Education students will teach and learn togetherness in Africa

Alex Hodges, Campus Carrier Arts & Living Editor

During the coming summer, a group of two faculty members and 11 students will travel abroad to Cape Town, South Africa, to work with Living Hope International, an organization that provides children the opportunity for a brighter future through education and enrichment programs.

The Berry students and faculty will be in a township, which is where lower income families were forced to move during Apartheid.

Four of those 11 students are music education majors and will be working for credit on an after-school program to teach elementary school students a musical program that will be performed at the end of the week. The education students will be split into groups, each responsible for teaching two songs to the children during their hour-and-a-half time every day after school.

Associate Professor and Director of Music Education Stefanie Cash said that the musical program that they will teach is called “Together.”

“Everyone can be different, but if we all come together and work together, we can do something great together,” Cash said.

Cash came to Berry and found that there were not any trips available to education students that had a musical component to them, so she began to organize trips that music education students could benefit from as well.

For the education students, the trip is about exploring ways of teaching, according to Cash. In the mornings, while not working on the musical, the students will be divided to teaching children of varying age groups. The secondary education students will work with sixth graders, the early childhood education students with kindergartners, and the music education students will teach music lessons.

“They’ll get a chance to see the different education systems, they’ll get to work with the South African teachers and really see how different education is in a different environment,” Cash said.

Junior music education major Macy Dominey has never been on a trip like this one. She expects to face challenges in shifting and adjusting to cultural differences, as well as dealing with children who have different educational background than what she is used to.

“I’m excited to see the country, but also to teach music to the kids because I feel like they’ll kind of teach us stuff in return,” Dominey said.

Dominey has plans to student teach in Cobb County in the near future.

Allie Sinatra, a sophomore music education major, has never left the country. She predicts similar challenges to those that Dominey expects, as well as learning different definitions of class and working with a different language.

Sinatra said that, in their Education in Diverse Cultures class, which is required of all education majors, they read a book about travel and being wary of cultural and societal differences.

“It definitely opens your eyes up to the fact that there are people different than us, and it allows you to better plan how to teach them and helps you to teach them to learn better being in a different place,” according to Dominey.

Cash first left the country when she traveled to Brazil at the age of 21.

“I realized how much I had and how much I took for granted, and it completely changed my world view,” Cash said. “That is what I hope for our students.”

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