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
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’.
For the full article, download Start_small_to_bring_big_change_article_Sept_2016.pdf
Healy-Clancy Book Launch
July 2013Scott Couper, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), Inanda Seminary
Scripture: Exodus 20:17“Thou shalt not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbour’s”.
It is true that much of the Bible contains history, that is, his-story. What do women think when they read this commandment prohibiting one from coveting a neighbour’s wife? I don’t think this is an admonishment against lesbians. We must realise that history is often written from a male’s perspective. By men. For men. About men. Women are often left out, nameless.
Inanda Seminary opened in 1869 and it began to write her-story, or history from the perspective of women. Inanda Seminary ingrained in its students that they ought not be forced into arranged nor polygamous marriages. The Seminary engendered a desire for women to be educated, to have a professional vocation, to be independent. One Seminary graduate, Bertha Mkhize, whose granddaughter I interviewed this week, was charged in the famous Treason Trial with Nelson Mandela and Albert Luthuli. Her brothers pestered her constantly to marry so they would receive their share of the lebola (bride price or dowry). Her solution to this patriarchal irritant was to pay to her brothers her own lebola and thus finally silence them! She never married.
On July 19, 2013, during two events Dr Meghan Healy-Clancy, a Harvard trained academic, launched her book A World of Their Own: A History of South African Women’s Education (UKZN Press, 2013) at Inanda Seminary: one to current students and one to alumnae. Meghan’s book contains a social history that examines through the lens of Inanda Seminary the role education played in shaping women’s lives through the colonial, apartheid and democratic eras of South Africa’s history. The book tells the story of women’s ‘agency’, that is, how they intentionally navigated within their white and black male dominated world. At Inanda Seminary, young women carved out a “world of their own” and through various means extended that world into wider society through their pioneering spirit.
Young and old were awed by Prof Sarojini Nadar, a South African theologian who specialises in gendered histories, who gave an erudite and interactive lecture. All were inspired by Meghan’s response and her reading of excerpts from her book.
At Inanda Seminary, young women are empowered to fulfil their God-given potential. They have many examples who went before them. They know what is expected of them. At Inanda Seminary, those high expectations are met.
Gracious God, thank you for the radical vision of a school for African women in a world where it was thought that neither blacks nor women needed to be educated. We give you thanks for those women in the Bible, who though often nameless, allow your will to be known and proclaimed. May you bless Inanda Seminary; may it continue to serve your purpose in the world. As the school’s students prepare for their end of the year exams, may you guide their work to achieve the bright futures you intend for them. Amen.
Dr Meghan Healy-Clancy and Inanda Seminary students
Chapel Theme Presented during the Term by the Rev Susan Valiquette
Prof Sarojini Nadar, Principal Judy Tate, and Dr Meghan Healy-Clancy
Nelson Mandela capture site reflections
Scott Couper, Inanda Seminary, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA)Inanda, South Africa
Scripture: Proverbs 3:13
Happy is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who obtains understanding, for the gain from it is better than silver and its profit better than gold.
In 1964, while being tried for High Treason (punishable by death or life imprisonment), Nelson Mandela began his defence statement from the dock by saying, “I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts…”. What a curious sentence to begin with when one’s life is at stake.
Most modern moral leaders of great calibre received a quality education. Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Albert Luthuli, to name just a few whose political careers flourished in South Africa, received quality educations. For anyone, education often liberates the self and society.
On 18 July 2013, the South African Synod of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) and the Inanda Seminary choir paid tribute to Mandela in song and prayer at a special service held at his 1962 capture site. The purpose of the prayer was to wish Mandela Happy Birthday as well as to pray for him and the nation in the midst of his prolonged illness.
The relationship between Mandela and Inanda Seminary is long. While Mandela was jailed on Robben Island, his daughter-in-law was sent to school here. On 13 August 1999 and again in 29 May 2001, Mandela visited Inanda Seminary in his effort to restore its infrastructure. In many ways, Mandela saved the school and began its physical resurrection.
Inanda Seminary’s vision is to “equip its members for higher education by providing strong academics and Christian leadership under girded by its core values” (honesty, loyalty, respect, self-discipline, sociability and responsibility).
Quality education for black girls in Africa is crucial for their own and their societies’ success. Higher education gave Mandela the intellectual and legal tools to eruditely articulate his cause and case to his judge and the world. Perhaps, more importantly, Mandela’s education engendered within himself the dignity, integrity and pride required to defend himself against those who considered him inferior.
Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela. Get well soon.
Gracious God, thank you for all that is good and faithful in our beloved Madiba. May you strengthen him in this season of illness. May you bless South Africa and Inanda Seminary. May their restorations continue. May they grow from strength to strength, through your Spirit, thus ensuring Mandela’s efforts were never in vain. Amen.
Inanda Seminary students and Boarding Director Busie Mdladla in their choir robes at the Capture Site, Howick
The Revds Thulani Ndlazi (SA Synod Secretary, UCCSA) and Ian Booth (Moderator, KZN Region UCCSA)
Crowd and Inanda Seminary students releasing balloons
Inanda Seminary student and other speakers