South African Journal of Education - Volume 23, Issue 3, 2003
Volume 23, Issue 3, 2003
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 63 –167 (2003)More Less
The constitutional changes in South Africa over the past decade have had far-reaching consequences on society. As organs of state, schools have been directly affected by the need to ensure that their operations and rules are constitutionally and legislatively compatible. Human rights do not exist purely as an ideal but must be promoted and enforced within the school sphere. One such right is the right to freedom of expression, and expression in the form of dress is a critical element of such expression within the school context. The issue of school dress codes in South Africa is examined with reference to the experiences of four other countries, in order to determine the constitutionality of such dress codes, and whether dress codes are an impermissible limitation of learners' freedom of expression, couched in permissible sounding language.
Author Corene De WetSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 168 –175 (2003)More Less
Statements by academics and others in the media may prompt the average person to hold the perception that schools and neighbourhoods are danger zones where learner crime is rampant. However, is the situation out of control? In pursuing an answer to this problem, firstly an overview, on the basis of a crime typology, of the most important types of crime in which learners become involved is presented . Secondly, the findings of an empirical investigation of a group of Free State educators' perceptions of the scope of learner crime and crime-related behaviour are reported. It was clear from the investigation that learners were involved, in particular, in victimless crimes such as the use of alcohol and smoking marijuana; convention al crimes such as vandalising school property, theft and less serious learner-on-learner attacks; abuse of the dignity and good name of fellow learners, in particular by swearing and making obscene signs at them; and youth-status offences.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 176 –180 (2003)More Less
This article describes the experiences of the first author in the research he conducted in two Harare secondary schools. The objective of the research was to assess the influence of ability grouping on learners. In particular, the research sought to examine how this practice affected classroom instruction, learner performance and the social stratification among learners. A qualitative research methodology was followed during which in-depth interviews were conducted with teachers, administrators and learners. These were complemented with informal conversations, where relevant comments were noted. Analysis of relevant documents, observations and limited participation were also employed as means of collecting data. The main findings of this study were that: teachers tended not to prepare thoroughly for the so-called low ability classes; learners placed in low ability classrooms felt that school authorities and learners in high ability classrooms discriminated against them; learners in high ability classrooms believed that teachers who "bunked" their classes saw them as intelligent enough to learn on their own and that learners in low ability classes were disruptive and did not want to learn; social relationships among learners from the two groups w ere poor, creating an unhealthy social stratification. It was therefore concluded that the negative aspects of ability grouping outweighed its often professed positive aspects. It is therefore recommended that this practice be re-examined.
Author G.M. SteynSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 181 –185 (2003)More Less
Relevance of and interest in knowledge as critical components of the intellectual discourse have become increasingly evident to the academic community.The world of work has changed which implies that learners should be prepared for occupations requiring higher levels of knowledge and skills. The latter are not only related to the curriculum, but also include the personal qualities required in the transformed work place. The interest in and value of knowledge embedded in human experiences, skills and abilities comprise an emerging discourse known as knowledge management. A problem that comes to the fore is: how can human resource management in the field of education be linked to knowledge management? A clear operational distinction is drawn between in formation, learning and knowledge. For this article two models of knowledge management are described: knowledge category models and socially constructed models of knowledge management. To link a module in human resource management in education to knowledge management, a brief outline of the module and its three approaches are described. The article concludes with an application of knowledge management to the Human Resource Management in Education module.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 186 –192 (2003)More Less
Stress is currently a phenomenon that must be recognized and addressed in various professions and the teaching profession is no exception. Stress in the workplace can cause "job compassion fatigue". In the past teachers did not consider stress to be the primary cause when they needed to escape from the school environment, but rather claimed to be overworked in such a case. Far too many teachers have to take sick leave, whilst others are leaving the profession as a result of burn-out. Some teachers lack coping mechanisms to combat excess stress effectively, and this in turn can lead to absenteeism, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, frustration, hypertension, and other serious physical conditions, such as heart disease. Knowledge about stressors could be valuable in order to avoid and / or manage factors causing stress to teachers. The purpose of this particular research project was to establish which aspects of the teaching profession are stress-related in the George area. A questionnaire, of which one section was the "Fimian Teacher Stress Inventory", was administered to 132 secondary teachers. The data were statistically processed and the results interpreted. Interesting conclusions could be drawn from the results. Recommendations for teachers to manage their stress are based on these conclusions.
