Session 3: Improve your teaching practices

Improve Your Teaching Practice/Pedagogy

In this section we will look at different ways of teaching about Energy Exchange in the context of the CAPS Geography Curriculum. We present a variety of ways in which teachers can teach learners about climate change.


By the end of the session participants should be able to:

  • integrate different methods of learning into their classroom practice depending on which knowledge and skills they aim to develop in their learners (or your educational intent). These lesson plans are therefore suggestions of possibilities that can be tailored to reflect your unique classroom context.
  • think and practice learning in different ways. This means that teachers need to think creatively about different ways of teaching that will help them to give learners the opportunity to develop skills while they are learning about climate change.
  • promote Deeper learning which requires a learner to test the information being received against a required value system, belief system and also to enable a learner to question assumptions. This type of learning is not easy and requires a creative teacher and facilitator and a receptive learner.

The overall objective of the Fundisa for Change programme is to enhance transformative ESD and environmental learning through teacher education. At a school level teachers should enhance transformative learning. As a result, before discussing in depth several possible methods of teaching Energy Exchange, teachers need to comprehend transformative learning. Transformative learning (TL) is the phase of the educational process where learning becomes authentic and real rather than just the transmission of information. TL is reflective, experiential, student-centered, and demands self-directed learners as well as teachers who are prepared to use a range of teaching techniques and offer meaningful, pertinent, problem-based assessments.

Transformative learning is the process of becoming critically aware of how and why the structure of our psycho-cultural assumptions has come to constrain the way in which we perceive our world, of reconstituting that structure in a way that allows us to be more inclusive and discriminating in our integrating of experience and to act on these new understandings (Mezirow, 1985, p. 22).

Watch the YouTube video below by Prof Heila Lotz-Sisitka about Transformative, Transgressive Learning

Possible methods of teaching about Energy Exchange in the context of the CAPS Geography Curriculum.

Experiential learning:

Using our senses to experience our environment

  • Experiential learning includes both activities that use the senses and those that engage emotions.
  • They provide an opportunity for learning by providing different ways for learners to experience the world around them.
  • When you develop an experiential learning task, it is important to identify WHAT you want learners to experience, and HOW this contributes to their understanding of climate change.

Watch the video below about the 8 Things To Know About the Experiential Learning Cycle (FULL)

Investigative methods: Investigations and experiments

  • Using investigative methods allows learners to research and explore a subject in various ways.
  • Good investigations help learners to collect information from different sources (such as reference books, informative websites, interviews with people who know something about a specific topic and observing examples of a particular subject in their own environment.
  • Conducting an investigation is an alternative way to help learners to both accumulate information about a topic, and to get a wider variety of views, ideas and conclusions about that topic than a more direct form of information transfer would allow.
  • It also supports learners in developing their research, data collection and analysis, and communication skills.

Information transfer

  • Information transfer is one of the most commonly used ways of teaching learners in schools.
  • It is also a method that is often integrated into and combined with most other methods of learning.
  • Information transfer can take a number of forms, including class notes, a lecture, a brochure or poster or even a field trip or experiment.
  • The information transfer method can become a meaningless exercise if it is reduced to a one-way transfer of information from teacher to learners.
  • If you are struggling to find new and creative ways for information transfer, have a look at the Methods and Processes book included in your materials – there are lots of good ideas to help you get started in there

NB. Remember that information transfer includes listening with intent, reading and writing to learn, and using mathematical and scientific concepts to learn.

Deliberative Methods: Scenario-planning and backward mapping

  •  Deliberative teaching methods provide different viewpoints, scenarios or possible futures for the learners to think about and deliberate about.
  • Deliberative methods do not present a “right answer” that learners need to memorise.
  • Instead, by using such methods a number of alternative possibilities are raised that require learners to think about, predict or debate about.
  • This allows learners to draw on their own experiences and understanding of an issue and to understand how it can be changed in the future.

Lesson Plans and Different Ways of Teaching about Energy Exchange

Click the link below

Watch the following video

Further Reading

Activity 2: Geography Energy Exchange

15 Marks