Using participatory and visual arts-based methodologies to promote sustainable teaching and learning ecologies: through the eyes of preservice teachers
De Lange, Naydene
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The National Framework for Quality Education in Rural Areas (DoE, 2006) draws attention to education in rural ecologies and scrutinises the role of HEIs in developing teachers who understand the diverse contexts and who are able to facilitate quality teaching and learning in such contexts. Drawing from the project ‘New teachers for new times: Visual methodologies for social change in rural education in the age of AIDS’, this article explores how the use of participatory and visual arts-based methodologies at a rural school can lead to sustainable teaching and learning environments that promote transformative and emancipatory classrooms. We draw on the focus group discussions held at the end of each school day as debriefing sessions with the six Intermediate Phase pre-service teachers4 reflecting on their experiences of professional development and what was learnt about using ‘new’ methodologies in a rural farm school. We argue that when a cohort of pre-service teachers work together with in-service teachers using emancipatory pedagogies in a rural context, classrooms can get transformed into enabling and democratic spaces conducive for teaching and learning for all.