From Head & Heart: Creative Learners


Your Mandela Day to-do list: Grow empathy, connect to others, take action – but choose wisely

The message behind Mandela Day is that we all have the ability and responsibility to change the world for the better.  In theory many people agree with this sentiment, judging from the 2.8K likes that a Nelson Mandela quote like “our society needs to re-establish a culture of caring” can garner on the Nelson Mandela […]

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Posted on 18 July 2016

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“Your child is also my child” – becoming part of an “army of adults” reading to children

First published by the Sowetan on 2 June 2016. We often hear about South Africa’s dismal education outcomes and low literacy rates. We have also been hearing that early literacy, reading for joy, and growing up around books can change the life trajectories of individuals and dramatically improve our society.   Yet we hear much less […]

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Posted on 8 June 2016

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From hub-and-spoke to classroom libraries: lessons from Akshara

India and South Africa could learn a lot from each other, particularly when it comes to education. Both have made great strides with primary school enrolment over the last few decades, but still struggle with the quality of learning outcomes – with a significant proportion of children in upper primary school who essentially cannot read. […]

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Posted on 16 October 2015

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Why listening to stories is part of learning to read

By Carole Bloch In his insightful book, The Rights of the Reader, Daniel Pennac comments: “When someone reads aloud, they raise you to the level of the book. They give you reading as a gift.” People who love reading know the precise value of that gift, and how to access it. But there are those […]

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Posted on 22 September 2015

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Stories: the heart of a happy childhood

At DGMT, we want all South African children to be able to read, and to love reading. As we work with committed and passionate partners towards this goal, I am often reminded of key moments in my own literacy journey. I don’t remember learning to read, but I remember learning to read silently. I sat […]

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Posted on 2 September 2015

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Finding the courage to fail: reflections from the Eastern Cape  

What can you do if you leave school unable to lift your head, look someone in the eye, and speak your mind? It’s a question we grappled with last week, as we watched more than 100 Grade 10 learners stammer out simple poems they’d written in English, terrified of making a mistake. I was with the […]

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Posted on 24 February 2015

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Language development to reshape the national economy

This article by DGMT CEO, David Harrison, was first published in the City Press on the 19th of October 2014. What you do when you’ve stared at the same problem for years and still can’t figure out how to solve it?  You frame it differently. See it through someone else’s eyes. So the next time […]

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Posted on 24 October 2014

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How to get born frees reading: model enjoyment and speak to their souls

At DGMT, one of our key strategic priorities is to nurture and grow a culture of reading in South Africa, where only 14% of people are active readers of books – so I was excited to attend a panel discussion on “Getting born frees reading” at last month’s Open Book Festival in Cape Town. At […]

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Posted on 10 October 2014

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Technology is fueling change, but human relationships are at the heart of progress

At last month’s EdTechTeam South Africa Summit, it sometimes felt like I was witnessing magic. In a dazzling two-day whirlwind, we explored augmented reality, flipped classrooms, automagical differentiation, gamification, digital storytelling and more apps than I could count. The summit, which featured presenters from Google for Education, was all about what’s possible – and opportunities for […]

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Posted on 5 August 2014

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What we learned about basic literacy education in India – The Pratham’s Joint Review Mission

I recently had the good fortune of taking a trip to Delhi to participate in Pratham’s Joint Review Mission (JRM) to assess their work on the ground across India with a really interesting International team. After remarkable progress across many states in India, Pratham arranged this progress review with a view to continuous improvement, an […]

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Posted on 10 January 2013

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