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Topic 11: Which class-norms are informing the current education system in South Africa ?

When you grow up in a poor neighbourhood, the ‘way people do and say things’ will become the default expressions and behaviour in your life. However, when you enter school, you soon realise that there is something ‘different’ going on school, and that ‘what you know and how you do things’ don’t fit into the [...]

Topic 12: How do social/economic class-norms play out in schools and classrooms ?

This question relates to the study of the ‘sociology of education’. In topic 11, we argued that the Apartheid system had an agenda of producing ‘cheap labour’ and therefore had to ensure that Black learners don’t go beyond standard 2 (grade 4) in numbers, since “There is no place for [the Bantu] in the European [...]

Topic 13: How do we make the ‘hidden curriculum’ more ‘visible’ in our schools ?

One of the most respected educationists who played a key role in shaping my thinking is John Taylor Gatto. He has been named the New York City Teacher of the Year on three separate occasions. He resigned whilst serving his third term as ‘New York State Teacher of the Year, claiming that “ he was [...]

Topic 14: What are the key responsibilities of the Principal and SLT at school ?

The most important role of any principal and his/her leadership team is to INFLUENCE all the stakeholders. In this respect, one aspect is seldom clarified namely, TO WHAT END ARE WE INFLUENCING all roleplayers ? In our ‘school turnaround methodology’ we strive towards influencing all roleplayers in order to stabilize and improve the functionality of [...]

Topic 15: What is the role of the Principal and SLT in creating a target-setting atmosphere ?

The principal and senior staff members should organise and manage the school in relation to the targets set by individual and groups of learners (topic 3-5), as well as ensuring that the planning and preparatory processes are at a level that justifies and ensures the achievement of these expectations and targets. The management of the [...]

Topic 16: Target setting in writing, is expressing our dreams in public through achievable deadlines

We have raised the importance of working towards the individual and collective targets for learners, subjects and phases. If you don’t work towards a target, then you will not be able to manage yourself or others towards an end goal, whether it is the individual or school targets. A target is an expression of a [...]

Topic 17: Summary 1 – SiSopen Module: Target Setting

Over the past few weeks we have been focusing on enhancing learner outcomes by realising the individual and collective dreams of our children. This is possible if by setting of targets in every subject for every learner. This target setting culture is based firstly on the strong belief that all learners can and should be [...]

Topic 19: How do we monitor and evaluate whether our children are getting their 170/180/190 days of teaching and learning?

Our national school calendars are issued two years in advance and are considered to be legally binding because they are published in a government gazette. Our 2016 school calendar was published on 4 November 2014, in government gazette no. 38146. Unlike previous calendars, this one does not split our provinces into ‘inland’ and ‘coastal’ provinces, [...]

Topic 20: How can we protect the 935 hours of Teaching and Learning? (900 hours for grade 3, and 874 hours for grade R-2 in Foundation Phase)

The number of school days as well as the hours of teaching, learning and assessment for every phase, are legislatively spelt out in the CAPS document. The ‘time allocation’ for Foundation phase is 23 hours for grade R-2, and 25 hours in grade 3. In Intermediate (Grade 4,5,6), Senior (Grades 7,8,9) and FET (Further education [...]

Topic 21: How do we monitor and evaluate whether our children are getting their 935 hours (grades 4-12), 900 hours (grade 3) and 874 hours (grades R-2) of teaching and learning ?

It is pertinent to note that the CAPS documents guides and legislates the hours outlined in this post and other posts. Unlike the 170/180/190 days which could be regarded as the monitoring and evaluation responsibility of district officials and principals, the 874/900/935 hours should be seen as the responsibility of learners, teachers, heads of departments [...]

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