Education as Change - Volume 8, Issue 1, 2004
Volume 8, Issue 1, 2004
Author Wilhelm Van RensburgSource: Education as Change 8 (2004)More Less
Extracted from text ... EDITORIAL Social Justice The perceived goal of social justice is equality, achieved primarily by means of the distribution of social goods. A better goal, however, would be the full participation and inclusion of everyone in the major institutions of a society, and the socially supported opportunity for all to develop and exercise their capacities and realize their choices. These are some of the sentiments that Iris Marion Young (1990) first broached more than a decade ago. Since then the social justice agenda has grappled indefatigably with the tensions of the historicity of the social meaning of inequality and injustice, ..
The use of mediation as a strategy to enhance the development of cognitive flexibility in self-regulated learningAuthor Salome Human-VogelSource: Education as Change 8, pp 3 –27 (2004)More Less
In this paper I discuss mediation as a possible strategy for enhancing cognitive flexibility in self-regulated learning. Although much has been written on the importance of self-regulated learning there is still much debate about the best way of going about developing it. This paper presents empirical qualitative research that focuses on the creation of a complex learning environment that would facilitate the use of mediation as a teaching strategy to develop children's ability to adapt flexibly to the demands of the learning environment. Learning is viewed as a process of holistic personal development rather than the acquisition of knowledge and skills. As part of the design experiment, the Mediational Behaviour Observation Scale (MBOS) was developed to judge the extent to which the researcher's interaction with the learners could be described as mediatory. A qualitative analysis of the MBOS revealed that certain mediatory behaviours were effective in creating a complex learning environment conducive to the development of self-regulated learning. Further interpretative analysis also suggests that mediation can be particularly useful in the development of cognitive flexibility.
Author Yusef WaghidSource: Education as Change 8, pp 28 –49 (2004)More Less
Contemporary philosophy of education strongly emphasises rational inquiry, as is evident in the ideas of MacIntyre (1990, 1999), Bohman (1996) and Benhabib (1996). University learners who are not critical are often criticised for not being agents of rational inquiry, which to my mind is a justifiable criticism. This article explores what educators and university learners ought to do in order to be considered as deliberative inquirers. My contention is that deliberative inquiry should become a feature of all university pedagogical practices for the reason that the "transmission mode" of teaching, which stultifies inquiry, remains prevalent in many South African university classrooms. I show that deliberative inquiry, as "reasoning together with others", is a form of joint educational activity among university students and teachers. It has the potential to enhance critical engagement amongst them whereby they act together and try to persuade one another (through deliberation) to coordinate their university classroom and pedagogical activities in particular ways.
Author Ruksana OsmanSource: Education as Change 8, pp 50 –60 (2004)More Less
In this paper I have argued that if institutions undertake to recognise the prior learning of adult students, certain institutional variables play an important role and social justice on its own is an inadequate lever. National Policy has been rhetorical at best and the literature on institutional variables is diffuse and amorphous. I argue that lessons about implementation have to be learned from experience more so because Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an emerging field of enquiry in South Africa. The lessons learned from five RPL projects in four higher education institutions suggest that if institutions wish to derive an understanding of themselves and their place within a transforming society they may need to heed that: policy framework and vision matter; clear aims matter; support from senior management matters; staff development matters; RPL advocacy matters; curriculum change matters.
Source: Education as Change 8, pp 61 –79 (2004)More Less
The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine whether or not children with learning disabilities, specifically children with dyslexia, were more creative than non-learning disabled children of the same age. Torrance's Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) were administered to a group of 36 children with dyslexia in Grades four to seven, all attending the same remedial school. The scores obtained on the TTCT from the children with dyslexia were then compared to those of the normative sample for the TTCT. Results indicated that the children with dyslexia in all Grades were significantly better than the norm group at generating a large quantity of ideas. The children with dyslexia in Grade six also produced significantly more original responses than the non-learning disabled sample. It was concluded that the children with dyslexia within the current study may have higher than average ability on certain dimensions of creativity, and that these abilities could be drawn on when educating such children.
