Africa Education Review - Volume 2, Issue 1, 2005
Volume 2, Issue 1, 2005
Source: Africa Education Review 2, pp 1 –2 (2005)More Less
A major role-player in the provisioning of higher education in South Africa has an article production rate per lecturer of one article every two years. Presented differently, this means that the university in question produces half an article for each of its academic staff in a single year.
Source: Africa Education Review 2, pp 3 –15 (2005)More Less
The article describes an evaluation, over three years, of a Concentrated Language Encounter literacy development project in the Western Cape region of South Africa. At the end of 2003 the project had involved 262 disadvantaged schools, with 2 749 classroom teachers trained in the programme methodology over four geographically different districts of the Western Cape. Data were gathered from Grades 1 to 7 in four randomly selected experimental schools and four matching control schools over the four districts. Four learner performance measures applicable at different grade levels, and appropriate to regional linguistic and cultural constraints, and one parent questionnaire were used. <BR>Statistically significant differences were found on all four performance measures for the main (condition) effect. These results are generally supported by interim results for 2001 and 2002, as well as by qualitative analysis of teacher feedback. Given a baseline assessment at the beginning of 2001, showing initial non-significant differences between experimental and control schools (Grades 1-7 ) on all measures, the results indicate that the Concentrated Language Encounter programme is having a significant and sustained impact on student performance. A marginal, but significant, difference in parental support of reading development was also demonstrated, despite no direct parent intervention of the programme in this area.
Source: Africa Education Review 2, pp 16 –39 (2005)More Less
South Africa re-entered the world economy after 1994 with several disadvantages, of which an exceptionally high unemployment rate and a low-skilled labour force were the most challenging. Each year over the past decade increasing numbers of jobs have been destroyed in South Africa. The challenge facing South Africa in addressing the problem of job creation is aggravated by the fact that its labour force is predominantly low skilled. Various innovative measures for enhancing the skills base in South Africa have been introduced since the first democratic elections in 1994. The new policies are designed to deal with the country's lack of international competitiveness and the low rates of investment in the development of human capital. Since 1994, several policies and strategies have been put in place with the aim of creating jobs in various sectors of the South African economy. This states that an integrated approach to the implementation of the different innovative policy frameworks by the responsible public service departments is needed. A model for prioritisation in skills formation is given.
Author Ntombizolile C.G. VakalisaSource: Africa Education Review 2, pp 40 –58 (2005)More Less
Some critics have placed the blame for the rise in unemployment in South Africa at the doorstep of schools and universities since they are the initial formal education providers. This article argues that the notion that initial formal education should prepare the youth for the job market overlooks the core business of schools and universities, and the fact that the job market is not static. The article contends that schools and universities are there to prepare learners for life in all its spheres, through the development of literacy, numeracy and critical thinking skills. It attempts to put into perspective the breadth and depth of initial formal education as a foundation for life in its entirety, not just for labour. It argues that the said skills enable the youth to access the wealth of knowledge locked up in texts that attempt to explain the wide spectrum of human experience and possibilities. These skills are taught within broad contexts of specific study fields that open job and service provision opportunities in the labour market. The article maintains that in cases where initial education institutions had adequate resources to accomplish their role, South African education has earned international recognition and its graduates have accessed job markets both in South Africa and internationally. It further identifies possible causes of the perceived current high rate of unemployment among the youth of South Africa, for example, the economic climate of the country and the legacy of inequalities in educational provisioning among others.
The article concludes that the popular criticism that universities operate as ivory towers has long become a cliché, since universities, apart from the conventional academic and professional qualification programmes they offer, also provide a variety of career-specific short programmes for people already in employment.
Author A.E. CarlSource: Africa Education Review 2, pp 59 –74 (2005)More Less
In this article a description is given of some personal reflection on the challenges, complexities, responsibilities and expected performance that faced the author on becoming a departmental chairperson at a South African university. It was a daunting task, essentially because there were no leadership training programmes to provide support. The lack of institutional development plans was an acute shortcoming. This is a worldwide trend where departmental chairs are very seldom trained to meet the new demands that face them. Self-empowerment seems to be the most likely route. <BR>Although much has been written on departmental leadership, this is not sufficient, as theoretical training in, or underpinning, leadership alone cannot replace true experience and training. It seems unreasonable that departmental chairs be assessed as part of the institutional process of performance assessment if they have little or no experience and no access to developmental programmes.
This article, which describes the context in which the author had to act as chairperson, gives an overview of some of the literature on the functions of the departmental chairperson. This is followed by a brief reflection on these functions as well as a description of an assessment instrument that the author developed to assist in the process of performance assessment of departmental chairpersons.
