Fulbright Guest Lecture
Dr. Eddie Muthivhi delivered the 2014 International Education Week, Fulbright Guest Lecture at Teachers’ College, Columbia University on 18 November 2014. Dr Muthivhi is visiting research scholar at the City University of New York, Graduate Center: Developmental Psychology and Human Development Programmes. Dr. Muthivhi was invited to Teachers’ College, Columbia University International Education Week to lead a discussion session addressing a theme on South African education; namely, “Schooling in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Where are we 20 years later?” The symposium with masters and doctoral candidates of the university happened on 18th November 2014 and was widely attended by graduate (masters and doctoral) candidates and academic staff doing research on South Africa or interested in developments within contemporary South African schooling.
The discussion was vibrant and lively and a number of well thought-through questions were posed for clarification. The questions ranged from quality of schooling in South Africa; the language question; curriculum policy changes; education and skills development; teacher education and professional development; learner testing; as well as issues to do with quality of classroom teaching and learning.
The IEW Fulbright guest lecture occurred on 18 November 2014. The title of the lecture was based on an upcoming research paper entitled: Cultural-historical basis of literacy practices in TshiVenda-speaking South Africa’s primary classrooms.
Employing contemporary advances in cultural-historical activity theory framework (CHAT), this presentation examined Grade One, South African teacher’s instructional practices in the context of contemporary policy framework.
The analysis posited fundamental connections between classroom instructional practices on the one hand, and TshiVenda literacy traditions on the other hand. These traditions and practices of literacy are to be viewed as embodied by teachers and enacted (as cultural tools) through classroom instructional activities that shape learners’ acquisition and development of early literacy capacities.
The implication of this is that, policy reform initiatives would have to engage meaningfully with traditions and practices of literacy; embodied by teachers and enacted through the instructional activities of their schooling, so as to enable effective—developmentally oriented, forms of educational transformation within South Africa’s indigenous language classroom contexts.