Education as Change - Volume 8, Issue 2, 2004
Volume 8, Issue 2, 2004
High school educators' democratic values as manifested in their educational practice and attitudes towards inclusive educationSource: Education as Change 8, pp 4 –32 (2004)More Less
This article aims to give a snapshot of the democratisation of an educational system in a country whose democracy is still young and fragile and of how prepared educators are to deal with the implications of learner diversity and the implementation of inclusive education. Inclusive education is not only proposed as an option for education, but also as the strategy most likely to achieve a democratic society. An exploratory, qualitative inquiry was conducted to gain a clear picture of the democratic values of a group of high school educators as manifested in their behaviour in school and classroom, and also in their attitudes towards inclusive education. Results of the study indicated that educators have as yet not internalised democratic values to the point of being prepared to act as agents of change in classrooms and schools and indicated resistance to the actual implementation of inclusive education.
Source: Education as Change 8, pp 33 –55 (2004)More Less
This study focused on understanding how the unique culture of a particular primary school influenced bullying, by identifying and thickly describing the values, norms, beliefs and attitudes of the various members of the community that contributed towards and sustained bullying behaviour. The findings are based on a critical ethnographic study of Hillside Primary School A pseudonym, an upmarket governmental school situated in Gauteng, which was purposefully selected for the study. The design allowed the researchers into the here and now perspectives of the participants at Hillside Primary School, through participant observation, once a week, over a period of approximately two terms. Data sources included interview detailed field notes, interview transcripts, questionnaires, photographs, learners' drawings and various documents produced by the school. The emerging data were continuously analysed through the constant comparative method. The findings indicate that bullying is a complex phenomenon that is interwoven into numerous values and norms of an authoritarian culture. The findings also indicate that the researched school appears to have a conflicted culture underlying bullying, conflicted in the sense that an overriding authoritarian ethos has prevented the school from implementing democratic procedures effectively. This has disempowered rather than empowered members of the community, thus unwittingly contributed to the vicious cycle of bullying.
Author Simeon MaileSource: Education as Change 8, pp 56 –73 (2004)More Less
It is commonly held that basic education is free and compulsory. This is probably not so in South Africa. Research in this paper reveals that the notion of free and compulsory education is misunderstood and wrongly implemented by schools. For instance, when the issue of school fees are brought to the fore, the misconceptions emerge. The aim of this paper is to unravel the concept of free and compulsory education. Arguments are drawn from legislative and policy provisions. I also used empirical investigation to substantiate my arguments, concluding that while basic education is understood to be free and compulsory, the existing laws do not indicate this. School fees are not illegal, however, they need to be charged equitably, according to legislative provisions.
Equating examinations as a prerequisite for ensuring standards in Centralised Senior Certificate (Matric) Examinations in South AfricaSource: Education as Change 8, pp 74 –91 (2004)More Less
This article reviews the practices of standard setting and statistical moderation of Senior Certificate (Matric) results. After introducing important issues pertaining to standard setting across the globe, the paper reviews the basis for standard setting and statistical moderation currently practiced in South Africa. The impact and effect of these practices are evident in the various tables of statistical data, presented as addenda, to the article. The appeal to history in the discussion is intended to encourage the reader to appreciate the difficulties relating to standard setting and moderation of examination and assessment results, as well as the evolution of these practices. The key argument presented is that, in spite of public debate, and pending the full implementation of the new Outcomes Based Education System, with its envisaged progressive moderation processes, the current practices is probably the best way to ensure fairness, objectivity and equal opportunity to access into tertiary institutions.
Source: Education as Change 8, pp 92 –104 (2004)More Less
While analysing data gathered for a study investigating current primary school mathematics learning environments and instructional practices in Zimbabwe, we made an incidental but interesting observation that Zimbabwean primary school mathematics lessons have a common and seemingly invariant structure. That structure can be summarized schematically as: whole group [recitation/quick review] --> whole group [illustrative examples] --> small group [exercise mirrored on illustrative examples] --> individual [written exercises] --> whole group [discussion of the exercise and issuing of homework]. This paper elaborates on and discusses this lesson structure with a view to stimulating other primary (elementary) school mathematics teachers to reflect on ways in which they organise delivery of their own lessons.