The jagged paths to multicultural education : international experiences and South Africa's response in the new dispensationAuthor Saloshna VandeyarSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 193 –198 (2003)More Less
An ideal form of multicultural education is one that not only recognizes and acknowledges diversity, practices tolerance and respect of human rights, but works to liberate cultures that have been subjugated. Such an education would go beyond being "nice to those less fortunate" to working to promote equality of cultural trade. For what it is worth, pre-1994 multicultural education in South Africa did recognize diversity, but it was diversity as a strategy for containment. It was of a variety that was exclusionary in nature and constituted a cruel inscription of those colonized "Others" into the mainstream. From here, international experiences of multicultural education do not offer much inspiration. Multicultural education in the US, Canada, UK , and Australia is driven and fuelled in large part by an assimilationist agenda that denies authenticity to the marginalized cultures. In the South African situation, the Constitution, which is hinged on ten powerful principles, seeks to promote tolerance and respect for all cultures and to promote common values across the rainbow nation of South Africa. However, there is no attempt at this point to valorize the content of the culture of the different groups. This paper argues that silence is also policy. South Africa should therefore work towards a deeper and proactive diagnosis of the content of the culture of its diverse peoples and find spaces for dialogue based on equity within the education system. In order to do this, deeper analysis of the forms of cultural violence, their alibis, etc. that characterized the apartheid system, but which is now couched as mainstream, needs to be undertaken. In this regard, emerging pers pectives from the South African History Project and the Indigenous Knowledge Systems movement, (especially its message of transcendence and cultural he aling) need to be considered .
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 199 –205 (2003)More Less
The geometry content knowledge of Grade 7 teachers (n =18) and prospective teachers (n =100) was investigated, using the Van Hiele theory and acquisition scales of Gutiérrez, Jaime and Fortuny. Results indicated that both teacher and prospective teacher populations failed to reach the level of geometric thinking and degree of acquisition expected from successful teachers. The impact of teaching experience and different pre-service time frames (3 years vs 4 years) on the level of geometrical thought was also investigated. The conclusion was that teachers and prospective teachers do not have adequate control of the Grade 7 geometry subject-matter they have to teach. This holds implications both for pre-service and in-service teacher education as well as classroom practice.
Instructional leadership : the impact on the culture of teaching and learning in two effective secondary schoolsAuthor A.G. KrugerSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 206 –211 (2003)More Less
Currently there is a drive to improve the culture of teaching and learning in South Africa, particularly in secondary schools. Recent studies have indicated a direct relationship between the instructional leadership role of the principal and the effectiveness of a school. Initiatives introduced by the government to reform education include the introduction of new curricula and the increase of site based management responsibilities. With these and other increasing responsibilities principals are still accountable for the success of the schools' academic outcomes. The practice of instructional leadership and its impact on the culture of teaching and learning at two effective secondary schools are investigated.
Author J.J.E. MesserschmidtSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 212 –217 (2003)More Less
Questioning for empowerment : the traditional classroom as point of departure.
