There is a gap between learner and reality. Teaching material is a term used to describe the resources used by teachers to deliver instructions. Learner Teacher Support Material is the combination of all collected material prescribed by the Department of Education, District and a School for Teaching and Learning to be a success. According to Arthur Attwell, LTSM means a variety of learning and teaching materials used in a classroom. These range from teachers and learners created resources to commercially produced classroom resources such as wall charts, workbooks, textbooks, e-books, readers, stationery, science kits, dictionaries, encyclopedias etc. The learning support material is an important part of the curriculum development and it promotes good teaching and learning. Successful learning depends on the great ability of a teacher to identify relevant sources, then design and use them effectively during his or her lesson. The Content of the LTSM gives rise to new skills, goals, ambitions to the learners. The information acquired on the support material give learners simple and precise examples that link to the learner’s daily lives and how to make informed decisions. The LTSM supports students learning, increases student’s success, improves the learner’s vocabulary and improves their communication skills, including good reading and fluency. The aims of the South African curriculum are to develop learners that use the knowledge they get at school in their everyday lives and in their communities. The curriculum aims at providing direction and intention to the learner’s curiosity. The curriculum also aims at developing learners who can think critically, innovatively and creatively with the ability to connect ideas. The content introduces learners to new knowledge and improves their prior-knowledge and then understand and connect ideas of reality with those taught at school. The LTSM aims at producing learners that can think for themselves and not fully depend on the help of their teachers. This ensures that learners are able to use their context to explain and verify certain ideas. Learners are able to observe, evaluate, and come to a relevant conclusion without the direct consultation of the teacher. LTSM can be in a written format, printed or electronic format.
To produce learners that are responsible socially and strive to find strategies that may improve their lives and their communities at large. The Learners are the ones that are prepared to help in their communities and those who strive to fight for everyone’s right and take responsibility for their actions. The Social goals ensure that learners are those who care about their health and those of others around them, and carrying for their environment.
To produce learners that are well disciplined and behave appropriately around people. The aim is to produce learners that do not only talk about discipline, but to produce learners that are a clear reflection of discipline.
To produce learners that are well aware of errs happening in their communities and be able to give clear solutions that benefits the community at large. This means that learners should be able to identify the community’s needs and be able to identify and give appropriate solutions that do not affect the environment and others.
The Learner Teacher Support
Material uncovers further the content that learners already know. This gives learners a platform to observe the problems faced in their communities, then use critical thinking to generate solutions. The LTSM is influenced by the ideas of reality that are theoretic and gives more insight on the real life situations. The Material helps learners to make informed decisions that do not only benefit them alone, but also their communities at large. The more and more learners are exposed to the content, the less confusion remains on their minds, and the more solutions they bring to their communities. The curriculum focuses on the didactic situation, which means that there is an interaction between a Learner, Teacher, Context and the content. This means that when a teacher is setting or planning a lesson he or she needs to take the context of the learners into consideration. If the lesson is not based on the schools or learners context this makes teaching and learning to be ineffective. So before a teacher plans a lesson, he or she must first analyze and evaluate effectively the context of the school and his or her learners understanding. The instructions given should not be difficult to the learners instead they should be simple precise and straight to the main point, which is connecting the learners with reality. When setting or giving examples a teacher needs to give realistic examples that link to real life situations. The teacher needs to understand the learners thinking skills and their strengths so that whatever examples he or she gives are not alien or foreign examples to learners.
Another way of connecting learners with reality are the learner centered methods: Discussions, Brainstorming, Roleplaying, Group activities and Debate.
The discussions are the informal assessments that help learners to share with one another ideas that they feel are more suited to benefit them and their communities. When learners work with one another with the supervision from teacher trying to identify and find solutions of certain problems they work effectively.
This approach encourages learners to use Critical Thinking (think out of the box). This means that learners will have to identify the problems or issues in their respective communities and then use what they have been taught to try and find solutions to those problems.
The textbooks have many group activities that learners need to do in order to acquire the team work skills. These could benefit learners in their communities as they would work together to make themselves and their communities better.
This is one of the daily tasks a teacher can set, the teacher can advise learners to identify each factors affecting their communities and debate about the possible solutions that can benefit the community and the community can easily adjust to them.
Examples of LTSM
Teacher Created Resources
These are the resources a teacher creates in order to improve and develop his or her learners understanding of the content, they are simplified and broadly explained forms of teaching material with examples taken from real-life scenarios.
Workbooks are the activities provided by the district for the learners to do in class and the workbooks outline the objectives of the curriculum and they use the questioning techniques and strategies that requires creative, innovative and critical thinking.
Are the form of writing that is introduced to learners in the Foundation Phase (Grade R-3) These Forms Of Writing are intended to guide learners into reading and understanding. These books use topics and pictures that learners are experiencing daily, for example a book about different domestic and farm animals.
Smartboards have recently introduced a form of technology that has been introduced in the classrooms to improve the Teaching and Learning phases. This improves learning because learners are able to watch educational videos that will improve their content understanding and knowledge. The smart boards also helps learners with broader topics that many schools don’t have enough study material to access them.
In conclusion Learner Teacher Support Material act as a scaffold to introduce learner’s to reality. As mentioned from above, improving the learners’ prior knowledge is the main goal of the CAPS LTSM. An Improvement results in Learner’s being innovative and critical thinkers, who have the ability to connect ideas. The Improvement ensures that learners become responsible citizens who care for their environment and care about the health of others. The skills acquired improves the learners academically and socially.
As above mentioned the learner centered methods play major roles in introducing learners to reality and introducing them to new ideas. Teaching materials can support students and increase the student’s success. The teaching material and examples set by teachers play major roles in helping learners understand and relate the content of the curriculum with reality. And the learners start being connected with the reality from the foundation phase moving to their tertiary education. Indeed there is a gap between learners and reality and LTSM is there to fill the gap, and improve learners understanding of their content and context.