Source: Education as Change 8, pp 80 –108 (2004)More Less
Inclusive Education as outlined in the Education White Paper 6 is a response to the widespread social, economic and political changes in South Africa, as well as a means of establishing a caring, humane and egalitarian society. The introduction of this policy will, however, require extensive changes in education, as the focus shifts from learners' adjustment to the demands of the system, to the system's capability to accommodate all learners' needs as inclusively as possible. This means that the collaborative effort of every role-player in developing the new system is critical. For the effective implementation of inclusive education, education legislation and policy stress the role and responsibility of parents, viewing them as integral partners in developing a more inclusive system, where decision-making and the responsibility for outcomes are shared. Parent-school partnerships that allow parents to become active collaborators rather than passive observers of their children's education should therefore be fostered. Although this issue has been addressed in the international context, in South Africa relatively little research has been done into inclusive education from the perceptual and experiential viewpoint of parents of children with disabilities. An understanding of these parents' experiences could contribute to a richer description of the nature of inclusion, could ultimately inform the process of involving parents as partners in developing both an inclusive education system and community, and could better facilitate collaboration between parents and schools. This article presents the findings of the pilot phase of a research project that aimed to uncover and understand the experiences of parents of children with disabilities who are in mainstream classrooms in South Africa. In answer to the research question, the findings of this study suggest that inclusion is a continuous and ongoing process that requires the development of collaborative relationships and support for all the role-players involved.
Author Monica HendricksSource: Education as Change 8, pp 109 –145 (2004)More Less
Post-apartheid education policy reconceptualised and restructured the South African education system in an effort to reduce the historic inequalities, especially in schooling. Yet the provision remains sharply divided and education policy implementation is problematic. Assessing what social justice amounts to, in terms of what the curriculum delivers, is a challenge. Learners' literacy levels are important indicators of whether social justice policy aims are being met because English is the language of power in South Africa, even though it is the home language of less than 10% of the population. This paper provides evidence of Grade 7 learners' writing in two differently-resourced state schools. Key findings include that (1) the literacy practices at both schools privilege grammar at the expense of independent writing, which places the focus of language learning on accuracy of grammatical forms; (2) learners are in the consolidation phase, when they can write what they can already say (Kroll 1981); (3) learners wrote mainly personal, narrative texts and did very little factual writing.
Author Eric M. RichardsonSource: Education as Change 8, pp 146 –163 (2004)More Less
In this paper, I discuss an elective course I offer to students in their 4th year of pre-service teacher education. Dealing with education, gender, and the adolescent homosexual, the course attempts to challenge students' assumptions about gender roles, compulsory heterosexuality, and homosexuality. I discuss the theories that informed my teaching of the course, give readers a picture of how my students have responded in writing to theories, film excerpts, and panel discussions, and argue that teacher education institutions should include courses which address LGBQ issues. The purpose of the paper is to stimulate discussion about the role teacher education institutions should be playing in preparing our teachers to challenge heterosexism and reduce homophobia in South African schools.
Author Berte Van WykSource: Education as Change 8, pp 164 –186 (2004)More Less
In this article I analyse the institutional plans (three-year rolling, employment equity, and strategic) of the three universities in the Western Cape province (Stellenbosch, Cape Town, and the Western Cape). My contention is that a focus only on performance indicators, as overwhelmingly announced in institutional plans, would not enact deep transformation. To soften the blow on performativity (arguing for less performativity) I attempt to provide an African perspective on educational transformation and identify 'ubuntu' and 'community/ communitarianism' as key aspects in terms of which transformation could be deepened. I argue that unless 'performativity' in educational transformation also creates spaces for imagination and creativity, the potential exists that educational transformation at the three higher education institutions would be thin. My main argument is that unless institutional plans address both the achievement of performance indicator measures and virtues of African philosophy (such as ubuntu and communitarianism), transformation would be sham or thin.
Finding Your Way in Qualitative Research, Elizabeth Henning with Wilhelm van Rensburg and Brigitte Smit : book reviewAuthor Jonathan D. JansenSource: Education as Change 8, pp 187 –188 (2004)More Less
In the past decade Elizabeth Henning and her colleagues brought considerable visibility and organization to qualitative research and researchers in South African education. Her co-authored book, Finding Your Way in Qualitative Research, is a logical outcome of years of dedication to this species of inquiry called "qualitative research".
Source: Education as Change 8, pp 188 –190 (2004)More Less
Informal surveys among classroom teachers and school managers indicate that of all the challenges related to the implementation of outcomes-based education in South Africa, assessment is one of the most daunting. Guidance in this regard is, therefore, of the utmost importance. According to its editors, this book, Outcomes-based Assessment, while not claiming to be a 'definitive work on the topic ... [nevertheless] attempts to provide a comprehensive and balance view of assessment within the framework of outcomes-based education' (p. iv).
Source: Education as Change 8, pp 190 –192 (2004)More Less
This collection is a welcome breeze in the otherwise rather pedantic and often formulaic publications on outcomes-based teaching, learning and assessment at school level. While the emphasis is not on outcomes-based education per se but on teaching-learning dynamics, current thinking on outcomes-based education (OBE) is reflected in most of the chapters.
Author Brahm FleischSource: Education as Change 8, pp 192 –194 (2004)More Less