We are offering an integrated curriculum of field visits, computer-based work sessions and guided discussions intended to teach Grade seven to ten learners to "read the landscape". The field trips will be preceded by some introduction to the history and geography of the greater Clanwilliam area. The programme is being developed in collaboration with educators so that it fits the format and schedule of teaching curricula.
*The ability to read a landscape by recognising visible patterns and learning to explain them.
*The ability to read maps of various scales.
*An awareness of the significance and fragility of natural and cultural resources.
*Some practice in preparing maps and charts.
*Experience in collecting and manipulating numerical information.
*The ability to build displays that express the results of work.
*Some experience in using computers as stores of information, as tools for making graphic presentations and as management tools.
What the Living Landscape Project provides:
The Clanwilliam Living Landscape Project will be responsible for devising the curriculum of the course which can run over two to four days. Each learner will be provided with an information pack with sets of questions to answer, problems to solve or exercises to complete. The curriculum includes preparatory briefing, field visits and classroom discussions.
Participating schools will be expected to transport students to and from Clanwilliam, and provide meals and supervision for the learners during the course of their stay there. By special arrangement shopping can be done for meals and basic meals prepared.
The charge levied by the Living Landscape Project for administering the course is R50 per learner. The cost of accommodation and use of the facilities in the Field Station is R20 per learner per night.
The school curricula are based on site visits to graveyards, historic buildings, rock paintings, stone tool scatters, fossil sites and geological exposures within a few kilometres of the small rural town of Clanwilliam. More than 700 local school learners have been through this programme and 15 Cape schools have visited for fieldwork instruction, some of them more than once. This teaching is based on the St Johns School in Park Street, a property purchased by the University of Cape Town as a Field Station, renovated and administered through the University research support service. Four graduate students from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town, along with myself, have developed and implemented the curricula, with strong support from the local headmasters and schools inspector, the regional subject advisers and visiting teachers and academics. Building on contacts with international archaeological colleagues, we have recently established a youth group that is actively exchanging heritage information with similar groups across Africa, Europe, North America and Australia by email.
The Clanwilliam landscape is richly endowed with remains of past social and natural histories. In geological terms the landscape reflects the momentous events of glacial action, dramatic mountain building and the fossil record of previous life forms. In archaeological terms there are many thousands of rock paintings and rock shelter sites left by hunter gatherers and herders whose culture was all but extinguished by the colonial presence. More than a million years of archaeological record is scattered across this landscape. In historical terms there are buildings and other residues of farming and agriculture that document a rapidly changing social landscape. On the maps there are tantalising traces, in the form of indigenous place names, of the precolonial landscape and its places. In botanical and zoological terms Clanwilliam lies in the Fynbos Biome, one of the world’s six Plant Kingdoms, and the smallest of them. The plants and animals are themselves a residue of past living communities that once included elephants, rhino and lion, some of them painted on cave walls.
EDUCATION & SCHOOLS PARTICIPATION
By arrangement study groups can engage in activities and study programmes offer by the Living Landscape Project. We welcome schools to make use of our trained guides and educators. The charge levied by the Living Landscape Project for administering the course is R50 per learner. The cost of accommodation and use of the facilities is R20 per learner per night. For more information telephone: (027) 482-1911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To speak to us at the University of Cape Town, telephone (021) 650-2353 and ask for Prof. John Parkington or email email@example.com