Showing posts from February, 2016

Making local knowledge matter in the classroom

Recently my grade 10 pupils had to present orals using quotes from African writers. While listening to their orals I was struck by the lacklustre nature of their speeches. When I introduced the assessment to the girls there was an understanding that the speeches should be interesting and that the opportunity to research African writers would hopefully inspire them to learn more about the work done by African writers. As each pupil got up to share their oral the atmosphere in the room began to change. An outsider who doesn’t know my students would have said they are good speakers but I was disappointed. Most of the speeches were feel-good speeches about the rainbow nation and Africa the dark continent and anecdotal references to being a proud African and South African. Some of the speeches could have been extracted from tourism brochures. Some of the speeches were very interesting but not convincing. They lacked the authenticity I was expecting. Each speech was laced with the eagerness …