Share knowledge and skills

JAMIE PETERESEN

On Saturday April 23 the Metro South Education District held a conference at Norman Henshilwood High School in Constantia, for the launch of a new project by the department called Professional Learning Communities.

Teachers and principals are the focus of the initiative, as it aims to share knowledge and skills in order to improve teaching and learning practices in schools.

“PLCs are places where teachers do things for teachers,” Brian Schreuder, the deputy director general of the Western Cape Education Department, said.

PLCs consist of a group of teachers or principals who gather in order to improve the learning experience for pupils and make teaching more effective for teachers.

The purpose of the conference was to give more PLCs more attention and “to give more energy and support to the establishment of PLCs”, said Glen van Harte, the director of the Metro South Education District.

Mr Schreuder said learning could be improved through quality teaching and leadership and that participants within each PLC must have varied know- ledge and experience. ”It’s not good always to have those with the same experience and knowledge in the group,” he said.

Mr Van Harte emphasised the fact that PLCs must not only be about policy. “It cannot be where you consistently talk about policy. It has to be where you talk about how you can be a better person to make the worst possible child who can’t learn, learn.”

Mr Schreuder urged that PLCs must not be departmentalised, “they must not be department groups. They must be by teachers, for teachers,” he said.

“It should be about developing content, knowledge and skills.

“It is our obligation to give the kids the best. We have to work at their fu- ture.”