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VVOB supports the Northern Cape Department of Education with training to support teaching and learning for inclusion. Provincial and District Officials from the Frances Baard District participated in the three-session learning trajectory during 2017.  

Training kicked off in May with a two-day workshop focusing on ‘How are CPTD and PLCs our business'? Officials from both Inclusive Education and Curriculum in the Frances Baard District jointly engaged to learn about Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The main objective of the workshop was to equip the participants with the better understanding of effective CPD and particularly PLCs as one of the tools to facilitate effective CPD for teachers.           

In workshops in June and November officials gathered reflect on their inclusive practices. After a recap of basic inclusive concepts and policies such as White paper 6, the SIAS, Curriculum Differentiation and the Guidelines for Full Service Schools, officials engaged with the self-reflection tool for inclusive pedagogy and a personal or group change case focusing on supporting inclusion in schools and classrooms. Discussions also focused on curriculum differentiation and reflected on the inclusive focused PLC pilot supported collaboratively in the Frances Baard District.  

As one of the participants in the workshop commented, ‘To me this workshop was an eye opener in terms of my colleagues and what they are faced with in the classroom, it gave me more insight as to what type of training we should organise.’

The ‘Teaching and Learning for Inclusive Education’ project aims to address improvements in the Teacher education system by developing skills, knowledge, attitudes and understanding of among other in-service teachers in the Foundation and Intermediate phase to be able to teach more inclusively. To this end, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) will be piloted as a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) model to strengthen Inclusive Education in the North-West Province, Free State and the Northern Cape. It is envisioned that the District Officials from the pilot Provinces will be trained to play a role in the implementation of the PLCs in the pilot and in the long term duplicate best practices.       

The workshop started with a focus on CPD as one of the key roles of District Officials. The workshop activities supported refection on CPD as more than developing awareness and building knowledge and understanding. It illustrated the importance of supporting implementation in the classroom and using the characteristics of effective CPD to design and structure interventions to improve teaching and learning in the Frances Baard District. Officials recognised the importance of the characteristics of effective CPD and reflected on the challenges presented by the current CPD practises in District.  

PLCs have been identified by DBE as a key method to support teaching and learning in the classroom. Using the DBE Guidelines to PLCs and the video PLCs in Action, the workshop reflected on the nature, characteristics and value of effective PLCs. District Officials reflected on their role in supporting the establishment of PLCs in the District. The PLC pilot to be launched in the Frances Baard District in July 2017 was discussed and how the Officials could become involved and turn it into a learning opportunity.             

More pictures can be found here.