At the end of 2011 we hosted two full day planning workshops between the Siyavula organizers, members from Sasol Inzalo, a curriculum adviser from the Primary Science Project, the Research Officer from the UCT Schools Project and other interested parties.
If you put a bunch of intelligent, motivated, insightful people, who are passionate about making a difference in education in South Africa, into a room for the day, the outcome is sure to be explosive! The workshops turned into “think tanks” and rapid debates and ideas ensued. Consequently, we came away with a much bigger project than we initially anticipated! But we were not to be discouraged. Rather we were more hopeful and excited about the possibilities of the project. And that we could really use this opportunity to start making a difference in science education from the foundation phase, where it is most needed.
Outcomes of the workshops were:
1) A provisional Table of Contents for Grades 4 to 6 Natural Science and Technology
2) A strong agreement to produce Concept Maps for each strand showing the progression in concepts from Grade 4 through to Grade 12, which can act as a resource for teachers and learners, as well as inform the authors of the book in the way content is structured
3) Provisional sections and chapters had been drawn up, and the consensus was to take into all discussions from the 2 workshops about style, layout, font, colour, etc, and compose an “ideal” chapter to then obtain professional opinions and input