taking SA by storm, may be the way to get those classrooms to “leapfrog” into technology integration. Which is the area we, in Professional Development, should be looking at.

Hope you enjoy the movie!