Africa Education Review - Volume 1, Issue 2, 2004
Volume 1, Issue 2, 2004
'Metaphors of leadership, metaphors of hope . . .' : life stories of black women leaders in South AfricaAuthor Thidziambi PhendlaSource: Africa Education Review 1, pp 161 –174 (2004)More Less
This article, based on biographical narratives of black women leaders in South Africa, examines the idea of using multiple metaphors to expand creativity in respect of leadership. Metaphor is both a tool for shaping perspectives as well as site for constructing meaning (through paradox and oxymoron), and thus was particularly illuminating as a critical lens through which to view the three African women's leadership of hope in the hopelessness of the world of schooling. As women describe their lives and experiences, they often use metaphors to capture their frustrations and perceived barriers, as well as the effects that motivate them.
Source: Africa Education Review 1, pp 175 –192 (2004)More Less
This article examines the identities of three black academics at historically white universities in South Africa. Three portraits that highlight politics within the professoriate as constituting a site for struggle are crafted. The wish is to shift the present focus in the South African literature by addressing the variety and complexity of black academics' everyday involvement in their oppression, demonstrating how that works. The analyses are set against the background of globalisation and the transformation of higher education worldwide. It is argued that the future of tertiary education in South Africa and elsewhere is likely to be influenced by battles within the academy about issues of diversity in regard to race, class and gender. Its outcomes are far from predictable.
Secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa : exploring research priorities with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)Author Eli M. BitzerSource: Africa Education Review 1, pp 193 –203 (2004)More Less
Research on secondary education in Africa is urgent for several reasons. One reason is the strong link between social and economic development, on the one hand, and secondary education, on the other. Several studies have indicated this link and while African leaders are mindful of its importance, no comprehensive plan exists whereby development objectives put forward by New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) could be realised.
This article reports on a pilot study by a South African university following a request from the NEPAD Secretariat to investigate secondary education research opportunities. The study included a literature review, documentation analysis and interviews with various interested individuals and bodies that are concerned with secondary education research and development in Africa. Results of the pilot study point towards a number of important studies that have been conducted or that are currently under way concerning African secondary education. Secondly, a number of possible strategic focus areas for research have emerged, but will have to be followed by more in-depth inquiry in order to be of proper value.
Author Lesley Le GrangeSource: Africa Education Review 1, pp 204 –219 (2004)More Less
South Africa's Revised National Curriculum Statement for Further Education and Training (FET) is premised on the view that there are competing perspectives and worldviews from which to make sense of phenomena. Accordingly, elements of indigenous knowledges have been integrated into the discursive terrains of all subjects that form part of the National Curriculum Statement. This policy statement invites several critical questions, some of which are addressed in this article in relation to science education. These include questions as to whether seemingly disparate perspectives of 'the world' are competing or complementary and whether science (education) is universal or multicultural. A universalist position holds that Western modern science has superior explanatory powers of understanding the natural world to those of indigenous knowledges. A multiculturalist position holds that science is culturally produced and that cultures have disparate ways of understanding the natural world and that different ways of knowing should be recognised as science. This article discusses critical questions arising from much contestation about the nature of science as a consequence of different perspectives on science held by universalists and multiculturalists. Some of the implications this discussion has for science education in contemporary South Africa are also examined.
Source: Africa Education Review 1, pp 220 –233 (2004)More Less
Practical teaching forms an integral part of teacher training. Teacher education programmes at the University of South Africa (Unisa) are no exception. However, there are two sides to this coin. On the one side, research studies led to the conclusion that teaching practice is a valued and a very necessary part of teacher education for students to become competent teachers. On the other side, it was also concluded that teaching practice was less than satisfactory because of deficiencies in the quality of supervisor teachers and in the application of theory in practice. Given the critical importance of practical teacher education, there has been a concern among lecturers at Unisa about how student teachers experience their teaching practice periods. A survey based on two unstructured questions and open-ended semistructured questions as a data collection instrument was undertaken with a sample population of third-year teacher training students to determine the negative and positive experiences of student teachers during their teaching practice. It was evident from the findings that the most outstanding positive experience of the student teachers concerned was the support system offered to them by the supervisor teacher. Negative experiences included exposure to bad discipline in the classrooms and the enlistment of students as cover teachers, thus precluding the presentation of lessons as planned. These findings compelled the researchers to prepare students during their training more thoroughly for what they might experience while doing their teaching practice.
