How can South Africa create transformation at schools?
CapeTalk host Pippa Hudson hosted a discussion on school transformation and inclusivity.
She was joined by a live studio audience and two educators and authors.
Dylan Wray, Roy Hellenberg and Professor Jonathan Jansen wrote an insightful book called "A School where I Belong".
The book is based on their own schooling experiences as well as interactions with learners, teachers and school principals.
[LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE] @pjchudson chats transformation and inclusivity at schools with teachers and #ASchoolWhereIBelong authors @JJ_Stellies @dylanHwray @RoyHellenberg in studio now - how is your school #transforming? pic.twitter.com/PuiFkgsu0k— CapeTalk on 567AM (@CapeTalk) September 12, 2018
Wray and Hellenberg are both history teachers who have been working in the areas of human rights and democracy education for the past 16 years.
The pair believes that when teachers create inclusive spaces in classrooms, they also enable children to be more compassionate, active, democratic citizens beyond the school gates.
Hellenberg says that thousands of teachers do not deal with the identities, backgrounds and the 'baggage' that influences their work.
The average age of teachers in South Africa is between 35 and 45. That means that almost all of them grew up, were trained and taught in a mono-cultural environment.— Roy Hellenberg, author
Meanwhile, Wray, explains that the appearance of a multi-cultural schooling environment does not replace the need for genuine engagement with the reality of diversity.
He says many private schools and former model C schools still expect previously disadvantaged pupils to assimilate into the established school culture.
But inclusion is not assimilation, Wray maintains.
True integration and true belonging is not assimilation. It's about having your own identity and your own voice. It's about being seen as an individual.— Dylan Wray, teacher and author
In the book, the authors identify these six key things that schools need to be doing if they want to truly transform and become inclusive spaces.
1. Face the past
- Be deliberately inclusive
- Battle biases
- Seek out difference
- Cultivate management that leads for change
- Encourage teachers to foster civil discourse
Watch the full discussion below: