SAHECEF WORKSHOP

Published October 8, 2014 by TATENDA

sahecef

Service Learning, Community Practice Engaged teaching and learning are the concepts that captured my attention on Thursday, 2 October. Thank you Monash Community engagement team for linking us up with the SAHECEF team. lt never occurred to me that there is more to just teaching and/or learning. There is room for great improvements if we ever want to raise a generation that gives back to the community.

The day started off with a key speech from the Academic President of Monash South Africa Professor Alywn Louw. He highlighted on the importance of engaging students in practical experiences. What l remember most are his words on knowledge….that it is more of a skill that us as a society have to enhance so as to improve social learning and student engagement. Students and youths in the society should be given access to information and if possible 24/7 engagement opportunities. These are urgings that l will continue pondering on as l work with young people in my projects.

Another key speaker who intrigued and inspired me to engage more with my sphere of influence was Dr Antoinette Smith-Tolken. She demonstrated on how important is Engaged Teaching and Learning (ETL) in our day to day learning environments. She highlighted on the processes and actions that we need to integrate in the learning environment which include service learning and community engagement. l remember her saying “What you learn has a relationship with what you give to the community”.

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l was actually never fully acquainted with the concept of Service Learning…..not until Prof Nadine Petersen shared a few insights on it that Thursday. She highlighted on the dynamism of communities and the importance of establishing shared concerns so as to better interactions. The three major ideas she emphasized on were 1) competence 2) joint activities 3) tools and experience. From what she shared, l also realised that if there is value shared and if the community have shared practices, support systems (networks, partners) and ideas, the society can have a more engaged community. l urge all learning institutions to value community engagement  as a learning tool. Academics should play a facilitating role and give learners an environment that broadens their networks. LET’S BUILD A COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE!!!DSC_1056[1]

Then we had group discussions that were so interactive. We identified and evaluated ways in which we can build a more sustainable community of practice. We discussed on how to collaborate and pull resources together as a community to enhance service learning. We have to build shared agendas and competence.

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We had an engaging and interactive day####engagedlearning##servicelearning##communityengagement##sowingseeds!!

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