South African Journal of Education - Volume 23, Issue 1, 2003
Volume 23, Issue 1, 2003
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 1 –5 (2003)More Less
A qualitative study was undertaken to understand the realities and dynamics facing parents when attempting to be involved in their child's schooling. The focus was on parents in an extreme poverty context in Cape Town, South Africa. Results indicated that mainstream schools themselves pose barriers for both children and parents in the schooling system. Furthermore, results highlighted the central role that schools can play in increasing the degree of parental support, as well as ways in which to understand the support needed by these parents. The stress on parents and their relationships with their children, as a result of pressures placed on them by the schooling system, are also illustrated, because the realities of these communities are seldom considered by school staff.
Author Salome SchulzeSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 6 –12 (2003)More Less
With the introduction of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), the education system in South Africa changed from content-based to outcomes-based education (OBE). The Faculty of Education at the University of South Africa (UNISA) also endeavoured to shift to OBE. In addition, the faculty had been criticised for the poor quality of certain of its distance-education material and, consequently, several lecturers engaged in rewriting learning material. During the transition period, when materials written according to "old" approaches and already-updated new materials, were simultaneously in use, research was undertaken to determine the preferences of Honours BEd learners regarding learning material. Questionnaires were mailed to 2 421 Honours BEd learners residing in South Africa and 818 were returned. Analysis of the returned questionnaires indicated that the learners revealed ambiguity in their responses. They recorded a willingness to move towards more meaningful learning approaches. Yet, at the same time they seemed to prefer traditional teaching practices for various reasons. This finding poses special challenges to lecturers if learners are to realise effective learning. To be able to meet these challenges, lecturers need to change their traditional teaching practice and therefore require relevant training. Training should focus on course design, the use of media other than print, and contemporary learning theories.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 13 –17 (2003)More Less
The question on educational identity was, and still is, a paramount question in the South African educational context. An analysis of some of the important issues, as it pertains to the current discourse inside and outside the education sphere, suggests that there is a fundamental need to (re-)define our understanding and conceptualisation of educational identity. The search for new symbols and symbolic meaning, debates about the significance of africanisation, afrocentric identity, and indigenisation of education represent some of the markers in the education debate. A shared notion of educational identity can be ensured if certain conditions, such as a balanced approach to indigenisation, can be adequately met.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 18 –22 (2003)More Less
We investigated anxieties experienced by student teachers with regard to practice teaching. The Student Teacher Anxiety Scale (STAS) and Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) were used to determine the relationship between student teachers' personalities and their anxiety levels. Three-way analysis of variance (Anova) was used to analyse the mean scores obtained on student teachers' biographical variables. The findings indicated that the dimension of neurotic personality is significantly correlated with professional preparation as well as with an unsuccessful lesson. The results also showed significant three-way interaction effects of student teachers' biographical variables (gender, age and grade placement) on practice-teaching related factors such as evaluation and an unsuccessful lesson. The findings are discussed and improvement on practice teaching suggested.
Author J.F. Van KollerSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 23 –28 (2003)More Less
This article deals with the development of a profile of the functions and required competencies of Education, Training and Development (ETD) practitioners at distance education institutions. Based on literature and within the context of Technikon Southern Africa (TSA), it is argued that a clear distinction can be drawn between the profile of function of ETD practitioners at contact-based institutions and the profile of functions of ETD practitioners at distance education institutions. Firstly, the international and national ETD and distance education contexts are described for the purpose of benchmarking, and thereafter the TSA context is described and aligned to the benchmarks. Finally, a comparison is drawn between the proposed profile of ETD practitioners at a distance education institution and the profile of ETD practitioners at contact-based educational institutions.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 29 –35 (2003)More Less
The purpose of this investigation was to compare two education systems in the southern hemisphere and particularly from the SADEC countries, namely, Madagascar and South Africa. Research was done by means of field observation as well as through discussions and interviews with role players at regional education offices and schools. Both education systems are not sufficiently adapted to their real educational needs, and learners are not really provided the relevant opportunities to equip themselves with the required competences to function effectively according to their real educational needs. It is concluded that one of the most basic problems of developing education systems in the southern hemisphere could be the tendency of developing education systems to borrow from developed education systems without the localisation thereof.
Author Corene De WetSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 36 –44 (2003)More Less
A media analysis on crime in South African education
In a content analysis report it was attempted to determine how and with what purpose the printed media report on crime in the South African education sector. The following discursive themes were identified : Media criticism against black educators and learners. Children's rights. Crime in education as a reflection of the disintegration of community values. Principals' denial that crimes were perpetrated at their schools. The relation between location of schools and crime. A culture of violence and crime reigns in education. A spirit of despair and fear pervades education as a result of crime. The media as advocates and mouthpieces for the wronged parties. A political discourse in which attention is paid to racism, as well as the influence of the apartheid and integrated education systems on crime. Finally a number of less prominent themes such as control of firearms, effectiveness of the police, and parental involvement are dealt with. On the grounds of the content analysis it could be concluded that crime is running riot in South African education. However, the possibility exists that this conclusion was based on a skewed media reality.
