Vredendal College

Background

Before 1999 West Coast College consisted of several small satellites, which were then merged and officially declared as an FET College in 2003.

West Coast College
was the last FET College to be formed in the Western Cape. Unlike other colleges that were formed around the hub of an existing technical college, its systems had to be established from scratch and today the college consists of five campuses.

The Vredendal Campus was started in 1997 and in September 1998 the campus moved to bigger buildings, due to the rapid growth of students.

(taken from this page)

George Chirume, Rogen Pedro, Zukile Mtongana and Rene Widdows will take part in FaSMEd.

What’s happened so far …

We visited Vredendal on 18th November. Rogan met us and we waited in his office while he organised a venue and George made sure everyone knew the meeting was starting. Besides George and Rogan, we were joined by Zukile from the Maths department, two lecturers also teaching maths and three lecturers from the engineering department who might teach mathematics in the future. The other mathematics lecturer, Rene, was off sick.

Marie began by giving some background about the project. Ingrid then explained how the toolkit was structured and facilitated a discussion about formative assessment. After this the lecturers worked in groups of two or three on the activity in the time-distance graph lesson.

Marie ended by speaking about ethical considerations and what is expected of lecturers choosing to be involved in the project.

For a more detailed description of the activity you can visit this page.

Ordinary and first research lesssons

As Vredendal is a long way from Cape Town, we arranged to visit the college for two consecutive days and stay overnight in the area. The visit was originally planned for 23rd and 24th March but because the students in the college were involved in tests at that time, the visit was postponed to the second week of Term 2.

All three teachers taught and ordinary lesson on 21st April. That afternoon, after the end of class, we met the teachers and discussed the proposed research lesson.

The students had been working on scale drawings and ground plans so we had already suggested a lesson in which students take the role of a garden designer and they are asked to produce a ground plan for a client who has a set of requirements. We worked on the phrasing of the task together to take into account the language and context of the students (e.g. the use of the word ‘braai’ instead of ‘barbecue’). The teachers taught this lesson on 22nd April.

Second research lesson

For this lesson we suggested a MAP problem solving task in which students are asked to advise on which printing company to use for a set of soccer jerseys. The two printing companies use different pricing models and one is better value for fewer jerseys and the other is better value for more jerseys. We worked through the task with the teachers at the planning meeting on 2nd June. They all taught the lesson on 3rd June.

Third research lesson

The year plan for all classes in the project covered work on basic statistics, including measures of central tendency. We asked the teachers if a lesson on measures of central tendency would suit their classes and they said they would like a FaSMEd lesson on this. We adapted the lesson we had designed for Jonathan’s class and sent it to the Vredendal teachers. We then visited the college on 8th November for a planning meeting and the teachers taught the lesson on 9th November.

Rogan’s class is now taught by George, so he taught the lesson to both the classes. Zuki also taught the lesson twice; once to his research class and once to another class who had said they wanted to be in the project as well.

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