Foundations of great teaching: NWU Vaal students visit Eindhoven

Anjonet Jordaan -- Mon, 09/07/2015 - 14:41

Foundations of great teaching: NWU Vaal students visit Eindhoven

Four students from the School of Education Sciences on the North-West University's (NWU's) Vaal Triangle Campus did the practical teaching required in the fourth year of the BEd degree in a unique setting.

Shanice Jordaan, Kazeny O’Neill, Kristen Theron and Lydia Venter travelled with their BEd Foundation Phase (Grade R – 3) lecturer, Dr Ria Booysen and director of the School of Education Sciences, Prof Elsa Fourie, to the Netherlands to do their practical teaching in various schools in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Students with lecturers and various sponsors
The education students with the various sponsors whose contributions made it possible for them to make the trip to Eindhoven.

From 8 to 27 May they travelled to various pre-schools where they observed, presented lessons and learned a lot about teaching in different school context. Each school presented different opportunities and challenges to our students – depending on the school’s teaching philosophy, resources and demographics.

The students: Kazeny O'Neil, Lydia Venter, Shanice Jordaan and Kirstin Theron
The students: Kazeny O'Neil, Lydia Venter, Shanice Jordaan and Kirstin Theron.

The students generally managed to communicate in English, though they often also had to call on their own creativity when their little students could not quite understand. This creativity was also handy when they attended a workshop with their Dutch counterparts. The aim of the workshop was to use everyday items to make something new and use it as part of a lesson. Since our students have gained much experience in doing this throughout their B.Ed. studies they were able to give the Dutch students, who are used to ready-made solutions, a number of tips.

Student t-shirts with the words printed on the back: "it takes a big heart to help shape little minds"
The t-shirt the group of students wore during their trip to the Netherlands clearly showing their focus as teachers.

What struck the students the most was not so much the differences between the countries or their educational settings, but rather the similarities regarding children’s needs and behaviour, and the happy realisation that their teaching skills and qualification is on par with their peers in the Netherlands.

For several years the School of Education Sciences on the Vaal Triangle Campus hosted students from Eindhoven for practical teaching in the Vaal; this was the first time students from the Vaal Triangle Campus visited the Netherlands.