South African Journal of Education - Volume 22, Issue 3, 2002
Volume 22, Issue 3, 2002
Teaching in a globalised African context : reflections from the 45th World Assembly on Education for TeachingAuthor Eli BitzerSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 155 –161 (2002)More Less
Global economic integration is a reality that has increasingly materialised across the world over the past number of years. The prime question is whether Africa can become a worthy participant in an increasingly globalised economy and in what way. As business enterprises locate their operations in countries with potential for economic growth, they impact on the expectations for quality education and training. New sources of skilled, cost-effective labour are constantly sought. Against this background, education for teaching in a globalised economic environment presupposes a number of new expectations and immediate challenges. In particular, to train teachers in Africa amidst increasing globalisation implies idiosyncratic characteristics that pose a major challenge to higher education institutions. This article extrapolates, in a post hoc, reflective fashion, a recent international conference on education for teaching held in Namibia, southern Africa. Trends and perspectives from conference papers, discussions and resolutions are highlighted. In particular, dialogue at the African Education Forum meeting is interpreted to point out possible needs concerning future education for teaching professionals in the African context. Conclusions are drawn and strategies are suggested to assist (southern) African teacher education providers to comply with the expectations and challenges generated by the trend of globalisation on the one hand and the realities of teaching in Africa on the other. The challenge lies in finding a compromise between these two extremes. Higher education is to take the lead as it is the converging point of knowledge, ideas, research and training.
Kritieke elemente in die opleiding van onderwysers in Opvoeding vir Vrede binne die konteks van uitkomsgebaseerde onderwysSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 162 –169 (2002)More Less
Critical elements in the training of teachers in Peace Education within the context of outcomes-based education.
Within the context of change in South Africa, there are various challenges and problems such as poverty, hunger, unemployment and housing shortages. These problems, added to other socio-political and cultural factors, contribute to the escalation of crime in our country. Although the moratorium on crime statistics affects the accuracy thereof, it is clear that violence against children has increased since 1994. As the most important role models (in schools), teachers are responsible for preparing learners to think critically and creatively about social problems and to cope with conflict and violence. Teachers have to empower them to make a positive contribution in their environment. Peace Education can be incorporated as an alternative process in developing specific positive attitudes and values in learners. Learners are also offered the opportunity to handle personal, political and community conflicts in a peaceful manner. Teachers can empower learners in Peace Education by using outcomes-based education. Identifying the critical elements of Peace Education, with reference to the training of teachers, is therefore of the utmost importance.
Author Philip HiggsSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 170 –176 (2002)More Less
In this article, I explore Jacques Derrida's programme of deconstruction, in an attempt to indicate, and argue for, the possibilities that it might hold as a philosophical framework for education al discourse. Such possibilities are set out, not directly by way of a set of applications or methodologies to be followed, but rather by an exposition and interpretation of the Derridian text with the intention of relating deconstruction to educational discourse. I set about this, by examining Derrida's commentary on the nature of deconstruction in relation to some of the central concepts in Derrida's writings, such as, différance, justice, the other, and responsibility.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 177 –183 (2002)More Less
Divorce is one of the most stressful and complex mental health crises facing children today. As parents are often under tremendous stress during the time of divorce, they may be incapable of providing the support and guidance children need. The purpose of this research was evaluating the effects of an intervention programme on the self concept as well as on the levels of anxiety and depression of adolescents of divorce. A literature study was done and an empirical investigation was conducted. Eight adolescents who were still in the acute phase of the divorce process were evaluated before and after taking part in a group intervention programme. The ten-week programme was divided into three components, an affective component, a cognitive component and a support component focussing on conflict and anger management. Although the intervention programme did not serve to insulate the members from the negative effects of divorce, the findings of this research indicate that a group intervention programme can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression and enhance the self-concept. It is recommended that such an intervention programme be used as an adjunct to the normal school programme.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 184 –187 (2002)More Less
Research all over the world indicates that initial teacher training, as far as multicultural education is concerned, is grossly inadequate or, in many instances, non-existent. In many cases it is still regarded as a luxury which cannot be afforded in a time of scarcity of resources, or as a contentious politically sensitive area best avoided. Avoidance or so-called "no problem!" strategies are often the outcome of teacher training that fails or falls short of addressing issues of diversity in schools. There is much talk worldwide of permeating a multicultural perspective in teacher training programmes. Most educational stakeholders agree on the feasibility of training prospective teachers to teach in a multicultural society. In practice, however, very little, if anything (in some cases), is being done to impregnate existing initial teacher training courses with a pluralistic vision or perspective. Teachers cannot be expected to be effective in teaching multicultural content and working effectively with ethnically diverse student groups without being professionally prepared for this task.
