South African Journal of Education - Volume 23, Issue 4, 2003
Volume 23, Issue 4, 2003
Understanding the structure of data when planning for analysis : application of Hierachical Linear ModelsAuthor Mbithi wa KiviluSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 249 –253 (2003)More Less
Human beings and other living creatures tend to exist within organisational structures, such as families, schools, and business organisations. In an educational system, for example, students exist within a hierarchical social structure that can include classroom, grade level, school, school district and country. Data obtained from such social structures are hierarchical. It is critical that social scientists understand the structure of the data because it dictates the statistical techniques to be used for analysis and interpretation. For example, analysing hierarchical data using the conventional General Linear Models (GLMs) may result in inaccurate inferences being drawn from the data. A thorough understanding of the data in terms of structure, type of variables and relationships being investigated needs no further emphasis. Statistically valid inferences are drawn from data that have been carefully collected and subjected to the appropriate statistical techniques. Attention should also be paid to the underlying assumptions of a particular statistical technique. Use of Hierarchical Linear Models (HLMs) in analysing social research has several advantages. The problem of unit of analysis is avoided and data are no longer aggregated or disaggregated resulting in accurate and reliable estimation of each level effects. Furthermore, all estimated effects are adjusted for individual level and group level influence on the outcome variable. The only drawback of applying HLMs is that this requires an advanced level of sophistication in statistics.
Factors influencing academic success or failure of first-year and senior university students : do education students and lecturers perceive things differently?Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 254 –263 (2003)More Less
South African universities are changing in several very important ways; their entry standards are changing, their programmes are focusing more specifically on the outcomes that learners are required to achieve, and their student populations are becoming more diverse. These changes are occurring in a climate of increased accountability. It is, therefore, important for universities to be concerned about the standards of their academic programmes and about the success rates of students. Together, these factors have produced a range of opinions about what needs to happen in universities if the diverse range of students is to be successful in outcomes-based programmes that maintain high standards. Some educators argue that entry standards are the most important determinants of success at university; others maintain that non-academic factors must also be considered. There is considerable evidence that the views and expectations about success held by lecturers and stud ents are not always consistent. This article presents the results of a recent empirical investigation at the University of Pretoria that attempted to identify the post-enrolment factors that lecturers and students perceived as having important influences on students' success in their university studies. The study investigated the different expectations of first-year students, senior students and lecturers and identified numerous important similarities and inconsistencies. Most notably, there was a high and significant correlation between the rankings the three groups (lecturers, first-year students and senior students) gave to 52 factors linked to successful university study. There was also a high and significant correlation between the rankings of lecturers and senior students on 55 factors suggestive of unsuccessful university study. However, the perceptions of first-year students were not strongly correlated with either lectures or senior students. This suggests that First-year students may have unrealistic expectations about the non-academic factors that could reduce their chances of successful study. The results of the research could be used in three ways. University administrators could provide more supportive learning environments to enhance the chances that students will be successful and lecturers could also use the information to enhance the influences of positive factors on student learning. The influence of negative factors could also be minimised accordingly. Finally students could also be assisted and supported to approach university studies in a way that will increase their chances of success.
Author Corene De WetSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 264 –271 (2003)More Less
To strike or not to strike? The views of a number of black educators.
South African educators' right to strike is protected by the Labour Relations Act and the Bill of Rights. Educators' right to strike is not an absolute right, as exercising this right may lead to violation of the rights of learners. According to education stakeholders who are critical of educators' participating in strikes or threatening to strike, educators should regard their responsibility towards learners as of greater importance than their own interests. First of all a literature review - against the background of the above statement of the problem - of the reasons for, goals and functions of strikes in general is provided, as well as of educator strikes. Secondly I report on an empirical investigation of the views of a group of black educators on their right to strike, as well as the reasons why they have participated in strikes or not.
Teacher participation in facilitating beliefs and values in life orientation programmes : reflections on a research projectSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 272 –275 (2003)More Less
This article presents an analysis of a research project entitled Facilitating strategies of belief and value orientations in a multicultural education system. The main objective of the research project was to ascertain whether teachers could by means of participatory action research modify their own strategies relating to teaching and learning about religions, beliefs and value systems in South Africa. Participating teachers were guided by the researchers to develop and reflect upon the introduction of innovative strategies pertaining to teaching and learning about religions and values in a multicultural society in their own particular contexts. Responses were obtained from teachers in Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng. Both responses and facilitation strategies selected by teachers are connected to the cultural and religious backgrounds of learners represented in participating schools. The theoretical underpinnings relating to the research project, as well as the preparation of in-service teachers for their participation in this research project in the short term and for effective practices for the long term, are discussed.
