SANTS Private Higher Education Institution values education whether it is to obtain your diploma, degree, or postgraduate studies and recognizes that learning is a continuous process that demands effort and dedication.
The Diploma in Grade R Teaching Unit has in the past two years been a testimonial of the continuous learning process. Not only have we grown as a unit, with two highly qualified lecturers joining the Unit in 2021 but our unit has also been highly successful in the academic arena. Currently, we have three lecturers enrolled in Masters’ programs and four of our lecturers’ academic achievements are noteworthy.
Mrs Kayla Willemse completed her Masters’ degree in 2020 at the University of Pretoria. Her study explored the strengthening of teacher support to learners experiencing dyscalculia in Grade 3 and focused on mathematics education and learners experiencing dyscalculia, or specific mathematical learning difficulties. Many learners experience difficulties in mathematics and it is therefore imperative that teachers know how to support these learners.
Mrs Mariaan Bouwer also completed her Masters’ degree in 2020 at UP. Her field of study examined how Grade R student teachers experienced Workplace Integrated Learning. Quality teacher education programs are vital to produce knowledgeable and skillful teachers who can teach in diverse contexts and allow teachers to develop the requisite knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes they need to succeed in the work environment. Work Integrated Learning (WIL) creates an opportunity where the practical experience is layered onto the theoretical background of the student-teacher.
Mrs Lorette Pretorius was also rewarded with a Masters’ degree in 2021 from the University of Pretoria. Her study investigated parents and teachers’ experiences and views of risky outdoor play in early learning centres and in her view, the benefits of risky play justified a deeper understanding thereof in the South African context. Her study focused on risky outdoor play in Early Learning Centers (ELCs) and determined whether risky outdoor play is supported and implemented or restricted by parents and teachers.
Dr Charlotte Lewington, who heads up the Grade R Diploma teaching unit, was awarded her PhD from the University of Pretoria in 2021. Her study examined teacher-led sensory play pedagogy, which specifically focuses on the sensopathic senses and how sensory processing in Grade R children prepares them for the transition from informal to formal schooling. Her work also explored how the early learning process in the foundation phase is supported by sensopathic sensory play and specifically how the manipulation of play by teachers would support sensory integration. She concluded with results that showed a link between sensory play pedagogy that stimulates sensory processing, self-regulation and problem-solving skills and school readiness.
Her latest article, “The Value of introducing Sensopathic Materials in a Play Pedagogy Program during the Reception Year” was published in Taylor and Francis’ International Journal of Early Years Education – http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09669760.2021.1933922
As a group, the Grade R Diploma Teaching Unit reflects the diversity of our country and serves the unique needs of student teachers from all backgrounds.