University of Johannesburg: Soweto Campus
Integration of school education, teacher education, research, and community engagement
Teacher education and training
The students in the Foundation Phase Education degree programme participate in classroom activities in the school, learning about the practice of teaching. They spend time in the school as classroom observers and as assistants. The staff of the school become adjunct teacher educators of the UJ students and they work along the UJ lecturers. Thus, students, school staff, and university lecturers collaborate in this integrated project of pre-service education of teachers. The overall aim is to establish a strong teacher education programme that bridges the theory-practice “divide.”
Once the intermediate phase degree programme is introduced (2013) the school will also serve as learning site for these students.
The school and UJ staff write a bi-weekly column, “Funda ngeFunda UJabule” (learn with Funda UJabule), in the community newspapers of Soweto. In these columns issues related to childhood education and care are discussed. Special attention is given to how parents and other caregivers can assist young children in making progress in school.
Education students and staff offer parent and care giver programmes. They also participate in a reading programme at the Moponya Mall (to be launched in March 2012).
“Learn and be joyful”
From the outset, the ethos of the school has captured the joy of learning. With more than 200 children, eight full-time staff members, many students and lecturers, the school radiates warmth, activity, and growth. Parent meetings, community programmes, research, learning, and teaching come together in a public school like no other in South Africa.