The Education Department hosted Dr David Rose, a pioneer of the groundbreaking Reading to Learn (RtL) programme for teaching, reading and writing across the curriculum, and from primary to tertiary education.
An international scholar from Australia, Dr Rose’s RtL programme draws on the theories of Vygotsky of learning as a social process; Halliday’s model of language as text in a social context, and Bernstein’s model of education as pedagogic discourse.
“Hosting Dr Rose few months after the Transformation Summit represented the continuing conversations on students’ epistemological access for educational success, and the need to contribute into the urgent social justice project of ensuring student retention and throughput,” said Professor Mgqwashu, Head of the Education Department.
Dr Rose’s visit, which involved meeting with the Bachelor of Education 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students also saw him participating in a Public Lecture attended by the University community.
In a collaborative effort between the Education Department and GADRA, Dr Rose also met with local teachers as part of the Reviving Grahamstown Education initiative where he opened a cconversational and multimedia presentation on how the RtL works.
A Grade 1 teacher who uses this pedagogy from one of the local schools said: “I have not only managed to get my learners reading fluently at the appropriate level for their Grade, but I have also managed to get them writing as well”.
Professor Mgqwashu praised the how RtL is value in the teaching of reading at the center of pedagogic practice, regardless of the field or level of study.
Mgqwashu asserts, “even though South African institutions of higher learning have an open door policy and all students across racial and socio-economic lines can study anywhere they like, very few currently stand a chance of achieving their goals of further education and professional careers”.
He argues this is because the country is still faced with a challenge to undo pedagogic approaches that evolved in western education systems to reward the elite and marginalise the majority.
“Our University was greatly honoured to host a scholar of Dr Rose’s reputation and standing and to have him share his deep insights and vast knowledge and wisdom in the area of Reading to Learn. The work that he has done over decades in this area is very relevant in our local context. We will draw extensively from his work as we endeavour to improve the quality of the educational experience of learners in our community,” said Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor.
For more details on RtL, please visit: (http://readingtolearnsouthafrica.weebly.com/ and https://www.readingtolearn.com.au/what-is-reading-to-learn/ )Source: Communications
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