A five-day short course on Teaching Climate Change was held with Grade 7-9 Natural Sciences teachers in Vryburg, Northwest Province from 15-19 August 2016. The course which was aimed at enhancing teachers’ abilities to teach climate change in the CAPS, was attended by twenty-one GET Natural Science and Technology teachers from around Vryburg. The five-day course was facilitated by Lebona Nkhahle and Caleb Mandikonza.
Key highlights from the course
A presentation of Fundisa for Change and the partnerships that enabled the course to happen was made. This was done to build ownership of the course among members of this course who mainly came from the DBE. Teachers were given on-course tasks that focused on developing teachers understanding of the notion of Climate Change in the Natural Science CAPS document.
Participants were exposed to different teaching methods they can use in their work practices. A discussion on a variety of teaching methods was facilitated using the Methods booklet and paper and the electronic versions of the My2050 Energy Pathways Calculator. As part of the on-course task participants had a chance to work on their Portfolio of Evidence.
The teachers were also taught how to effectively assess their students. Assessment methods were discussed in relation to the teaching methods highlighted earlier. Bloom’s Taxonomy guided facilitation on tasks that teachers can give to their learners in order to foreground critical thinking and transformative learning.
The five-day training course also comprised of outdoor activities where course participants worked in three groups on excursion tasks focussing on land use and waste management. Following the excursion, the teachers were given an assignment to prepare lesson plans. This activity was preparation for their “work from home” task of planning and conducting a lesson on climate change related curriculum content. This home-based task was Question 9 of their PoE tasks, so the teachers had the option of using the lesson plan they developed, adapting a lesson plan developed by colleagues or designing a totally new lesson plan.
Participants work on a group assignment during the course.
The last day of the course saw participants presenting the lesson plans designed in the previous day’s activity to their colleagues. Participants evaluated the course before the Subject Advisor for Natural Science, Mrs Metsi closed the course, while emphasising the importance of capacity building to the teachers themselves and to the learners who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the capacity, “a 6-week period was set for implementing the final task and submission of the PoE for marking.”
Some of the teachers who attended the teaching climate change course