Cabrini Ministries, Swaziland

Dr. Connie Titone, coordinator of the Master's Plus Teaching Certification program and Professor in the Department of Education and Human Services at Villanova University, was invited to visit the Cabrini Ministries in St. Philips, Swaziland in the spring of 2010 to counsel the mission teachers on how to better educate their students. Given the knowledge she gathered on the country of Swaziland, her passion for social justice, and her educational background, Dr. Titone created a reader entitled "Gogo's Swaziland Homestead," which she presented to the teachers and the children during her June 2010 trip. After her initial visit and having further assessed and come to understand the educational context in Swaziland, Dr. Titone created a second reader, "Roadtrip to Manzini," which is more extensive in its content, additionally including a teacher’s guide and suggested activities.

She has been invited to return to Swaziland in the summer of 2011 to visit St. Philips again as well as to consult with the Office of Catholic Education in Manzini, Swaziland. She will use this second visit to further emphasize teaching methods with the mission teachers, in particular how students learn a second language, as all instruction in Swaziland, which has SiSwati as its first language, is in English. Within this effort to enact social justice and to better instruct English Language Learners, Dr. Titone has enlisted the participation of a Villanova University undergraduate course, Education for Social Justice, whose students will create their own readers for the children in Swaziland and raise funds for the future mailing of the new readers. Dr. Titone has further engaged a graduate assistant, Emily Plummer, in this endeavor, and their plan is to co-author a research article on this Swaziland experience.