From Teacher Learning to Community Education
Over a period of two years, we have worked with teachers from different schools in the Walmer Gqebera Township, in Port Elizabeth, in a research project called “The Sky is the Limit”. Our primary aim was to assist in the development of the levels of self-efficacy of the participant teachers. Higher levels of self-efficacy would lead to a sense of empowerment and a greater desire to educate both their learners and the broader school community, especially with regard to critical social issues that impact on the education of the children in their schools. We primarily made use of participatory research methods, such as photo voice and video documentary production. Participatory visual methodologies not only raise the critical consciousness of the teachers, but also provide them with a space to play a leading role in research projects, rather than being passive participants.
This paper describes how the teachers, who were involved in this project, took action to increase the community’s awareness of the social problems experienced by learners in their community. The teachers were asked to list those social issues that had a negative impact on their work as teachers. From this list they chose two social issues that they wanted to address, namely discipline and abuse. They then had the opportunity to make a video documentary on these issues. Their active participation in the production of video documentaries has the potential to inspire them to enthusiastically reach out to and positively influence the wider community.
Keywords: Teacher Learning, Community Education, Visual Methodology, Video Documantary
Prof. Tilla Olivier
Professor, Faculty of Education,
Dr. Lesley Wood
Senior Lecturer, Advanced Studies in Education, Neslon Mandela Metropolitan University