The Study of Education and its Foundations

Educational Psychology (12 credits) This module is designed to help students understand how psychological theory informs the educational process. Students will explore the cognitive, linguistic, personal, social, and moral development of children as well as individual and group differences; and relate these to various views of learning theory, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and informal and formal assessments; with special attention given to the influence of environmental factors on learning processes. Students completing this module should acquire a better understanding of learners and how they learn (metacognition) and better understand how to teach effectively. This module will assist students in their roles as learning mediators, and interpreters and designers of learning programmes and materials. 

History of Education (10 credits)

This module is designed to help students understand present educational theory and practice by exploring the historical, social, political and cultural factors that have shaped the development of education, particularly in the South African schools context. The module will briefly examine educational developments globally and then extensively in South-Africa since before the colonial era until after 1994.  Sociology and its relationship with Education are also addressed.  Students completing this module will be able to reflect critically on the practice of education in South Africa in order to constantly to improve it and adapt it to the needs of students. This module will assist students in their roles as interpreter and designer of learning programmes and materials; and as scholar, researcher and lifelong learner.

Philosophy of Education (10 credits)

This module is designed to provide students with an overview of the major philosophical viewpoints in history and particularly those that underpin current learning theory.  Current trends in educational thinking and practice, and their impact in the classroom are debated.  The module will inter alia examine such theories as behaviourism, constructivism, multiple intelligences, and brain-based learning, in the context of understanding how learning progresses from one level to the next.  To arrange effective learning experiences it is important to be aware of sociological issues, and Sociology of Education is therefore also highlighted in the module.  Ultimately the student should be able to develop and defend her/his own researched philosophy of education.  This module will assist students in their roles as learning mediators and as interpreter and designer of learning programmes and materials.

Didactics

Conversational isiXhosa I (5 credits)

This module aims to help students develop conversational competency in speaking and listening in isiXhosa in order to help teachers assist students in the learning context. Special focus will be given to vocabulary related to the teaching and learning process. Students completing this module should have conversational competence in isiXhosa for educational purposes. This module will assist students in their roles as learning mediators.

English as First Language (8 Credits)

The aim of this module is to provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach English as a first language. This will include teaching methodologies and assessments of learners’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, as well as their grasp of the structure of the language and the ability to think in the language. Students completing this module should be able to help learners develop their English language skills. This module will assist students in their roles as subject and phase specialists, learning mediators, assessors and interpreters and designers of learning programmes and materials.

First Additional Language English (8 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach English as a first additional language. This will include teaching methodologies and assessments of learners’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.  The difference between mother tongue and additional language teaching is addressed, and students will be assisted in their roles as subject and phase specialists, learning mediators, assessors and interpreters and designers of learning programmes and materials.

First Additional Language Afrikaans (8 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach Afrikaans as a first additional language. This will include teaching methodologies and assessments of learners’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.  The difference between mother tongue and additional language teaching is addressed, and students will be assisted in their roles as subject and phase specialists, learning mediators, assessors and interpreters and designers of learning programmes and materials.

Life Skills (12 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide the student with an in-depth grasp of curriculum, teaching methods and assessment of Foundation Phase Life Skills. This includes emphases on Beginning Knowledge, Creative Arts, Physical education and Personal and Social Well-being. Students completing this module should have an advanced knowledge of how to teach Life Skills in the Foundation Phase. This module will also assist students in their roles as subject and phase specialists, learning mediators, assessors and interpreters and designers of learning programmes and materials.

Mathematics (12 credits)

The aim of the Mathematics Didactics module is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the methods, activities and assessment of Mathematics competency.  Specific attention is given to constructivism in problem-solving.  The module informs the student regarding the different content areas of Mathematics knowledge at the Foundation Phase, viz.: Numbers, Operations and Relationships; Patterns, Functions and Algebra; Space and Shape (Geometry); Measurement; and Data Handling.  Attention will also be paid to the teaching of Numeracy in Grade R.

