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Colette van Niftrik

Qwisp - Education for Sustainability
Cape Town Area, South Africa
Fifteen years ago, Colette van Niftrik was inspired by the mechanics of Wikipedia and Google to explore a notion, sparked by Maslow’s theory of need hierarchies, as a possible route for a different approach to learning. No matter where her life took her after she left teaching, her mind was constantly buzzing around education.She had recognised a potential for combining the mechanics of Wikipedia and Google with her own questioning mechanism that could have young learners whizzing all over the internet with joy and direction because they could follow their passion and create their own knowledge base according to their interests and strengths. Her method has come to fruition in the form of a design for a digital internet learning map that could create a comprehensive primary school curriculum with a strong ethical backbone. She calls her method Qwisp which stands for ‘Questions for a World in Sustainable Perspective’.Colette studied in Stellenbosch, Grahamstown and Cape Town, gaining a BA Degree (Psychology and English) with a Post Graduate Diploma in Senior Primary Education. Her teaching experience is fairly diverse: She taught in rural schools all over South Africa for a good part of her career, later in urban schools and also in teacher training. This has meant that she experienced teaching amongst a wide variety of cultures, including a cross-section of immigrants from many parts of the world. Being a second-generation Dutch immigrant, she feels deeply enriched by the experience of the cultural cross-overs.She saw education in many different forms with varying levels of support, qualification, equipment and circumstance. She left teaching to see if distance would help her to resolve the frustrations of all these experiences. There was an intellectual tapestry that emerged over the next two decades that has become the relief she sought. A few years ago, it got a name: Qwisp. Being just past pensionable age and excited by the prospect of a new career, she is passionate about taking Qwisp to the next level!

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, June 8

10:15am BST