This article focuses on the question as the most salient element in class room discourse. A theoretical discussion of the question from a linguistic as well as a didactic perspective is followed by a description of the use of questions in some Grade 4 classrooms in Mangaung on the eve of the implementation of Curriculum 2005. Transcriptions of video-recordings of six history lessons (three of which were presented through the medium of Southern Sotho and three through the medium of English) were analysed to determine how teachers use specific types of questions with the intention of achieving certain objectives or outcomes in the social environment of the classroom. Among the findings discussed is how the role of the teacher as sole source of knowledge is reflected in the questioning patterns. The vast majority of questions are not real questions, but examination questions posed by the teacher to ascertain whether learning is taking place. The learners do not ask questions. Although there is evidence of mean ing negotiation, only a few learners take part in this process. The others are passive listeners whose responses are limited to chorus answers. Learners can only be empowered if they ask real questions that will lead to the solving of problems. In the new educational dispensation, teachers are faced with the challenge of asking questions that will lead to an inquisitive attitude in the case of learners. The research on questioning in the classroom is ongoing. A later work will report on questioning in changing classrooms where a learning-centred, task-based approach is introduced.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 218 –224 (2003)More Less
Teacher training for outcomes-based education - a world perspective.
The outcomes-based education systems of a number of countries, namely, United States of America, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, are discussed. The focus is on higher education and more specifically on teacher training in tertiary institutions in these countries. The object was to determine to what extent outcomes-based education is used at tertiary level and if teachers are trained to be able to teach in an outcomes-based education system. The situation regarding outcomes-based education in these countries is compared to the South African situation.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 225 –232 (2003)More Less
An international perspective on learner discipline in schools
Experience with disciplinary problems among learners in schools in three highly developed countries (USA, Great Britain, and Australia) has shown that disciplinary problems are not unique to certain countries and, generally speaking, they can and should be managed by means of pedagogical interventions. Also the solution to learners' disciplinary problems in South African schools does not appear to lie in an emulation of the theories and practices in developed countries. These countries themselves suffer from too many internal structural problems. A possible solution for disciplinary problems in South Africa lies in a correction of this country's social-structural problems, especially those leading to poverty or exorbitant wealth. Once such problems have been eradicated, learners will feel better about themselves and their situation. This in turn may lead to a decrease in anti-social behaviour.
Author Ansie LessingSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 233 –241 (2003)More Less
The personality profile of the modest senior secondary school learner.
According to literature modesty may be an indication of an unrealistic self-evaluation, insufficient assertiveness, a virtue or even ignorance of other people's view of the self. Modesty is also associated with such personality traits as reserve, timidity, inhibition, unassertiveness, lack of arrogance, unrealistic self-evaluation and ignorance. Modesty implies an inability to promote oneself and may impede on the forming of interpersonal relations and the self-actualisation of learners. The findings from the literature study are analysed in terms of the High School Personality Questionnaire (HSPQ) to suggest a personality profile for the modest learner. A number of hypotheses are stated regarding the personality traits of the modest learner and they were tested empirically by administering the HSPQ to 174 learners in Grade 11. The Pearson product moment correlation coefficients of the different HSPQ factors were calculated by means of the SAS programme and t tests were used. Low and moderate correlations were indicated for the HSPQ factors. No typical personality profile could be compiled for modest learners, but several personality traits which may be associated with modesty emerged from the study.
Author Willie Van VollenhovenSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 242 –247 (2003)More Less
As the pandemic of HIV / AIDS increases daily and the epidemic in the Republic of South Africa is one of the worst in the world, causes and consequences of HIV / AIDS remain contested among political and medical elites in this country. It is indicated that school management and governance are not au fait with the legal requirements to deal with this disease and, in many cases, are still ignoring the existence of the disease. I argue that knowledge of the causes and consequences of HIV / AIDS and a positive management of pupils with HIV / AIDS would help to prevent the spreading of this disease.
Education and equity : The Impact of State Policies on South African Education, Editors: Enver Motala and John Pampallis : book reviewAuthor Suchitra SinghSource: South African Journal of Education 23 (2003)More Less
Amidst the euphoria of 1994 many South Africans saw the democratic reform process as the precursor to fundamental changes in the state and its organs of government and administration. There was no doubt that this fledgling democracy would, through its structures, transform society to achieve the goals that had been enunciated in the liberation struggle. The expectation was that the democratically elected state would act decisively to redress the legacies of apartheid especially in the area of of education. One such book documenting some of the challenges and interventions is Education and Equity: The Impact of State Policies on South African Education.