From Teacher Learning to Community Education

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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
Stream: Creative Arts and Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof. Tilla Olivier

Professor, Faculty of Education,
Research Technology and Innovation Unit., Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Tilla (M.A.J.) Olivier is a full professor of Educational Psychology in the Faculty of Education and Acting Director of the Research Technology and Innovation Unit, at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She is an experienced Head of Department, Alternate Dean and Acting Dean of the Faculty. She is a knowledgeable academic and has a passion for research and supervision of postgraduate students, the results of which are frequently disseminated as research papers at national and international conferences. Furthermore, she has published widely in national and international scientific journals. She has also received several grants for her contribution to Education.

Dr. Lesley Wood

Senior Lecturer, Advanced Studies in Education, Neslon Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Lesley Wood is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa. Her research focuses on helping teachers to develop psychological coping mechanisms to help them overcome the adverse circumstances facing them in the school system in South Africa. She is also involved in research and development in the field of HIV and Aids and education in South Africa.

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