Book Marks — July 2018

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“Book Marks” is a new series on the beings@bridge blog. This bi-monthly series highlights interesting and informative reads on themes that relate to the education sector, as submitted by the BRIDGE team. July’s read is Pedagogy of the Oppressed written by educator Paulo Freire.

“No pedagogy which is truly liberating can remain distant from the oppressed by treating them as unfortunates and by presenting for their emulation models from among the oppressors. The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption.”

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Pedagogy of the Oppressed was first published in Portuguese in 1968, and was translated by Myra Ramos into English and published in 1970. The book is considered one of the foundational texts of critical pedagogy.



Dedicated to the oppressed and based on his own experience helping Brazilian adults to read and write, Freire includes a detailed Marxist class analysis in his exploration of the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized.

In the book Freire calls traditional pedagogy the “banking model of education” because it treats the student as an empty vessel to be filled with knowledge, like a piggy bank. However, he argues for pedagogy to treat the learner as a co-creator of knowledge.

To read the free PDF version of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, click here





In commemoration of Youth Day, BRIDGE spoke to James Malope – the head of the LEAP Science and Maths School in Diepsloot which provides free education to learners from disadvantaged communities and have Mathematics, Physical Science and English as mandatory subjects. James shares stories and lessons learned from his youth which contributed to him being involved in bettering the lives of the youth in South Africa today. Continue reading

BOOK MARKS — November 2018

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“Book Marks” is a new series on the beings@bridge blog. This bi-monthly series highlights interesting and informative reads on themes that relate to the education sector, as submitted by the BRIDGE team. November’s read is Early Childhood Care and Education at the Margins.

The importance of early childhood care and education (ECCE) in the lives of very young children is gaining increasing attention around the globe and yet there is a persistent lack of diverse knowledge perspectives on this critical phase. This stems from dominant Eurocentric framings of early childhood research, and related theories. Early Childhood Care and Education at the Margins provides contextual accounts of ECCE in Africa in order to build multiple perspectives and to promote responsive thought and actions.

9780815394730.jpgThe book is an entry point to knowledge production for birth to three in Africa and responds to the call for the field to be in dialogue with different perspectives that attempt to map concepts, debates and contemporary concerns. In this book, a group of African authors, representing both Anglophone and Francophone Africa, provide insider’s perspectives on a wide range of geographic, cultural and thematic positions. In so doing, they show the breadth and depth of ideas on which the ECCE field draws. The chapters in the volume highlight a range of topics including poverty, early socialisation, local care practices, gendered roles, and service provision. They open up important points of departure for thinking about ECCE policy, practice, theory and research.

The book presents African perspectives in a globalising world. It is therefore suitable for an international readership. It includes cross-cultural comparisons as well as critiques of dominant discourses which will be of particular interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students active in the field of ECCE, childhood studies, cultural studies and comparative education.

To read Early Childhood Care and Education at the Margins, click here


BOOK MARKS — September 2018

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“Book Marks” is a new series on the beings@bridge blog. This bi-monthly series highlights interesting and informative reads on themes that relate to the education sector, as submitted by the BRIDGE team. July’s read is Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom written by feminist author Bell Hooks.

“The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy.”
Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

In Teaching to Transgress, Bell Hooks–writer, teacher, and insurgent Black intellectual–writes about a new kind of education, education as the practice of freedom. Teaching students to “transgress” against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom is, for Hooks, the teacher’s most important goal.

Bell Hooks speaks to the heart of education today: how can we rethink teaching practices in the age of multiculturalism? What do we do about teachers who do not want to teach, and students who do not want to learn? How should we deal with racism and sexism in the classroom?

Full of passion and politics, Teaching to Transgress combines practical knowledge of the classroom with a deeply felt connection to the world of emotions and feelings. This is a rare book about teachers and students that dares to raise critical questions about eros and rage, grief and reconciliation, and the future of teaching its self.

To read the free PDF version of Teaching to Transgress, click here

A Story On Nelson Mandela Day: BRIDGE partners with Help2Read

Steps to Succulent Succulents

BRIDGE is keenly aware of South Africa’s literary crisis. According to data in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), South Africa placed last out of 50 countries which included nearly 320‚000 children globally. The survey also found that reading scores have not improved since 2011. As part of our efforts to redress the situation, the BRIDGE team has recently embarked on a journey with the developmental non-profit Help2Read by registering to become ‘Reading Helpers’ in its Volunteer Reading Help Programme.

Continue reading


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Sometimes when you walk into a school you can tell something about its character – proud of its sporting triumphs with display cases of trophies, an emphasis on art with murals and mosaics, an eco-school, a religious school, one with a long tradition and history, or celebrations of ethnic diversity. So, what would it look like to walk through a school with a ‘reading culture’?

South Africa has an urgent reading crisis. Results from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016 tests revealed that 78% of grade 4 pupils in South Africa fell below the lowest level on the PIRLS scale: meaning, in effect, that they cannot understand what they’re reading. The study also indicated that South Africa was last out of 50 countries surveyed.

So how can South Africa address this crisis? There are no quick fixes, but there certainly are slow and sure ones. Developing a culture of reading is one such solution. Creating a school with a strong reading culture means making learners aware of the joy of reading and encouraging them to read for pleasure to develop their literacy skills and improve academic achievement.

One way this can be done is through the inclusion of ‘instapoetry’ in the classroom.

Continue reading

SEKHUKHUNE SPEAKS: Growing a veggie garden at Matleu Primary School


BRIDGE, in partnership with JET and CIE, is currently working on a project that hopes to effect real and long lasting positive change in the education outcomes of 10 public schools in Sekhukhune, Limpopo. BRIDGE has been tasked to work in the area of leadership development and is currently engaging with 10 principals from the region.

One such principal is Mr Shaku of Matleu Primary School. We caught up with the principal to talk about what impact the project has had on him and his school. In this post, Mr Shaku shares how he has made use of a BRIDGE recourse (a framework proposed by Arista Bouwer on how to build resilient schools) to improve the functionality of his school. Continue reading