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School and classroom food gardens can get learners practically involved in processes of building resilience and adapting to their environment in response to social-ecological matters of concern. School and classroom gardens offer opportunities for meaningfully linking topics such as healthy eating, biodiversity, water and climate change to nutritional needs and the production of own food.

This course is designed around five sustainability practices namely composting, ensuring a healthy soil, growing your own greens, water harvesting and seed sharing. These are introduced as five units followed by an assessment.

The course provides an integrated perspective on the sciences (natural and social), technology, indigenous knowledge and the everyday; for a critical understanding of the social and physical world. It is designed to stimulate indigenous scholarship and school in-community activities amongst teachers and student teachers on possibilities for practical, curriculum-based learning actions with learners. The course intends to activate a strong, real-world sense of pride, wonder and admiration that all teachers and students might feel about the depth and relevance of African heritage as a foundation for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and transformative learning.

Course Structure

Each of the five units is structured as follows:

  • Introduction to a new sustainability-oriented topic that encourages alternative ways of being and seeing in the world. A short quiz follows each introduction to help you to establish whether you are grasping the essence of each topic.
  • Video and reading material which builds on indigenous knowledges and cultural practices to reflect from past, to present and future in local contexts while exploring important foundational concepts in the Life Skills curriculum.
  • Practical activities that explore and expand on the indigenous knowledges and cultural practices introduced above.
  • A task which you need to complete either in a group or as an individual.

Course Assessment

For this course, you will compile the 5 tasks from units 1-5 into a portfolio. Task one is a group task, and you should submit a copy of the task in your portfolio with the names of all your group members clearly labelled at the top of the task. All other tasks are individual tasks.

Tasks are each worth 20 marks and will be added together to give you a term mark out of 100.

Your lecturer will inform you about the submission deadline.

Opportunities beyond this course

This online course is supported by the Handprints for Change Teacher Education Handbook Learning Resource Platform. Various exemplars built on the ‘starting points’ approach around Food Garden Heritage practices that support the emergence of practical, start-up materials for teacher education accessible are available on the platform. Click on the button below to access the platform. The course also aims to link this important topic to the CAPS curriculum. Below is a link to a summary of the CAPS links to Food Garden practices and the Handprints for Change Teacher Education Handbook.

How to get around:

Below is a breakdown of this course and your progress. Click ‘expand’ to see each unit. You can click on each of these links to access the different pages (sessions) or use the “Next session” or “Previous session” to move through the module.

To start, click “Unit 1” below.

Once you have completed a session, click the green “Mark Complete” button before moving on to the next session, and you’ll see your progress bar reflect your movement.

If you ever get lost, there is a menu on your left, another when you hover over your name in the top right corner (this will appear once you start a unit), and you can find your way to the ‘Home’ page by clicking on the Fundisa for Change logo in the top left corner.

The course and materials were designed and developed by Rob O’Donoghue, Ingrid Schudel and Wilma van Staden. Artwork was created by D Design.