The two day Summit in January 2016 benefitted the teachers as well as the leaders and heads of the local community schools. On 8 June, a Thinking Schools South Africa (TSSA) information session was held with the heads and school managements from Emachobeni High Schools, New River Combined School, Roseland Primary and Inanda Seminary.
A further CoP with the Khanyisa school heads was also held in June where items affecting the Saturday School were workshopped. The owner of the local taxi association was also in attendance to give input regarding transporting students to the classes.
Testimony from one the heads of the Khanyisa schools at June CoP 2016
He stated that the parents of students at his school have said that the Khanyisa programme is one of the only good things happening at the school at the moment.
Start small to bring big change:
How feasible are Communities of Practice (CoP) in poor functioning schools in KZN
“… getting good teaching for all learners require(s) teachers to be highly committed, thoroughly prepared, continuously developed, properly paid, well networked with each other to maximise their own improvement, and able to make effective judgements using all their capabilities and experience.”Michael Fullan
The Khanyisa Inanda Community Project (KICP) is a programme of the Inanda Seminary, the oldest black independent girls’ boarding schools in the country. Khanyisa’s aim and overall purpose is to work within the surrounding community public schools and ‘to improve access and equity in education’. Through a number of different interventions, KICP is attemptingto ensure that ‘high quality education and professional development is available to disadvantaged students, teachers and leaders in these public schools in Inanda North and community schools in the greater Inanda area.’
One of Khanyisa’s areas of output is to provide ‘increased opportunities for principals and leaders of the public schools to enhance their leadership’. International research has shown that by increasing the professional learning and leadership opportunities available to school principals and leaders is the most effective way of affecting positive change at a school. There are various methods of achieving this, but reported to be the most successful is the establishment of professional learning communities (PLCs) and Communities of Practice (CoPs) for teachers and principals. By bringing together subject teachers, leaders, heads of departments and principals, educators share ideas, teaching and management practices, issues and successes. These PLCs and CoPs are exactly the kind of ‘professional collaboration’ that Michael Fullan talks about when discussing how to bring about change in schools and enable ‘good teaching’.
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