Author G.K. HuysamenSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 45 –51 (2003)More Less
Optimalisation of the conversion of matriculation symbols for university admission purposes
The results demonstrate the potential benefits of taking symbols in individual matriculation subjects into account when predicting university performance. After the internal consistency of the matriculation symbol point totals (MSTs) of three different intakes of first-year students was improved by means of the Elliott-Strenta procedure, this explained a greater percentage (increases of between 0.91% and 3.33%) of the variance of the mean first-year university percentage mark (MPM). For a group of students with the same five matriculation subjects, the incremental gain in criterion variance explained varied between 7.46% and 9.84% when the regression coefficients obtained in a multiple regression were used. Moreover, if the coefficients obtained in this manner were used to weight the matriculation symbol points of subsequent years, the MST-MPM correlations rose similarly. For black students, increases of between 0.94% and 8.48% in explained criterion variance were obtained when the number of standard and lower grade subjects and the number of subjects taken from subject groups D, E and F were also included in a multiple regression equation. The implications of these findings for admissions research, following the introduction of the proposed Further Education and Training Certificate, are pointed out.
Examining learning achievement and experiences of science learners in a problem-based learning environmentAuthor A. Van Loggerenberg-HattinghSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 52 –57 (2003)More Less
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a facilitation strategy that has the potential to put learners at the centre of activity and to make them accountable for their own learning. However, the assumption is often made, during attempts to utilise PBL, that learners will acquire less information than learners who have been taught through direct, lecture-based strategies. The present work challenged this assumption by exposing experimental and control groups of Grade 10 science learners to different learning environments. Results showed that the PBL-taught experimental group did not sacrifice subject content. PBL learners scored significantly higher than their lecture-taught counterparts on selected questions in the post-test that were classified on Bloom's taxonomy as higher order questions. Through qualitative measures the study also probed the levels of enjoyment experienced by below- and above-average achievers who were exposed to PBL.
Author Maretha VisserSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 58 –64 (2003)More Less
The prevalence of substance use and high-risk sexual behaviour of 460 primary school learners, from four schools in a historically disadvantaged urban area, was investigated. It was found that 14% of the primary school learners in this study currently used alcohol, 4% smoked marihuana, 3% sniffed solvents, 9% used over-the-counter medicines and 2% used illegal drugs. Of the 24% of learners that reported being sexually experienced, only 40% protected themselves from HIV / AIDS and 35% used birth control measures. Furthermore, the learners indicated that they did not experience high levels of support from their families and friends and many of them were exposed to substance abuse in their homes. The majority of the learners were of the opinion that substance use and sexual activity were inappropriate behaviour for their age group. Recommendations are made for prevention strategies aimed at primary school learners.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 65 –70 (2003)More Less
The problems experienced by women re-entering the education profession in South Africa were focused on. A review of the literature revealed that problems are experienced at five different levels : within the women themselves, in their work situation, at management level, within their career, and within society. These observations were tested empirically by means of a structured questionnaire. The results indicated that the most significant problems were experienced by women educators at three levels : within themselves, within their career, and within society. Problems at management level were not widely experienced by female educators. On the basis of these findings, it is recommended that increases in maternity benefits, as well as the introduction of paternity and childcare leave, should be introduced to assist women educators to combine work and family responsibilities more successfully. Good childcare facilities are also essential for allowing re-entering women to combine family and workplace responsibilities. More promotion opportunities should also be provided for women who aspire to educational management positions.
Author Dumma C. MapoleloSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 71 –77 (2003)More Less
Within the mathematics teacher education program, a variety of teaching strategies and theories are discussed with the aim of changing the student teachers views about mathematics and its teaching. This study was conducted with two in-service primary school teachers as they progressed through a 4-year degree programme. The purpose of the study was to identify how their views about mathematics and its teaching evolve during the three years leading to their internship assignment. Furthermore, the study was intended to document whether changes in teachers' beliefs accompanied changes in their classroom practices and more importantly, what influenced the teachers to commit to change. Data were collected through class observations, interviews, review of the lesson notes, field notes, and internship books. The results reveal that one participant modified some of his beliefs about mathematics teaching. The changes identified indicated a shift in perception of the teacher as an authority to that of a teacher concerned with initiating a learner-centered process, and using students' knowledge and errors as starting points. The other participant's perceptions of the teacher remained to be of authority; giving explanations, and demonstrations followed by students doing assigned problems. The results, however, reveal that the two participants' beliefs on how to learn mathematics changed from emphasizing algorithms to understanding concepts.
Author Simeon MaileSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 78 –83 (2003)More Less
The disclosure of HIV serostatus in education labour relations is dealt with. I argue that whilst it is important for teachers to disclose their HIV serostatus for the benefit of education and the education of the public, the environment is not conducive to disclosure. This becomes evident when those who disclose their HIV serostatus are discriminated against and even humiliated. I substantiate my arguments with data from literature and legislation. Issues dealt with include the management of disclosure in the workplace, barriers and conditions for disclosure as well as legal aspects concerning disclosure.