06 May 2019 – This is an imported page from an old blog I kept during my travels to Malawi. Next month (June 2019) as part of this year’s Norwich-Dedza Partnership exchange, teachers from Malawi will be visiting the UK. So in celebration and preparation for that, I will be re-blogging the thoughts I made during my visit in 2013.
You can find an index of all the 2013 Malawi blog entries here. Zikomo!
“Teaching & Learning Resources for Malawi”
15th May 2013; Framingham Earl, UK
I stand in front of a Year 9 class, passing a fleeting gaze at each face from the back of the class to the front. These young people are in full transition from youth to adult. Is this the last year of true and total innocence? As next year it will be the start of their GCSEs, to which the foundation of their academic and vocational life is set. I pick up on this vibe, and give an announcement that seems to age them slightly:
“So, this is the last year before you start your GCSEs!”. I think I detected a grimace or two, but also a sense of determination and excitement. I decide to play on the latter…
“This means it’s time to get our teeth into real ‘mature’ Geography. There still will be fun and games, challenges and moments to laugh, but, we’ll be looking at issues that will pull at your emotions and start to take on the issues that every grown-up, young and old will face”.
This last statement confuses a few I feel, and a hand shoots up from the back of the class. How can a grown-up be young or old? It’s a good question; they’ll need to be inquisitive this academic year. I begin to give examples of the issues that we’ll learn about to clarify my point, issues such as economic and social poverty, which drive young people to be carers for their families; issues of unemployment, job security and resource management. Yes, it’s time to grow up… academically, anyway.
The first unit of our Year 9 scheme of work is a module on Development and Globalisation. It is a long unit touching on many issues, but a major thread is the who, how, why, when and where of the differences of development around the world. MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries, such as the UK) and LEDCs (Less… such as Malawi).
The work contains a handful of lessons focusing on a case-study of an LEDC. It used to be Ghana, but I approached Joc and Judy with the idea (not a really novel one, mind) of changing our case-study to Malawi. In effect, every Year 9 at Fram will study Malawi. This academic year (2012-13) was the first run. I enjoyed teaching it, thanks to input by Joc and Judy, but interesting as it was (according to honest, trustworthy student feedback) I felt it was a bit dry. And so I fully intend to use my upcoming trip to Malawi to enhance this little case-study.
I’m very happy to share our Malawi teaching and learning resources with all you overworked educators out there -_^.
Mutu umodzi susenza denga
Chichewa – A single head does not carry a roof (i.e. you can’t solve problems on your own)