South Africa Educational Study Program
May 17- June 12, 2001

The Location:

Pretoria, South AfricaPretoria will be our home base and we will stay with host families in groups during our time there. We will visit several early childhood and primary schools while in Pretoria, but the Edendale Primary School will be the school where we will have extensive time to observe classroom settings and spend time with faculty. Students will develop a case study of a child or teacher at the Edendale Primary School. This information will be presented in an exhibit to open in the fall of 2001 at Skidmore College in the Lucy Scribner Library.

The Edendale Primary School was established during 1988-1991 when there was a dire need for good education for children of all races at the lowest possible cost. It is located on ten hectares in the lovely rural area between Mamelodi, Ekhangala, and Cullinan, 30 km. Out of Pretoria. The school started as a mission farm school and has grown to one of the best schools in the Gauteng area.

During our program we will also visit a range of government and private school settings, a Zulu village school and a basic adult education center for street people. The schools we will visit are located in Soweto, Mamelodi, Natal, and CapeTown.

Student in tribal clothing at Edendale

Students in tribal clothing at Edendale

Second grade classroom


Third grade classroom

Edendale classroom
Edendale School
Cultural Activities & Excursions
Skidmore in South Africa
As a compliment to the course offering, the program offers frequent cultural experiences. We will visit the Kruger National Park (inset photo), the Voortrekker Monument, Sun City, ride a pony through the Drakensberg Mountains in Lesotho, visit an ostrich farm, take a short tour through the Cango Caves, visit Robben Island, ride a cable car to the top of Table Mountain and spend time on the waterfront in CapeTown.

The Academic Program: ED 361, Special Topics in Education

Ed 361 will trace the origins and evolution of the early childhood and primary educational system in South Africa during and after apartheid. The research focus for students will be on post-apartheid effects on education, changing family dynamics and their impact on early childhood and primary school programs for South African children, the current state of language and literacy, and the range of school designs. A basic understanding of South African history, culture and geography will be essential for students to gain an understanding of the contemporary education dynamic.

The course will begin on Skidmore campus the week prior to departure to South Africa, with seminar and orientation meetings. Once in South Africa, we will make eight classroom visits, which will include research, observation, and interview opportunities, and students will attend two formal seminars and two formal presentations from faculty at Edendale Primary School. Work on individual research projects and on assembling the exhibit component of the course is expected of all students. The exhibit will open in the Lucy Scribner Library, fall 2001.

Expanding Horizons Connection

Steve Little and Tom Havens, teachers from the Schuylerville Central Elementary School, will participate on the professional team to South Africa. Karen Brackett and Susan Lehr invited both teachers because of their extensive commitment to the mission of Education Department at Skidmore and their expertise working with college students in the field. Steve and Tom will be directly involved in a workshop for the Edendale teachers, provide support with individual research projects, work on a documentary about the trip, and work with the team on the exhibit to open in the fall semester.

For additional information about the journey, contact:

Karen Brackett or Susan Lehr
Educational Tour to South Africa Directors
Education Department-Palamountain Hall
Phone: (518) 580-5140 Fax (518)580-5146