Isabel Júlia Mucone - student at the Teacher Training in Maputo
“Children should be given an active role in the learning process”
“My dream was always to become a teacher and to work with children. In this sense my dream is now coming true,” reveals the 22-year old Isabel Júlia Mucone during a pause from her teaching practice at the primary school neighboring the ADPP Teacher Training College in Maputo. “I have always enjoyed learning,” she specifies. “I wish to transmit the same joy to others.”
Something in the gentle and encouraging way Isabel interacts with her students and the eagerness and curiosity with which the children look up to her leave no space for doubt: Isabel is clearly doing what she is good in - evoking a willingness to learn. Every now and then she sits down next to her students to help them solve a problem and to encourage them in trying harder. The glow in the children she has sat next to is visible long after she has left.
“One of the most important things I have learned during my studies at the ADPP Teacher Training College is that children should be given an active role in the learning process,” Isabel explains. “This is something quite different from what I remember from my own time at primary school: we were not supposed to participate but rather repeat what the teacher says.”
Isabel says that shy avoids giving orders to her students and often lets them decide on the themes to discuss or the game to play during Physical Education lessons. She also strives to see every student as an individual and adapt her teaching accordingly. “This takes lots of creativity and flexibility, but it pays off in the end: I win over the attention of the children and they learn better.”
According to Isabel, the principles of participation and inclusion have also been integrated in the studies at the teacher training college. “All students are given a central role in their own learning process. This places a lot of responsibility on our shoulders but it has also opened up a completely new world of learning for all of us,” she adds.
In 2014, Isabel was among the 541 students that were following the pilot 3-year teacher-training curriculum, implemented in three of the 11 ADPP Teacher Training Colleges. “I am already looking forward to graduating next year,” she declares. “After having studied and practiced teaching for three years, I’m quite sure I am prepared to face any type of teaching situation - be it in the rural zones or in the city, or in a school with lots of means or in one that has nothing. This is exactly what I am being trained for: to resolve all sorts of upcoming challenges and to serve as a model for the community I work in!”