The module specifically equips the student with skills and resources for effective teaching and learning at the Foundation Phase as set out in the CAPS document.  Students will learn how to draw up lesson plans to teach different content; adjusting curriculum to make provision for the diverse needs of learners; applying effective assessment tools; and using technology for Mathematics teaching. In addition the student will be introduced to professional resources that are available for the Mathematics learning area. Students completing this module should have a sound knowledge of Mathematics, should have highly developed numeracy skills, should be able to assess learners reliably, and should know how to best approach the teaching of Mathematic concepts at the Intermediate Phase. This module will assist students in their roles as subject and phase specialists, learning mediators, and interpreters and designers of learning programmes and materials.

General Pedagogic Knowledge

Instructional Methods (8 credits)

The aim of this specialised pedagogical module is to introduce students to effective strategies and methodologies for instructional planning and delivery of learning content.  This module will cover a broad range of methods and concepts which the student will be able to apply in the classroom viz.: from theory to practice; cooperative learning; whole class instruction; instructional strategies; long- and medium-term planning; overcoming barriers to learning; inclusive classrooms; and multi-level teaching. Attention will also be paid to the more informal teaching methodologies in the Grade R context. Students completing this module should better know how to teach their subjects and be able to identify learning or social problems among learners. This module will assist students in their roles as learning mediators, and interpreters and designers of learning programmes and materials.

Situational Learning

Education and Ethics in Social Context (8 credits)

This module aims to prepare students as educators in their roles as community builders and facilitators of change in the life of the learner, in the social context of the local and global communities, and especially in Africa. The environment of educational institutions is a complex one and various issues like gender, social background, language, and technology interplay in a complex social milieu.  Sociology of Education issues are thus also addressed in this module and the different roles played by the teacher at micro level.  This is a module in situational learning and ethics.  Meta-skills in the didactics of Social Science are highlighted to empower the student to prepare learners as ethical leaders through the critical study of change and development in society and the environment over time.

Practical Learning

Study Praxis and Classroom Management (10 credits)

The module aims to provide students with an overview of classroom logistics and equip them with various tools and methods for successful self and classroom management.  There will also be a section covering the informal play method as a vehicle for learning as applicable to Grade R education. This module further includes managing and administrating a classroom; discipline; assessment techniques; parental involvement; and awareness of legal issues related to classroom management in South Africa. Students completing this module should be able to manage classrooms effectively across diverse contexts in order to ensure a conducive learning environment.  Students should be able to apply what was learnt in educational theory; including utilizing reliable and varied learner performance assessment methods. This module will assist students in their roles as leaders, administrators, managers and assessors.

Teaching Practice: Schools A (6 credits) and B (9 credits)

These two modules aims to prepare the student as an educator by doing teaching practical for 2 (School A) and 3 (School B)weeks at accredited schools, with a focus on structured observation for the first school visit and basic teaching assignments for the second school visit with a strong emphasis on Grade R teaching .  At least one of these two practical sessions must be in an underserved school in the local community or “special needs” school. The student must ensure that the school for practical B does have at least a Grade R class. The module lecturer together with the tutor-educator will guide, oversee, monitor and assess the student during the practical. Students completing this module should better know how to teach their subjects, be able to manage classrooms effectively, and be able to assess learners reliably, through observing experienced teachers and making theory practical. This module will assist students in their roles as learning mediators, assessors, and interpreters and designers of learning programmes and materials.

Teaching Practice: School C (12 credits)

This module aims to prepare the student as an educator via a field practical for 4 weeks at an accredited school, with a focus on Foundation Phase classroom procedures and multiple learning-areas practice. The module lecturer together with the tutor-educator will guide, oversee, monitor and assess the student during the practical. Students completing this module should have gained adequate first-hand experience in how to teach their subjects, the management of classrooms effectively, and the assessment of learners’ progress.  This module will assist students in their roles as learning mediators, assessors, and interpreters and designers of learning programmes and materials