Who am I?
Hiya Wikifamily, my name is Deborah Green and I currently live in the delicious wee settlement of Lyttelton, overlooking the harbour in Christchurch, New Zealand. I ended up here via a roundabout world-spanning journey that saw me born in Zambia, growing up in South Africa and then living in Scotland, England and Australia before finally choosing paradise in which to stop my wandering.
Following my heart
My professional life mirrors the vagrancy of my personal life and, just as my travels have been vaguely held together and guided by my love of rock climbing, a uniting thread runs through my career: I am passionate about open and participatory teaching and learning.
The Drama years
I began by studying Drama and Theatre in South Africa, and while lecturing and working towards a Masters degree, I began to use theatre as an effective way to address HIV/AIDS education. This soon led to my involvement with a number of innovative Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and state structures engaged in the struggle against the emerging AIDS pandemic of the early 1990's in Southern Africa. (A short list of websites for some of these organisations can be found below.) I was privileged to participate in many exciting drama-in-education and community theatre programmes, including DramAidE.
The Health and Lifeskills years
I finally left the University environment and took on the Lifeskills Education Portfolio for the KwaZulu-Natal region under the AIDS Training, Information and Counselling Centre (Department of Health, South Africa). I was called upon to manage a number of related projects, develop curricula and train school teachers in sexuality and lifeskills education all the while consulting and coordinating with a wide range of NGO and CBO participants. I soon realised that I had wandered far out into unknown terrain and decided to equip myself with the requisite knowledge and skills.
The Adult Education years
A part-time postgrad qualification and a Masters degree in Adult Education followed. I then joined the Centre for Adult Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal) where I facilitated a multifacted evaluation, and curriculum development and delivery project aimed at producing a low residency programme to upskill community development workers. This Participatory Development Certificateproject allowed for a dynamic tryst between recognition of prior learning processes, indigenous knowledge systems, and academia - thereby effectively assisting educationally disadvantaged learners to enter and succeed within the university environment. During this time I also participated in the establishment of the University Open Learning Unit, developed educational theatre and lectured for the Drama Department, and consulted to a variety of other University Departments on funding proposal development and distance education planning.
The Eclectic years
Finally, I decided to fly solo and as an independent consultant have facilitated and developed a wide variety of processes and products including:
- organisational development training for CINDI, The Valley Trust and the Planned Parenthood Association;
- a drama lecture series;
- an HIV/AIDS Counselling distance education module for a South African University;
- the facilitator curriculum and guides for a large-scale HIV/AIDS home-based care initiative funded by the German Adult Education Association;
- a DFID funding proposal for the Nepalese election;
- a learning programme for new entrepreneurs;
- training and materials in facilitation for wilderness management trainers for the South African Wilderness Foundation; and
- the initial IP and networking training curriculum structure for APNIC, an organisation managing the IP addresses throughout the Asia Pacific region.
And into the Future...
Now I am broadening my focus to embrace a long held dream, and in July 2008, I begin study towards a Masters degree in Art Therapy.
As regards WE, I hope to participate in both creating content and assisting with educational design while collaborating with and learning from other educators and thereby wrench my paltry technical skills into the modern age!
My first contribution: An Introductory HIV/AIDS workshop This workshop is very rough and I will continue to work on it to make it more user friendly!