South African Journal of Education - Volume 22, Issue 4, 2002
Volume 22, Issue 4, 2002
Author A.G.W. SteynSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 253 –269 (2002)More Less
The Education White Paper 3 of 1997 indicated that a new funding framework should replace the SAPSE subsidy formula. In March 2001 a new funding framework for higher education was proposed by the Ministry of Education. Comments on the proposal were invited. Since it is evident that the process of finalising a new funding framework for higher education has been set in motion, it is fitting to take stock of the trends in state funding of universities and technikons under the existing funding regime. The revised SAPSE subsidy formulas for universities and for technikons have been applied since 1993 to calculate subsidies for universities and technikons. The purpose of this study was to investigate trends in the funding of the university sector and of the technikon sector since the late 1980s under the SAPSE formula. This was done from a macro-economic point of view. The trends in subsidy allocations to the respective 21 universities and 15 technikons during the years 1993 to 2001 were also studied. Subsidies are generated by student enrolment figures. Therefore, in order to interpret the subsidy allocations, student enrolment trends at institutions were also investigated. It was concluded that the revised SAPSE subsidy formula has ensured stability in the funding of higher education, especially seen from a macro-economic point of view. It is, however, also evident that many institutions have experienced some instability in funding since 1993 as a result either of unrealistically high increases in student enrolments or of unforeseen declines in enrolments.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 270 –274 (2002)More Less
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is changing every facet of our lives. It is changing the way we do business, the way we live and, more importantly, the way we learn. In this new Golden Age of technology, we see more and more an increasing rift between those who have access to ICT and those who do not. This digital divide can be seen as an educational divide and thus we examine how ICT is influencing education. We also investigate the nature of this digital divide while focusing on the local perspective. A short pilot study was done at four schools and one adult education centre in South Africa regarding their access to ICT. The results are used to indicate how and why ICT can be used in South Africa to overcome the digital divide that currently exists between resource-deprived and resource-advantaged learners. In addition, we examine the implications of the rift and propose a framework for a solution.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 275 –281 (2002)More Less
In this paper we draw on research conducted on the system of supply of learner support materials (LSMs) in Region 2 of the Northern Province of South Africa. The study used a qualitative methodology where a case study design was adopted. Purposive sampling was used in the selection of five schools. Three methods of data collection were used, namely : interview, observation and documentation. It was found that the system of supply of learner support materials in the Northern Province was in a chaotic state. For example, books were not delivered in time, or not delivered at all, there were wrong deliveries, and a lot of wastage on unused materials.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 282 –285 (2002)More Less
The crucial role that teachers' environmental literacy plays in realising the goals of environmental education and the importance of the ability, to determine their level of environmental literacy, are argued. A measuring instrument was developed in this regard and was applied to a sample of teachers. An analysis of the results revealed that the instrument meets the necessary psychometric requirements and that it can be considered a valid and reliable instrument to measure the level of environmental literacy of teachers. The research also revealed interesting results regarding the relationship between the level of teachers' environmental literacy and their field of academic training, accompanying learning area involvement, and general environmental education training.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 286 –292 (2002)More Less
One of the most pressing issues, in education worldwide today, is that of how to develop citizens who are both politically well-informed and critical thinkers. In South Africa very little research into critical thinking in a political context has been conducted, and it appears that no tests have been developed. This article reports on the development of a valid and reliable test which measures critical thinking in a political context. This test was then used in research conducted on a sample of 748 testees. The first important result of the research was that deductive thinking was found to be the most important facet of critical thinking. Secondly, a significant correlation was found between political knowledge and critical thinking abilities in a political context. This implied that critical thinking ability varied directly with the amount of knowledge of the subject required by the problem. Thirdly, the results of the research indicated that gender and environment (rural or urban) do not play a role in critical thinking in a political context. Finally, some recommendations regarding the teaching of critical thinking and political literacy are given.
Recognition of Prior Learning as an integral component of competence-based assessment in South AfricaSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 293 –296 (2002)More Less
The concept of recognising and accrediting - what people already know and can do - is having a significant impact on many of the education and training programmes currently being developed. This is irrespective of whether that learning has been acquired through unstructured learning, performance development, off-the-job assessment, or skills and knowledge that meet workplace needs but have been gained through various previous learning experiences. The concept Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is understood by most in the area of adult education as the method of assessing relevant competences gained by adults through work and life experiences, which can then be counted towards qualifications or for promotion in the workplace by using a systematic set of procedures. A practical elaboration of RPL policy and practice in the current South African education and training sector is urgently needed. Administered carefully, and supported by explicitly anti-discriminatory policies and practices, RPL can indeed contribute to movements for greater casual mobility, thus optimising South Africa's under-used skills and expertise. In doing so, this country can embark upon a realistic and attainable strategy towards becoming a winning nation.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 297 –304 (2002)More Less
The action inquiry reported in this article focused on the way in which students engaged in, and what their views were on, a course that included two concurrent modes of delivery - a face-to-face version and its exact twin in online format, the former being complemented by the latter. This twinning course was introduced to expand learning opportunities in what we perceived to have become a compressed face-to-face curriculum with less scheduled teaching time than previously. Additionally, we wanted to engage students by exposing them to a constructivist educational landscape in the twin courses by challenging them to construct a multi-media metaphor as main learning artefact, integrating their ways of learning in this artefact. We believed that the two courses would reinforce each other in an educational symbiosis, and that the online version would compensate for less face-to-face learning and teaching time, due to logistical changes at the institution. In the first set of findings, in a research project that will continue for three years, the researchers found that it was initially very disturbing for the students to work in parallel mode within the same curriculum, but that they gradually became au fait with the processes and that the majority saw it as an opportunity to become more proficient learners. There were, however, a substantial number of students for whom the disturbance of their cognitive comfort zone of mostly reproductive 'learning' was an extremely negative experience. They appeared to be trapped in their educational comfort zones and had narrowed their zones of proximal development, probably because of fixed patterns of educational behaviour, which could include an epistemology that was not receptive to self-directed learning.
