South African Journal of Education - Volume 22, Issue 1, 2002
Volumes & issues
Volume 22, Issue 1, 2002
Author Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 1 –5 (2002)More Less
Contemporary South African education is dominated by debates surrounding quality and effectiveness in relation to the implementation of measurement-driven, functional educational policies. As suggested elsewhere qualitative and effective policy initiatives driven by functional or instrumental preoccupations are not only conceptually flawed but also deprive education of its "wider human purposes". The contention in this article is that considering the functional as more important than the personal is not sufficient to improve schooling. The main argument is to show that educational development reduced to the functional domain at the expense of the personal would constrain the improvement of schooling in rural communities. I present my own understanding of the personal in educational development in rural schools and base my critique of functionally driven initiatives on Michael Fielding's recent article. I begin by outlining Fielding's account of community by mapping key philosophical foundations of the concept, in particular picking up on his philosophical distinction between the functional and personal dimensions of community and extending it to my own understanding of education and educational development. I argue against educational development predominantly according to the functional dimension of community. I conclude that the exclusion of the personal dimension of community in the implementation of educational development makes such development inadequate. This may affirm the necessity of the personal dimension of community in facilitating the potential of educators, learners and parents in historically disadvantaged schools.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 6 –9 (2002)More Less
In the preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) it is clearly stated that the aim of the constitution is, inter alia, to make it possible for each citizen to realize his or her potential and to ensure a better quality of life for all. In spite of the democratic process that is sweeping through the country, South Africa is still struggling with major problems such as crime, unemployment and poverty. Against this background, society has high expectations from education in terms of economic growth, social development and the development of human potential. This research was an effort to address the problem of the development of human potential in South Africa.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 14 –18 (2002)More Less
The social landscape in South Africa has changed drastically since 1990, and more so after 1994. Not only have residential areas become largely mixed but also schools. This is, of course, a result of the abolishing of apartheid-era policies and legislation that enforced racial segregation. However, the phenomenon sketched above was accompanied by parents moving children from public schools to independent schools which immediately mushroomed all over South Africa, particularly in urban areas. It is as if parents have passed a motion of no confidence in the public schooling system. This study determined the extent of parents' expectations in the Northern Province and attempted to come up with measures to help public schools measure up to the expectations of parents, as identified in the research. Also, parents' expectations were assessed against sound educational practices.
Author G. WinklerSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 15 –18 (2002)More Less
This article critically engages with the conceptual framework of a baseline study and investigates some of the assumptions underlying its design. The discussion focuses on two central questions : Firstly, what is the value of descriptive data? Secondly, what significance should be given to the data in relation to the development process as a whole? In conclusion there are some thoughts about how to report on the research so that the process of talking and writing about the data is not a mere formality at the end, but becomes a tool for thinking about the project as it grows.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 19 –23 (2002)More Less
This article explores two widely differing alternatives to educational provisioning. The Accelerated Schools Project and Amish one-roomed schooling are discussed and compared. Disenchanted stakeholders in education in South Africa are advised to actively participate in questioning the quality of educational provision and functioning. Alternatives to unsatisfactory practices should be investigated in the South African context.
Author E. NorthSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 24 –27 (2002)More Less
To realise the ideal of a better life for all South Africans, the entrepreneurial energies of all our people (including children) should be harnessed to ensure that the country's full potential for economic growth is unleashed. This article describes some initiatives taken by roleplayers in both the private sector and the educational sector to engage in entrepreneurship education in South Africa over the past 10 years. Special emphasis is placed on a research project in Gauteng schools on the implementation of a pilot core syllabus for entrepreneurship and economic education for pupils in the intermediate school phase. This programme entailed the training of teachers, and the modification of the pilot syllabus. The perceptions of pupils who have recently been exposed to entrepreneurship education in Curriculum 2005 are also offered.
Author P. ErasmusSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 28 –35 (2002)More Less
Any school that denies that intercultural and interracial differences exist and that lacks effective accommodation strategies for all its learners could thwart learners' feelings of truly belonging to the school. This could leave them feeling like outsiders an experience that could have a negative impact on their school careers and future lives. This article investigates, from an educational psychological frame of reference, the situation of black Grade 9 learners in historically white suburban schools as learners in transition between two worlds, with specific reference to the individual, family and school/cultural dimensions. An in-depth look into the life-worlds of a group of such learners was obtained by means of a literature study, questionnaires and individual interviews. To ensure a holistic perspective on problems and possible solutions, an 18-factor culture general framework was used as a basis and applied to the South African situation. The study found that black Grade 9 learners attending historically white suburban schools faced difficult scholastic, social and emotional challenges. These included dealing with high scholastic demands whilst lacking the required educational background as well as financial, social and environmental resources; coping with or antipathy towards the Afrikaans language; a perceived "differentness" in habits and appearance and especially coming to terms with their experience of racism in school. Learners' strengths were also highlighted. The improvement of accommodation strategies by the school to promote multicultural and antiracist harmony in schools is discussed.
