Papers & Workshops



Patterns from Africa: An Exemplar of UNISA's Multimedia Distance Education Model Used in the Training of Teachers in the Foundation Phase


Dr Christie Van Staden

Dept of Primary School Teacher Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria. South Africa

This presentation will be done in the form of a video presentation. It has been prepared as an example to illustrate how the video and other teaching media could be used to train teachers in the Foundation phase in UNISA's multimedia distance education model. Concern has been expressed with regard to centuries old artistic traditions of the indigenous people of Southern Africa, which are now endangered by acculturation and Westernization. The Ndebele culture is for example interwoven with symbolism and stories. This is apparent in their beadwork and house decoration, which displays different meanings and messages according to how the beads are patterned, as well as the colours that are used. From birth to death the story of an individual's life may be read in the composition of beads that are worn. Young children,s ability to acquire language and make sense of their surrounding world, is based on their ability to relate to the symbols which surround them. It is therefore important to incorporate symbols that young learners can relate to, and which should also be part of their cultural heritage, in their learning environment. African Patterns has been chosen as the programme organiser (theme) in this presentation to exemplify for teachers in training. Indigenous art can be an effective instrument in creating an environment for teaching and learning in the Foundation phase in accordance to outcomes-based education.
  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000