Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Curriculum to produce critical thinkers needed

PROFESSORIAL ADDRESS: Prof Janet Condy, a seasoned academic in the Education Faculty, delivers her Inaugural Professorial Address at the Bellville Campus on Monday night. PROFESSORIAL ADDRESS: Prof Janet Condy, a seasoned academic in the Education Faculty, delivers her Inaugural Professorial Address at the Bellville Campus on Monday night. Robin Thuynsma

The Education Faculty’s Prof Janet Condy is calling for a new curriculum which provides deep, life-worthy learning that is purposeful and of a higher level of complexity.

Condy made the call when she delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture on Literacy Issues at the Bellville Campus on Monday evening. “Our CAPS curriculum needs content pruning to foreground the relevant 21st-century competencies: critical thinking and problem-solving, creativity and innovation, collaboration and teamwork, communication and informational literacy in technologically driven learner-centred teaching and learning that is purposeful,” said Condy.

After teaching in mainstream and special schools for 19 years, she won an Ambassadorial Rotary Scholarship and spent a year in Boston, America, studying ‘reading’.

She adds that three major influences emerged from this experience. “Firstly, I was introduced to the International Literacy Association; secondly, I developed a love for the teaching of reading; and thirdly, this love of teaching reading became juxtaposed with a love of research.”

The C2 NRF-rated researcher also discussed the role of the teacher, current debates around the provision of education in South Africa, the impact of poverty and illiteracy as well as the teaching of comprehension.

Prof Sarah Howie, Director: Africa Centre for Scholarship at Stellenbosch University, responded to Condy’s lecture and highlighted some critical issues which had emerged from it.

Howie said Condy’s story of scholarship serves as an inspiration to aspiring scholars and described her as a reflective practitioner, change agent and empowerer, pioneer, realist, analyst and activist.

She said Condy’s work triggers questions pertaining to the relationship between the intended curriculum (what the society wants learners to learn), the implemented curriculum (what the teachers teach in the classroom) and the attained curriculum.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo, said Condy’s students are engaging each other as equals. Nhlapo thanked her for her contribution towards the development of the nation’s youth and praised her for always being a CPUT champion.

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.