Author L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 36 –39 (2002)More Less
Dominant approaches to educational research rarely examine the philosophical underpinnings, specifically epistemological and ontological assumptions, in relation to the research process. Usher argues that the failure to examine these assumptions leads to research being understood as a 'technology', as simply a set of methods, skills and procedures applied to a given research problem. I argue that when research is understood in Usher's terms as a 'technology', it serves only the status quo and does not enable us to interact and transform society. In this article I critically examine different research approaches in terms of their potential to contribute to transformation of societies. I argue that instead of educational research merely contributing to social change it can be a process of change itself. Additionally, I raise challenges for educational research in South Africa and elsewhere, in the context of processes of globalisation and internationalisation currently prevalent.
Die effek van prentgrootte en prentplasing op geheue van geskrewe woorde by kinders met min of geen voorgeletterdheidsvaardighedeSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 40 –46 (2002)More Less
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of picture size and placement on memory of written words by children with little or no pre-literacy skills. Forty preschoolers were selected as subjects. The subjects received training with written words using four different stimulus materials, namely words only, words combined with standard size pictures (line drawings), words combined with small pictures (line drawings), and enhanced words (small line drawings superimposed on the orthography). After a training period of four consecutive days, memory of written words was tested by word identification and recognition tasks. The results indicated superior performance for words only and enhanced word conditions, over those in which standard and small pictures were combined with words. These results correlate with those obtained by Blischak & McDaniel, where subjects did have pre-literacy skills. The clinical implication of the results is that recognition and recall of written words can be taught to the individual with little or no pre-literacy skills, but that certain stimulus materials better promote the memory of words.
Graphical exploration of two-dimensional functions an aid to mastering fundamental calculus conceptsAuthor T.M. SteynSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 47 –55 (2002)More Less
Technology has become an integral part of all educational activities and can be viewed as a powerful lever to promote the understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts that underpin the study of calculus. This article reports on action research activities during 1993-1998 at the University of Pretoria, which focused on aspects that constitute the coherence between teaching, learning, mathematical conceptualisation and the use of computer graphing technology. Results identify some features of graphing utilities that are necessary to enhance fundamental concepts. The principle findings are that the meaningful combination of graphical exploration and graphical analysis according to a well thought-out didactical approach is necessary in order to incorporate technology successfully into mathematics instruction.
Author P. SinghSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 56 –64 (2002)More Less
There has been much speculation as to why most historically disadvantaged schools (HDS) perform relatively poorly in the end of year external matriculation examinations. This has been attributed to, amongst other things, a lack of physical resources stemming from apartheid. Notwithstanding the ill-effects of apartheid, it has been reported widely in the media that several disadvantaged schools, including those in remote rural areas, have achieved a 100% pass rate. Evidently, the management style accounted for the difference between performing and non-performing schools. This case study therefore investigated the effects of a collegial management style on teaching and learning over a period of three years in a historically disadvantaged secondary school. The semi-structured interviews conducted amongst the staff members, including the principal, clearly indicated that a collegial management style was a major contributory factor in altering the work ethos of both teachers and learners. The findings of this case study further revealed that the exploitation of available resources in HDS coupled with a collegial management structure can improve the matriculation results. This study also connotes that physical resources cannot solely guarantee success at matriculation level. A shared vision espoused in collegiality can alter the landscape from dysfunctionality to efficiency and qualitative education.
Health complaints of high school students in the Northern Province and taboo themes in their familiesAuthor S.N. MaduSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 65 –69 (2002)More Less
The article reports on a study of the health complaints of high school students in the Northern Province of South Africa, taboo themes in their families, and the relationship between the two. Five hundred and twenty-nine (529) high school students filled in a self-rating questionnaire designed to identify their health complaints and taboo themes in their families. Results show that the highest reported health complaint was the difficulty to swallow, followed by nausea and by pressure/unpleasant feeling of fullness in the stomach. The highest reported taboo theme was homosexuality, followed by tattooing or piercing, and abortion. There is a significant positive correlation between health complaints of the students and taboo themes in their families. The findings call for intensified efforts on enlightenment (life skills) programmes designed to encourage open discussions among family members. This would reduce the health problems associated with taboos and also reduce the work of school teachers involved with health and social education.
Author P. HiggsSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 70 –75 (2002)More Less
Since 1994, South African society has been set on the road to becoming a democratic society. This transformation has far reaching implications for educational thought and practice. The present ANC led government has advocated the establishment of an educational discourse conducive to critical thinking as an integral part of its education programme. In this article, I reflect on the nature of 'critique', in an attempt to suggest what kind of critical discourse in education would best be able to contribute to those attempts being made to lay the foundations of a critical civil society in a democratic South Africa.
Author G.S. KotzeSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 76 –80 (2002)More Less
The purpose in this study was to investigate assessment issues in an outcomes-based approach. A number of issues such as various claims, inferences and degrees of adequacy were investigated in a South African context. The results of this theoretical investigation are presented in the form of frameworks for the implementation of an array of assessment practices.
Author S. SchulzeSource: South African Journal of Education 22 (2002)More Less
The book is divided into four chapters. The first chapter is on adult learning. Therefore it focuses on intelligence and cognitive functioning in the adult years. Topics such as memory, aging and learning speed and the implications thereof for adult educators are discussed. The author recommends that course structures and procedures, as well as ground rules for interaction, be identified and negotiated with learners.