Health of the street child : the relation between life-style, immunity and HIV / AIDS - a synergy of researchSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 188 –192 (2002)More Less
A scrutiny and synergy of the research that was done on the health of street children revealed the relation between their poor living conditions and unhealthy life style and their depleted immune systems which, even in the best situations, wins a victory at a cost. This article probes the relation between the harsh circumstances in which millions of street children in the developed and developing world live and the devastating consequences thereof on their state of health, quality of life and life expectancy.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 193 –197 (2002)More Less
This article focuses on the communication strategies of women principals in secondary schools. Against the background of the continued under representation of women in education management abroad and in South Africa, gender differences in communication as a managerial function are discussed and the implications for the workplace outlined by means of a literature review. A qualitative investigation explored the communication strategies of a woman principal in Northern Province, South Africa. Reputational sampling was used for the selection of site and the key participant, the principal. In addition, judgement sampling was used to select six teachers as participants. Rich data were gathered by means of in-depth interviews with the principal and the teachers, observation at the school over a period of two months and analysis of school documents used by the principal in school administration. Findings show the principal's preference for a "feminine" style of verbal and non-verbal communication; her us e of symbolic leaders hip strategies to manage her presence as a female manager in a male dominated environment; the constraints of traditional culture regarding communication and coping strategies to transcend these limitations; other barriers to communication and the principal's use of diverse channels of communication in the administration of a well-run school.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 198 –204 (2002)More Less
Lecturers' experience of the change process at a tertiary education institution.
This article describes a qualitative study that focused on how lecturers experience the process of change at a particular tertiary education institution in South Africa. A phenomenological approach was followed since this approach strives to convey people's perceptions of certain experiences in words. Individual, unstructured interviews with a number of lecturers, who have been employed at the tertiary education institution for the past four years or longer, were conducted and rich and descriptive data were collected. A number of categories emerged from analysis of the data. After research had been completed and the data interpreted, a literature control was done and conclusions were reached. It was found that people involved in far-reaching changes, such as those discussed in this study, should be treated with the necessary empathy throughout the process, as this can be a most stressful experience for all concerned.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 205 –212 (2002)More Less
Teachers' perception of their work motivation : a qualitative study.
During the past few years the changes in the South African education system have come under the spotlight. These changes may have an impact on the working conditions of educators and subsequently influence their motivation. If school managers can identify the factors that influence the motivation of educators in time, they can implement and execute effective motivation strategies to ensure that educators, in the midst of the changes, can still perform their duties in an effective, enthusiastic and motivated manner. Educator motivation is influenced by two sets of factors, namely intrinsic factors that is a direct result of the work itself, and extrinsic factors that are found in the working environment. This article reports on a qualitative study to determine the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence educator motivation in the Eastern Cape.
A comparative study of the attitudes of teachers at special and educationally inclusive schools towards learners with little or no functional speech using communication devicesSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 213 –218 (2002)More Less
The aim of this study was to determine and compare educationally inclusive and special school teachers' attitudes towards learners with little or no functional speech (LNFS), using two Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices namely a digital speaker (Alpha Talker TM) and a communication board. At each school, teachers were divided into two random groups. Group I teachers viewed the same video of the communication board a week later. Group 2 teachers watched a video of a learner communicating using first the low technology communication device (communication board) and then the high technology communication device (Alpha Talker TM) a week later. After each viewing, teachers' attitudes were measured using the Teacher Attitude Scale (TAS). The results revealed that teachers were generally positive towards both high and low technology devices. A comparison of educationally inclusive and special education teachers revealed no significant difference between these teachers' attitudes towards the devices.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 219 –229 (2002)More Less
Reliability of several subject didactic assessment instruments.