Educator competence in integrating computers for teaching and learning within the framework of the GautengOnline ProjectAuthor Rabelani DagadaSource: Education as Change 8, pp 105 –133 (2004)More Less
This article reflects the findings of a study conducted to assess educators' perception of their competence in integrating computers for teaching and learning purposes at a selected primary school. This school - situated in Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa - was the first school to receive computers as part of the GautengOnline project. As the GautengOnline project was launched only recently (in 2000), documentation is scant, and relatively little information about educators' competence to maximize the usefulness of computers has been gathered by independent researchers. Previous research by the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE), which evaluated the Telkom 1000 Schools Project, found that most educators were not competent to integrate information and communication technologies into teaching and learning, and it was on this premise that educators' competence in this area within the framework of the GautengOnline project was evaluated. This research was conducted during the course of the 2002 academic year. The research question for this study was: How do educators at a selected primary school in Soweto, Gauteng, perceive their competence to integrate computers into the teaching and learning process? The study made use of generic techniques for data collection and analysis. Evaluation of the findings indicated that educators at selected primary school perceived themselves to be competent in integrating computers into teaching and learning. The fact that educators at the selected school perceived themselves to be competent in and enthusiastic about the use of computers to conduct educational activities holds great promise for the future of our educational endeavours.
Author Wilhelm Van RensburgSource: Education as Change 8, pp 134 –145 (2004)More Less
The shift in praxis in Higher Education from Community Service to Service-Learning opened new epistemic and pedagogical possibilities for research. Legislation in terms of the involvement of the university in the community, as well as initiatives by NGOs has led to a situation in which Service-Learning has penetrated the disciplines as well. The discipline under investigation in this article is Education, and specifically language teaching and writing instruction. The aim is to understand how the Service-Learning environment enables knowledge production by student teachers, as well as how the learning of these students in community service projects can be assessed comprehensively. The design of the research project was a narrative inquiry, and through focused group interviews data were elicited that explicated the learning activities of the students when they offered their language services in the form of writing skills to these community projects. This source of data was triangulated by analyzing the written work students did for and with the community, as well as their reflective writing on their experiences. The dominant narrative was that of students 'visiting a foreign country'. Although students were confronted with new writing genres, they saw the need for social action in and social critique of community work.
Author Geeta MotilalSource: Education as Change 8, pp 146 –167 (2004)More Less
This case study is an investigation into the implementation of the Developmental Appraisal System (DAS) in a primary school, by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and Culture. Thurlow and Ramnarain's (2001) theoretical overview is used to illuminate the process of implementation. Both the theoretical and experiential aspects of the implementation are examined. The experiential aspect looks at the reported experiences of educators in the school, including those of the staff development team, as they relate to efforts to operationalise the DAS. The findings from this study have implications for the conceptualisation of the system, and for the implementation of the process and its impact. This study of appraisal has illuminated an area which is as yet not well researched in South Africa and has brought to light issues that can be looked at and used to generate improvement in the appraisal of educators. What makes the study pertinent is that the system was researched with some of the very people it is intended for. The empirical aspect of this research serves to highlight problem areas at the grassroots level. In order to make the DAS effective and to bring about constructive change in education in South Africa, cognizance must be taken on how it affects the people directly involved. Lessons have been learnt about the realities and difficulties faced in the implementation stage, the effects of DAS on the staff, and the outcomes of the process. The current study may serve to open doors to move involved research in other schools, using a broader spectrum of the educational fraternity.
Author Jonathan D. JansenSource: Education as Change 8, pp 168 –178 (2004)More Less
In one sense, researching education in Africa is not unlike pursuing research in any other context: the intellectual demands of generating powerful questions, the problems of adequate sampling frames, the challenge of dealing with large data sets, and the inevitable lack of time and resources, define what is common in the enterprise of (educational) research everywhere. Yet it is undeniable that there are powerful political, theoretical, methodological, procedural and logistical problems that create very different contexts for the conduct of research in third world settings generally, and in Africa in particular.