- South African schools are microcosms of our broader society
- All the unresolved social issues which plague our society as a whole show up in our schools
- These issues can culminate in explosive stories, but they more often sit in the culture and implicit functioning of our schools
- School plays a vital role in any society, not only in educating our children but also in socializing them, creating social cohesion and advancing societal values and norms
- How can all the stakeholders in a school environment support this role consciously and proactively?
SOME TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGES IN SCHOOLS
- There are a broad range of stakeholder grouping. These groupings include teachers, administrative staff, learners, parents, support staff, management, council members, extra-curricular staff…
- Individual members of these stakeholder groups all come with their own baggage
- Discussions about transformation, racism, sexism etc are emotional in many sectors of our society but are particularly intense in a school environment where some of the more vulnerable members of our society are being nurtured
- Students / learners themselves are becoming more active and engaged in discussions about transformation
- There is currently a strong spotlight on schools by the public, government and the media
PRESSURES ON SCHOOLS IN TERMS OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
- Sexual orientation
- Different family structures – how is this accommodated in celebrations of Mother’s day and Father’s day? What about single parent households? (Only 33% of kids live with both parents, 39% of kids raised by single mothers (SAIRR 2013)
- Different levels of gender conformity – children who do not identify with their biological gender – how does the school deal with this in terms of uniforms, treatment by teachers, potential bullying from other students?
OUR PHILOSOPHY AROUND TRANSFORMATION
The essence of any organisational strategy lies in its execution, and a culture that facilitates and encourages the correct mindsets and behaviours. Our approach to transformation is an intricate balance of the Intra-personal, Inter-personal, Organisational and Stakeholder aspects of transformation.
Our experience in the field of Transformation has taught us the following:
- A well thought through model and road map with clear milestones is required before embarking on the process.
- The Vision and Mission of the organisation should inform the approach to be adopted.
- Communication is critical for buy-in and success.
- There is a need to ensure that all the internal stakeholders understand how the process will unfold and impact on their areas.
- A systemic approach to Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion provides a more sustainable solution.
- It is critical to build on what has already been achieved in the institution to ensure alignment.
- A pre-intervention audit will enable thorough customisation of agreed solutions.
- Measuring the Values of the institution provides a solid foundation for effective transformation.
- The process should include identifying quick wins, implementing, measuring progress and communicating successes.
Ethics and social responsibility have become fundamentally important to the way organisations of all forms do business. The most successful organisations in the 21st century will be those that are responsible members of the community and good global citizens. They will be seeking to align the organisation’s values with society’s values. The values that organisations live by will play an increasingly important role in the public’s purchasing decisions and the quality of employees and in this case, pupils that an organisation can attract.
SERVICE OFFERING 1: WORKSHOPS TO COVER THE FOLLOWING MODELS AND DEFINITIONS
- Integrated Approach to D&I
- H3 Model
- Unconscious Bias
- Micro Inequities
- Micro Aggressions
SERVICE OFFERING 2: 1-HOUR TALK TO INTRODUCE KEEP CONCEPTS & CREATE A COMMON LANGUAGE
- Unconscious Bias
- Micro Inequities
SERVICE OFFERING 3: DIVERSITY GAME AND TRAIN-THE-TRAINER WORKSHOPS
The Diversity Game is an innovative board game played with a group of at least 20 participants, taking about 3.5 to 4 hours to complete. A maximum 100 participants for large group (conference) sessions is recommended.
Teams compete to answer multiple-choice questions about the vast cultural, ethnic, linguistic and socio-economic diversity of the SA population, providing a unique opportunity to discuss sensitive issues in a relaxed environment.
Questions present typical diversity problems which arise in the school, challenging participants to explore how their organisation should deal with these issues most effectively without compromising efficiency and productivity.
The categories are:
- School to Workplace
- Culture & Society
Test and Chance include cards that cover all of the above categories.
The game is highly interactive, competitive and fun way of learning about diversity.