The use of assessment instruments may help teachers monitor their own subject didactic effort in an effort to attain certain goals. In the light of the critical importance which subjects in the natural sciences (e.g. mathematics and physical science) have assumed in South Africa, research on assessment instruments has become of critical importance. However, the effectiveness of these measuring instruments has to be established beforehand. The aim here was to compare the SOM, LEMOSS(II) and LCH questionnaires in terms of reliability. The ultimate aim of the analysis is the use of these questionnaires to optimise learning competences, especially in mathematics, physical science and home economics. It was found that the three questionnaires discussed can be used with an acceptable degree of confidence for the measurement and optimisation of the subject-related learning competences of Grade 9 learners in the Tzaneen and Phalaborwa areas. Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation between sufficient of the problem-solving strategies and better achievement in the subjects discussed.
Author Corene De WetSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 230 –238 (2002)More Less
A group of black educators' views on membership and objectives of teachers' unions.
The internationally recognised right of association is recognised in South Africa by the constitution and the Labour Relations Act. Each worker, including educators, has the right to participate in establishing a trade union and to join the trade union of his/her choice. However, some politicians and academics doubt whether the educator as active trade union member can be reconciled with the professional educator. The article reports, against the background of a brief literature review of trade unions in general and teachers' trade unions in particular, on an empirical study of a group of educators' reasons for trade union membership, as well as their participation in and views of teachers' unions. The study showed that the teachers' union members who participated in the study participated actively in trade union activities. It also appeared that educators joined trade unions for economic, professional, educational, political, social and psychological reasons, amongst others. Respondents regarded the role of teachers ' unions in education policy matters, professional development of educators, and improvement in the economic position of members as the most important objectives of teachers' unions.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 239 –245 (2002)More Less
The main focus of this study was whether and how provision is made to enhance the quality of education in the Foundation Phase. After a case study investigation into a primary school and its view on quality assurance and interviews with the Department of Education : Eastern Cape province it became apparent that more research in to the quality assurance aspect of primary schools is needed. The term "quality assurance" needs to be discussed and understood, and facilitators and managers at schools need to have a clear view of where they are going before ownership can be taken of teaching and learning. School principals should be involved in the quality assurance process at all levels and facilitators should be engaged in a process of self-evaluation in order to en sure quality in their teaching and learning. Certain quality assurance mechanisms and procedures should be established at schools in order for all stakeholders to take responsibility for their own quality improvement, by being more accountable for their failures, to achieve the required results in their teaching.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 246 –252 (2002)More Less
Diversity is an acknowledged characteristic of the South African society. Traditional standardised methods of assessment for cognitive functioning have been discouraged or abandoned, as they have been found to be discriminatory. Arguing for a systematic assessment process, a previous researcher has stated that standardised methods are the best ways of achieving understanding of the reasons for the breakdown in learning and ensuring effective intervention. An alternative mod el of intelligence and cognitive functioning developed in previous work is explored for possible application within the South African context. This model, referred to as the PASS model, refers to the cognitive processes of Planning, Attention, Simultaneous and Successive processing. The exploration of the PASS model is extended to the assessment tool used to quantify these four cognitive processes. The assessment tool is called the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS). The question posed in the study was whether results obtained with this PASS model of intelligence could provide insight into the cognitive functioning of South African children. To establish the validity of the CAS (the assessment tool), the scores were correlated with related achievement scores obtained. The sources for achievement were obtained from the normed standardised Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB) as well as the pupil's school year marks for the previous year. The data obtained from the CAS, Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB), and the scholastic marks obtained from school subjects for December 2000 were therefore examined for correlations. The findings of this first probe indicated that the PASS model of intelligence correlates with reading and scholastic achievement in the South African context. The consequence of these findings impacts on the strategies employed for assessment of and intervention with reference to children having difficulties in learning within the South African context. The need for additional research to exp lore the diagnostic value of the CAS in the wider community is on e of the challenges emanating from this probe.