Project based learning bridging gaps

Technology, a subject that was introduced in the SA curriculum in the nineties, is designed to create awareness amongst students for the needs and challenges of society and the environment. The aims of this learning area are to develop knowledge, technological skills as well as thinking and problem solving skills.

ORT SA has for the past four year worked closely with the King David schools to assist teachers with the integration of the subject in the most relevant way and as close to policy as possible. In addition to ensuring that the subject of technology is being tackled, current world-wide educational trends in teaching methods and strategy have been incorporated in ORT SA’s work with the KD schools.

Trends such as project based learning, collaborative learning and web 2.0 based methods are part of students technology projects modeled in the recently introduced Diverse Culture days in King David Linksfield Primary school. These Diverse Culture days have been inspiring and motivating for teachers and students alike.

Grade 7 students received a case study of the socio-economic conditions in which the kids in Alexandra Township live. Alexandra Township which for some is only about five minutes away, is socially and economically worlds apart to what the KD students are exposed to.

Grade 7 students learnt from various sources about the common diseases affecting this township – they listened to a person who was affected by TB, heard about the conditions in Alexandra from teachers who work in schools in Alexandra and learnt about HIV/AIDS from a doctor who specializes in the disease as well as being involved in research to find immunization.
Realizing the importance of healthy nutrition which is hampered by a scarce supply of fruit and vegetables has been the case study for technology and the students designed and made greenhouse models. Kind David Linksfield school included plants to give away to schools in Alexandra.

Grade 6 students who took part in first aid awareness, made first aid kits to donate to schools in Alexandra.

P1020221P1020227P1020206P1020266P1020267 Grade 6+ 7 KDL students  in Diverse Culture Days

A special ceremony is planned where KDL students will hand out the greenhouses and first aid kits they have made to their peers from Ithute Primary School in Alexandra.

The extraordinary thing is that although three subjects were integrated (Technology, Life Orientation and EMS) this required immense time for planning and logistics, and more effort in the execution– teachers LOVED it!

Case studies were real-world and relevant and required students to define the tasks ahead and plan appropriately. Students were required to construct their models at school from scratch (without help from parents) and collaborate with their peers. These days of building this Technology project were vibey with activities filled with passion and enthusiasm expressed by students. The students had FUN!

When I asked a student about this day, her response was “I will definitely remember this when I grow up!”

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