Source: Africa Education Review 1, pp 234 –244 (2004)More Less
In this article, the authors have chosen to inquire into a topic that has specific relevance to the status and inclusion of environmental education in the curriculum at a stage when the translation of policy into practice stands at the crossroads: the transition of environment as phase organiser to environment as integral to all learning areas. In education praxis, the translation of policy into practice is in the hands of educators and teachers (using the terminology as suggested in this article). The issues and challenges regarding the implementation of environmental education policy as experienced by educators and teachers are identified through examining this phenomenon as portrayed in two case studies where in-service education and training (INSET) in relation to environmental education occurs. This study is one of the first to provide a researched background that identifies issues and challenges that impact on the implementation of environmental policy in formal education contexts.
Source: Africa Education Review 1, pp 245 –258 (2004)More Less
Various researches have been conducted on the role and importance of assessment in education as well as its impact on the learner and the overall learning process. In fact, the way assessment is formulated in a particular subject shapes the way students learn. They focus their learning to comply with assessment requirements that they anticipate. In this article, the study is focused on the written examination papers (teacher-made tests) that are normally prepared at the end of a semester or an academic year to assess students of secondary and tertiary levels. The study also investigates how well papers are set and balanced according to the cognitive levels defined by Bloom (1956) and the learning outcomes/objectives as defined for the subjects. A collaborative process model as a framework for the design of such tests that can enhance the evaluation process is proposed. A brief argument is made for a case for a computer-supported collaborative environment to implement such a framework and which is based on activity theory. Such a framework is implemented in the form of MYSTIC; a collaborative authoring software for assessment instruments. The software allows stand-alone as well as collaborative authoring of examination papers and also helps academics' decision-making concerning the examination paper balancing and moderating process by graphically displaying and comparing marks allocated per question paper against the learning objectives.
Source: Africa Education Review 1, pp 259 –278 (2004)More Less
Legislation to reform schooling in a democratic South Africa has focused attention on the rights and responsibilities of parents as empowered stakeholders in education. However, it is argued that comprehensive parent involvement is a prerequisite for improving the culture of teaching and learning in schools. Against the background of a literature review which examines legislation affecting parents, this article draws on a qualitative inquiry of parent involvement in a small sample of public primary schools in South Africa selected by means of purposeful sampling. The findings indicated that the schools were doing more to involve parents than is legally required. Strong leadership from principals together with formal organisation of parent involvement has established parent-friendly schools, regular home-school communication and innovative parent volunteering. Certain reservations to parent involvement were detected in principals' attitudes. The study suggests that, together with enabling legislation, schools can develop valuable initiatives to make parents more active and equal partners.
Author Geesje Van den BergSource: Africa Education Review 1, pp 279 –294 (2004)More Less
In an increasingly complex and specialised society, it is imperative that individuals think critically and creatively. This kind of thinking is also required to achieve the critical outcomes as stated in the Revised National Curriculum Statement for South Africa. It seems, however, that higher-order thinking is unlikely to occur unless learners are engaged in activities that deliberately promote this kind of thinking. They should also be guided on how to engage in these complex thinking tasks. The aim of this article is to reflect on the use of assessment to promote learners' higher-order thinking skills. The role of assessment has implications for the nature of teacher training programmes. If lecturers model the way assessment can be done to develop higher-order thinking skills, it is hoped that teachers will have little difficulty in adapting it to their unique classroom situations. Examples from language modules of an in-service teacher training programme are used to show how assessment can be implemented to help learners develop higher-order thinking skills within the framework of outcomes-based education and the Revised National Curriculum Statement.
Guidelines for investigations and forensic report-writing by independent educational psychologists in custody disputesAuthor Deirdre KrugerSource: Africa Education Review 1, pp 295 –318 (2004)More Less
Very often, the expert opinions of psychologists regarding custody of minor children in a divorce case results in a 'battle of experts', where findings are contested by other psychologists. Although psychologists render a highly specialised service within the legal system, they do not always remain neutral when entering that system. Other problems stem from shortcomings on the psychologist's part, lack of guidelines or inconsistent guidelines, uncertainty about criteria as well as the complex 'best interests of the child (BIOC)' standards currently used in custody decision making. Research, mainly <I>ex post facto</I>, has explored the areas of custody investigations and report writing for the development of a practice-orientated model. A description of guidelines operationalises the model, which contains elements of both the BIOC standard and the system theory (an individual cannot be understood in isolation from the interactional context of his or her immediate human environment). The data were collected from various sources and verified by means of a literature control. This article lays down guidelines that educational psychologists can follow from the start of the custody investigation to the actual writing of the forensic report, without exceeding the boundaries of their role while maintaining neutrality.