The development and application of progressive education in the Netherlands and some implications for South AfricaAuthor C. MeierSource: Africa Education Review 2, pp 75 –90 (2005)More Less
The charge that schooling is poorly adapted to modern conditions in South Africa and abroad has been debated since the beginning of the twentieth century, with the result that two strands of competing paradigms - traditional and progressive - crystallised from the discussion. This article delineates the salient features of progressive education to prepare the ground for a comparison of outcomes-based education (OBE) in South Africa with education in the Netherlands and thereby determine the influence, if any, of progressive education on OBE and Dutch education respectively. The data gathered to determine the progressive influence on Dutch education showed that some elements of progressive education had been combined with traditional (tried-and-tested) practices to create an effective primary educational system. The implication for South Africa is that teachers should be allowed to adapt their teaching styles and curriculum development to accommodate learners who cannot benefit optimally from progressive teaching, and that progressive principles can be implemented in South Africa, provided it is done as in the Netherlands without trying to force everybody into the same mould (i.e., on the crude principle that `one size fits all'),
Source: Africa Education Review 2, pp 91 –108 (2005)More Less
This article reports on teacher education in Uganda, with specific reference to the role that distance education has played in upgrading the quality of education in general and in supplying more qualified teachers to meet a growing demand, specifically for teachers involved in primary education. The investigation paves the way for the establishment of the Open University of Uganda and illustrates how the Primary Education Policy of Uganda has increased access to 7 million primary school learners to schools in 2002. The article also explains how the qualifications of 10 000 in-service teachers have been upgraded between 1995 and 2000. The successes of two major in-service teacher education programmes are discussed. The article also explains how the Mubende Integrated Teacher Education Project (MITEP) not only contributed to the training of teachers, but also focused the attention of educators on the possibiliities of distance education for Uganda. Furthermore, it also argues that the Northern Integrated Teacher Education Project (NITEP) has on the other hand achieved successes in the field of inservice teacher education. The programmes assisted in the training of academic support staff who work in distance education. The article concludes by addressing the further needs of distance education in Uganda and highlights the challenges facing distance education programmes in Uganda.
Utilising selected informal science experiences to teach science in inquiry-centred Nigerian classroomsAuthor Kehinde A. AlebiosuSource: Africa Education Review 2, pp 109 –117 (2005)More Less
The formal and informal sciences can be integrated for the enhancement of training, research and teaching in the formal school system. The knowledge and methods of informal science, although regarded as crude, local or native, when embedded with formal science, can be subsequently developed and packaged as teaching innovation for the promotion of scientific knowledge, skill and training. This is the focus of this study where selected informal science experiences were used to teach some science concepts in inquiry-centred Nigerian classrooms. In inquiry-based lessons, teachers only act as facilitators and resources, creating the environment for investigations to take place.
In the experiment, students' explorations were centred on informal science activities which were guided to be incorporated into the knowledge structure of formal science classroom experiences. Subjects were Senior Secondary School 11 male and female students taught the topic alkanols; types and preparation including concepts such as fermentation and the brewing process. Informal science activities involving the processing of cassava, grains and other local products were explored by subjects in the experimental group and there was a control group whose subjects were not exposed to informal science activities. Differences in the cognitive and affective learning outcomes of students from the two groups upon data analyses were found to be significant with sex playing a major role. Implications of the findings were highlighted and recommendations were made.
Source: Africa Education Review 2, pp 118 –129 (2005)More Less
The purpose of this article is to expose lack of clarity that surrounds the justification for teaching critical thinking and to argue for communally beneficial reasons for teaching this important skill. An explication of critical thinking is done and the prerequisite conditions for its optimal utilisation are indicated. The views of eight educators on why we teach critical thinking are offered. An argument for a semiotic understanding of culture is presented and this is followed by views on why critical thinking is taught.
A neurodevelopmental approach for helping gifted learners with diagnosed dyslexia and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (AD / HD)Author Shirley J. KokotSource: Africa Education Review 2, pp 130 –146 (2005)More Less
Many intellectually and creatively gifted learners experience barriers to learning and development. These may be incorrectly diagnosed as distinct mental disorders, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, hyperactivity, dyslexia and so on. Medication, behaviour and remedial therapy are among the most frequently cited treatments. Emerging approaches to therapy, based on applied neuroscience and the importance of movement in structuring the brain, are finding that it is possible to 'heal' interactive links of dysfunctional behaviours and ensuing learning difficulties. This article presents a neurodevelopmental view of learning and attentional problems that are not uncommon in some gifted learners. By means of two case studies, a neurodevelopmental approach will be illustrated whereby such learners have been helped to overcome their learning barriers.
Author T.I. PudiSource: Africa Education Review 2, pp 147 –167 (2005)More Less
Teacher-educators need to know and understand their roles in order to develop their competence and improve the quality of the service that they provide (Kwakman 1998, 57). The roles and functions of teacher-educators as spelt out in the policy document, 'Norms and Standards for Educators, (1996)', may be sufficient to enable them to develop their competence and improve service delivery, but do they (teacher-educators) know and understand these roles and consequently take advantage of them (teacher-educator roles) as intended in the policy guidelines?
This article discusses educator roles and factors that influence the way in which these (roles) could be interpreted for teacher-educators. Knowing and understanding these roles and factors will help technology education teacher-educators in the interpretation of the policy guidelines about their roles.