What does a teacher do when the textbook doesn’t cover what it’s supposed to? She simply writes a new one.
Graeme College Maths and Accounting teacher Morgan White has written no fewer than 18 textbooks in the past three years.
“It started off in 2018, when I was photocopying accounting notes I’d made for my class,” White said.
There was limited content on accounting for Grade 8 and 9 – leaving an enormous gap in these fundamentals that reared its head in Grade 10.
“It’s only in Grade 10 that Accounting is taught as a proper subject – but we were finding first, that very few kids were choosing accounting and, second, many of those who did lacked the accounting basics.
“The Grade 7 and 8 EMS textbooks focused 80% on business and only about 20% on accounting,” White said. “So it was no wonder that by Grade 10 we were getting less than a dozen kids enrolling for Accounting as a subject.”
White had started filling in those gaps with her own adaptations to the curriculum, and by providing Grade 8 and Grade 9 learners in the Senior phase with supplementary material that she had compiled.
Afrikaans teacher Ieda Strutt came across White photocopying copious material for her class and suggested she consider compiling it into a textbook.
The first textbooks from White’s Centre of Learning – Grade 8 and Grade 9 Accounting – appeared in 2018. Each Grade is a set of three: a learner’s textbook; a learner’s answer book and the teacher’s guide.
Sets of Maths textbooks for grades 7, 8 and 9 followed.
“So I’ve now published 18 textbooks.”
The textbooks are all CAPS-aligned, but contain considerable supplementary material.
How important had good textbooks been during the long periods without face-to-face classes during the 2020 lockdown, GMDirect asked.
“Extremely important,” White said. “I knew the children had the right material available at the right standard.”
When it comes to Maths, White believes everyone is capable.
“What I find is it’s not that kids don’t know how to do the maths: it’s that they don’t know how to approach the problem. That’s where proper teaching comes in.”
White distributes her Accounting textbooks for grades 8 and 9, and Maths textbooks for grades 7, 8 and 9 directly. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website, www.centreoflearning.co.za