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Showing posts from January, 2011

work and hope...

For 12 years of my life I went to a school that had the motto “Work and Hope”. For better or for ill I am a product of those values that emerged from a Eurocentric, middle-class Christian consciousness. In spite of the complexities of going to a former white school that was a product of a system that oppressed black people, the ideas of work and hope in my education have led me to much of the interests and concerns I have in education and as a human being.

The idea of work meant that we were socialised into a very strong work ethic. We were in an environment that was performance-driven with accolades for those who excelled in the system. If a learner was a good reader, writer, and thinker they were privileged from a young age. Whether it was legal or not, our classes were streamlined so that each learner could be intellectually stimulated at the level that was appropriate for them. Leaving this environment after 12 years I entered a university that was also concerned about not only the…

wathinta abafazi wathinta imbokodo...really?

“Wathinta umfazi wathinta imbokodo!” are the famous words that are often bandied about in South Africa's media during women's month every August without fail. The fuss around women's day leaves me and many other women wondering what every other day is for, celebrating men?

Given a past that has been dominated by white supremist patriarchy and apartheid, one of the obvious signs of our country's development is the level of participation women have in society at large, particularly black women. Looking at South Africa, we have a progressive Constitution, an emerging group of empowered young women(from all racial groups), a benevolent ministry dedicated to "the vulnerable groups" but on the other side of the coin, forced marriages of young girls in the Eastern Cape are becoming more prevalent, rape statistics are frightening, young women also bear the brunt of being oomakhwapheni, prey to older, wealthier men in order to help support their poor families and one c…

The burden of choice and my education

Part of the journey of starting my Masters in education last year meant confronting myself about doubting my capabilities. Most of the doubt was a result of feeling as though I should have teaching experience before I attempt a Masters. I have always been a firm believer that postgrad education is for adults and not 23 year olds who are often faced with existential crises for most of their early twenties. In spite of the doubt and turmoil I did attempt the first year of a masters and the year ended with no proposal, more doubt and frustration at not being able to do something that seems as simple as a proposal (in retrospect, I was warned that a research proposal is the most critical and challenging part about research).

Ending the year without a tangible marker of what I had achieved academically in 2010was enough evidence to convince myself that the masters is a bad idea and certainly not for this moment in my life. I decided I would opt for a PGCE (postgraduate certificate in educat…