The Inspired Teachers Conference 1 March 2012
He mentioned that we have experienced four years of changes and bungling in education.He pointed out that educational change needsto be given more time.
WHY POOR SCHOOLS DO WELL (Professor J Jansen)
Prof Jansen is a renowned educationalist. Heholds the position as rector of the University of the Orange Free State. It is in this position thathe has come to be known. His name wasspoken of extensively in the media. Most of allbecause he was involved in settling the racialtensions that surrounded the University of theOrange Free State. (See particularly the Reitzissue).Professor Jansen claims that the problem ineducation stems from two areas. These are the
lack of decency
and academic excellence.
He went on telling us about shocking
levels of teenage pregnancies
in some schools Headded to this point that many schools areexperiencing intolerable levels of
. Heclaims that these are symptoms of a level of degeneration in SA institutions of learning.The Professor now gave us a shortautobiographical sketch of his upbringing. Hisyouth in the back streets of Retreat was usedas content to make his next point. The pointbeing: economical deprivation leaves noexcuse for lack of decency; nor an excuse toneglect academic excellence.Our Prof indicated that Retreat falls into therough and tough suburbs of the Cape Flats.His upbringing was
. The Cape flats
he described-is abounding in social poverty and socialdeterioration.Professor Jansen let us in on his parents. Theaudience were astonished and struck by his
parent’s names. His mother is named Sara. His
father holds the name of the patriarch, Abraham. Both these characters are prominentin the good book i.e., bound up neatly in thepages of Genesis chapter.3. The righteousSara and Abraham
–of Cape Town’s Retreat
-brought up Jonathan in the right way.Professor Jansen reiterated the point: thisupbringing was in spite of the surroundings andsocial ills of Retreat.He described his parents as strong
almostfundamental- Christians. They wereuncompromising towards anything thatencroached on
strong family values
.On top of this set of values: his parents laidtremendous value on learning. Our professor spoke of the beautiful Afrikaans word
“geleerentheid”. And so thus it came: our
learned professor carries with him a core set of values. As we understand: these will be carriedthroughout his life.He now came to another point. The time in hisspeech was right. So let me tell you of his nextpertinent question: What do SA schools need?He indicated that this was
. Childrenneed adults that
set an example
.Educators need to develop standards
standards of excellence
are expected. Hepointed out the poor example that was set bypolitical leaders in our country. He mentionedthat poor, ineffective leaders are not takenseriously.
The way children see you will answer thefollowing question: How much of a leader areyou?Educators are
giving and receiving
overt and hidden messages.
What type of message
doyou give the learners? How does your message impact on the way learners feel about themselves? If you expect bad behaviour, youwill get just that. If you are expecting poor academic results it will be forthcoming too.Poor teachers have low expectations. He cited that often these expectations are tainted withthe typical prejudices, ingrained within our own particular social setting.