“Traveling to South Africa with South Africa Partners,” wrote a 2014 Educator Tour participant, “was the difference between reading a book and living it.” The story of South Africa’s troubled history and its transition into a multi-racial democracy is well known to many U.S. educators, but that remarkable story is best understood through the experience of travel. The Educator Tour gives teachers the rare opportunity to see and understand both the country’s history and the country’s future first hand through the lens of education. Participants learn directly from South African educators who are working hard to deliver on the promise of a post-apartheid South Africa and engage with the children who are the nation’s future.
Since 2006, South Africa partners has led unique tours to South Africa, introducing U.S. educators to South African teachers, students and school administrators. While traveling through Johannesburg, East London and Cape Town, participants visit historical sites, build lasting relationships through a week-long classroom immersion and expand their understanding of the educational system. More than 80 U.S. teachers have participated in the tour.
The purpose of my trip was to explore the experience of students and educators in post-apartheid South Africa so I could deepen my understanding of inequity in education. South Africa has motivated me to think more deeply about the entire system of education in our country, to think about privilege and opportunity, to acknowledge the complexity of the issues and to struggle — really struggle — with my assumptions.”
— Justin Norton
Boston Adult Technical Academy, Boston, MA
2013 Educator Tour participant
My thoughts of South Africa have usually centered on the country’s experience under apartheid and the dismantling of that system. But this trip opened my eyes to the current chapter of the country’s narrative. I learned firsthand about some realities of this very young democracy — its triumphs and its challenges.”
— Takisha Haynie
Baylor School, Chattanooga, TN
2014 Educator Tour participant