Indigenous Knowledge Systems : implications for natural science and technology teaching and learningAuthor Jerome-Alexander Van WykSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 305 –312 (2002)More Less
Given the growing multicultural composition of South African classrooms, educators of science and technology, like educators across the spectrum of all learning areas, are increasingly challenged to reflect how they and their learners conceive of and, as a result, construct knowledge. The reality is that in an expanding globalised world, learners can easily become alienated from what is taught in science and technology, as well as the way it is taught. Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), as a broad framework of thinking about our local context, seeks to problematise the insufficient integration of the cultural-social and the canonical-academic dimensions of natural science and technology education. In this article I conceptualise and clarify IKS vis-à-vis knowledge production, particularly towards educational transformation in which educators may assume that all learners are the same in terms of identity and cultural dynamics. Natural science and technology, in particular, have assumed a definite culture of power, which has marginalized the majority of learners in the past. IKS strategically wishes to transform this view and therefore holds valuable implications for educators in the learning areas of natural science and technology.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 313 –318 (2002)More Less
In this study we explain the general legal principles that concern safety in schools and requirements with which schools should comply. Safety of learners, both physical and psychological, is researched as a phenomenon that cannot be ensured properly without effective management and planning. The subjects are principals in rural public primary schools in the Soutpansberg East Circuit of the Northern Province. The literature studies indicated a general rule that as school neighbourhoods become more and more violent, schools are also directly or indirectly affected. Creating safe schools involves designing various safety awareness programmes and strategies, as well as mobilising school support networks. Principals ought to have a knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation and also have the skills to implement legislations and policies. The interview responses indicate that safety strategies and programmes that are applied to provide a peaceful school environment in the area are not sufficient and should be improved.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 319 –325 (2002)More Less
In this qualitative study we investigated how fieldworkers in educational research were selected and trained, using questionnaires and individual interviews to gather data from both researchers and fieldworkers themselves. From an original sample of 17 researchers, a purposive sample of 12 researchers and 16 fieldworkers was identified. The principal researchers collected all the data, which were analysed according to themes and patterns using the constant comparative method. The findings suggested that, for a number of reasons, researchers struggle to achieve the quality of fieldworker training that they know to be desirable, and that certain forms of research run the risk of underestimating the importance of training fieldworkers. The study also illustrated how different understandings of the term 'fieldworker', both in the literature and in practice, affect researcher expectations of fieldworkers. We conclude by alerting researchers to the risk to the quality of data if fieldworker roles are not carefully defined.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 326 –331 (2002)More Less
The South African education system is still in a transformation process. Old apartheid structures and governance are objects of restructuring and transformation. The transformation of the education system is carried out to promote and uphold the founding principles of the Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms of every person. Among the many aspects of the education system that need to be redressed is the management of schools. In this article, the author highlights problems and issues emerging from democratisation of the management of schools. In particular, the problems emanating from accountability questions such as: Whose responsibility is it? What are the place, position and responsibilities of parents in school governance? What are their duties and responsibilities with regard to accountability? The author attempts to identify essentials and forms of accountability within the spectrum of school governance and the focus is on the accountability of parents and the accountability of principals and teachers to the school-governing body. Comments and recommendations are stated in the final section.
Source: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 332 –337 (2002)More Less
The public education system in South Africa, particularly in public schools, faces serious problems. The review of retention practices for teachers is premised on the principles of quality management which aim at continual increase of the accountability in education human resources management. This research revealed that the tenure process applied to teachers in public schools is weak and plunges the education system to an all-time low. The use of the suggested model is a combination of business principles and public service management principles based on legal and statutory provision. An increase in customer satisfaction is necessary. The strength of the argument is the reference to law education management theories and the involvement of unions. However, it is acknowledged that review of the retention practices alone cannot be a panacea to the crisis in education. Aspects of professionalism are alluded to and the essential role of the South African Council for Educators is also considered as well as that of the Committee for Teacher Education Policy. The notion of quality requires a rigorous effort and cautious and calculated initiatives to interrogate problems and issues in education human resources management. In conclusion, recommendations and reasons are suggested why a review of retention practices is necessary.
Ouerbegeleidingsbehoeftes ten aansien van die fisiek-gestremde voorskoolse kind as voorbereiding vir 'n insluitende onderwysomgewingSource: South African Journal of Education 22, pp 338 –344 (2002)More Less
This article focuses on parents' educational needs concerning their physically disabled pre-school child with the view to placement in an inclusive learning environment. Support services include, among other things, preparation of these children to enter an inclusive learning environment, and parent education to reach this goal. Therefore parent education with a view to promoting the success of inclusion is of utmost importance, by focusing on those skills needed by physcially disabled children to perform sucessfully in the inclusive classroom milieu. The goal of parent education is to mediate those skills necessary to become an integral part of regular classroom activities and be accepted within the inclusive learning environment; to facilitate a functional family life and educational atmosphere as basis for further growth; to promote the least restrictive educational environment at home; to facilitate modeling of socially acceptable behaviour patterns; to promote a cognitively, emotionally, and socially stimulating learning environment at home; to provide interpersonal interaction with nonhandicapped siblings and peers; and to remove stereotypes and stigmata attached to physically disabled children and to facilitate successful adjustment within the inclusive learning environment and the broader community during adulthood.