Topic 1: All learners can and should be successful in our schools

The first school turnaround principle forms the foundation of our methodology, which is that all learners can and should be successful. This is despite all the justification we have built up over years of apartheid indoctrination and education, why certain learners can’t be success. This principle is part of our core belief, and the research [...]

Topic 2: Teaching towards the Learner’s Dreams

Every activity in life starts with a purpose/intention, and some of these have short turnaround time, while others are more long term. The activity of schooling, and more appropriately called education, has two types of purposes, namely (i) a more general intention where the country/government wants to ensure that their citizens are prepared (made ready) [...]

Topic 3: Target setting as a framework for consistent focus in schools

When setting a purpose/goal (topic 2), it is important to quantify them so that the progress in achieving these goals can be measured and assessed. And measurable goals are called targets. During the target setting process, we need to be realistic in order not to put the learners in the position of never being able [...]

Topic 4: Steps in identifying the Targets in the school

The senior leadership (SLT) and management teams (SMT) must analyse the promotion schedules of all the class groups in order to identify the average performance of each subject grade class groups as well as individual learners. After analysing the data, the following steps are followed: Agreeing on an Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) for the schools [...]

Topic 5: Learners constantly working towards their Targets

Target setting in action It is important that learners are well informed about the purpose of the targets, how there are calculated and how these targets are linked to their ‘dreams’ (topic 2). Learners should not see targets as a burden, but rather as a learning motivation. They also need to understand that ‘target setting’ [...]

Topic 6: Learners constructing their Commitment to achieve AYP in each subject

The third step in the process, after identifying a dream, and the target that is realistic and linked to the exit dream after school, is the ‘learner commitment’ he/she needs to construct in order to make the AYP of 5% a reality. Too many times do schools identify targets without the learners taking up ownership [...]

Topic 7: All Adults Care about the Learners in the same way as they Care about their Own or Grand Children

The purpose of education (schooling) is to prepare young people for their responsibilities and roles when they become adults. This is a cyclical process, which means that if the ‘adults of today’ care about the young people; these young people, who will become the adults of tomorrow, will also ‘care about young people’ when they [...]

Topic 8: Teachers consistently supporting learners to achieve their targets

Most schools set ‘teaching’ as a target (curriculum completion or curriculum coverage), rather than focusing learning and assessment of that learning as the target in the school. Since (i) ‘learning/assessment’ is the output, (ii) ‘teaching/ instruction’ is the input and (iii) ‘facilitation of learning’ is the process of attaining the educational outcomes, schools have to [...]

Topic 9: You have to be a ‘Teacher of Learners’ first, and then a ‘Teacher of Subjects’

This topic focuses on the first ‘diversion’, mentioned in topic 8, where teachers are caught up in ‘teaching the subject, rather than teaching the learners’. In the Dalai Lama’s book, My Spiritual Journey, he shares the following wisdom: “If a teacher doesn’t limit himself to academic teaching, if he also takes on the responsibility of [...]

Topic 10: How to get rid of the ‘deficit thinking’ and ‘victim mentality’ that is so prevalent in our schools ?

In many challenging and depressing situations, people often have little clue on how to solve or improve learner outcomes. They often slip into thinking of themselves as victims who have little and/or no control over the situation. Given our high dropout rate, desperate socio economic context and dismal performance in international Math and Science tests [...]

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