Emancipatory Indigenous Knowledge Systems : implications for environmental education in South AfricaSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 276 –280 (2003)More Less
Indigenous Knowledge also termed Traditional, Endogenous or Classical knowledge, often fails to contribute to the improvement of the quality of human life. This failure can be attributed purely to the lower status accorded to this type of knowledge in society. This knowledge is accorded low status because it belongs to a particular racial or ethnic group which often, it is assumed, lacks the necessary cultur al capital. Despite these negative perceptions of Indigenous Knowledge, there is a growing realisation that this knowledge is part of the global heritage and a national resource to be utilised for the benefit of all humanity. This article presents an argument that there is a major role to be played by Indigenous Knowledge Systems in education in general and environmental education in particular. Environmental education as stated in the Brundtland Commission, the South African Environmental Education Policy Initiative (EEPI), and the NGO Form Principles, is seen as a key process that could enhance Indigenous Knowledge in formal education. The article further argues that the production of Indigenous Knowledge is contextually grounded through social constructivist approaches. However, it has the potential to be contextually and widely used.
Author Margie GaganakisSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 281 –286 (2003)More Less
The life world of black adolescent girls in schools in the Gauteng area is considered with reference to their future aspirations. Gilligan's ethnographic methods ("Listenings") are used to show how these girls have high aspirations and a sense of control over their future, but are constrained and silenced, although the effects of gender subordination are attenuated higher up on the social pyramid. Life chances are generally enhanced by attending school, but are severely limited by the patriarchal underpinnings of life at home and the local community. Guarding independence, while forming careers and relationships at the same time, is a major dilemma faced by these girls. Results suggest that educational and social planning needs to focus on promoting more equitable gender regimes.
Author Mgadla Isaac XabaSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 287 –291 (2003)More Less
Concerns about educator turnover and attrition are reported widely as a global phenomenon. Turnover translates, amongst other things, into shortages in educator supply, costs in recruitment, training and mentoring, poor learner performance due to disruption of planning programmes and continuity, as well as overcrowded classes. This poses a challenge to the education system to manage turnover and retain teachers. This is critical to the future of quality education delivery, especially in the light of changes in the system generally and the demands placed on it to deliver education in line with the country's socio-economic expectations. A teacher turnover and retention strategy that addresses the sources thereof is therefore essential. This article draws attention to the phenomenon of teacher turnover, makes recommendations for the management thereof by education departments in the country, and is a first step towards comprehensive research into teacher turnover in South Africa.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 292 –296 (2003)More Less
The revised norms and standards for teacher education in South Africa require an understanding of the beliefs, values and practices of the main religions of South Africa. However, many pre-service educators lack the knowledge and skills to cope within a religiously pluralist school environment. In this article strategies will be discussed for teaching religion to pre-service educators at a tertiary institution to equip them for religious and cultural diversity in South African schools. Feuerstein's theory of Mediated Learning Experience (MLE) is suggested as a means for initiating new and creative ways of thinking about different religions.
Narratiewe terapie aan die seksueel mishandelde kliënt : gevalstudie ter illustrasie van die herskryf van die verhaal van 'n kliënt met 'n "ander seksuele versteuring"Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 297 –306 (2003)More Less
Narrative therapy as a discourse for dealing with sexual abuse : rewriting the own story.
Sexual abuse changes the victim's life. All forms of sexual abuse leave a scar, regardless of race or gender. It does not impact in the same way on the lives of all people, but victims are able to report extensively on exactly how such an event has changed their lives; how the incident has caused problems in various facets of their lives. When the question is turned around and the victims are asked to explain how they have handled these problems, what influence they exercise over the problems, the storytelling often ends just there - revealing their inability to cope. When problems are articulated, the possibility arises that victims may be helped. The aim is to re-establish victims as persons with integrity and to enable them to resume control of their lives after the traumatic event. They are en couraged to write an alternative life story based on their newly found inner strength and on what they desire for their lives. The current research, in which a client who presented with "Sexual disorder not otherwise specified" was helped to create an alternative story, suggests that it is possible to substitute 'unwanted' parts of such a client's life story with a rewritten narrative with which he / she can identify.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 307 –312 (2003)More Less
Challenges for comparative education : everything for everybody and understanding of the other.
This article explores the challenges and unique contribution of comparative education in the present age of global vs local (i.e. national or communal) agendas, perspectives and priorities. The thesis is that comparative education's sensitivity to the interrelationships between national context and education renders it in a valuable and irreplaceable position with respect to the task of reflecting on the consequences of universalistic trends on education systems and with respect to the assessment of the possibilities and dangers of taking over educational practices from other educational, comparative education, with its characteristic focus on the education system, on societal-education interrelationships, and its impact on the individual has a unique contribution to make towards teachers' critical understanding of the linkage between global discourses and local narrative and the way it is shaping both the education system and the identity of learners.
The inception phase of a case study of outcomes - based education assessment policy in the Human and Social Sciences Learning Area of C2005Author Di WilmotSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 313 –318 (2003)More Less
This article describes the Inception Phase (January to December 2002) of an ongoing research project focused on the Grade 9 Learning Area of Human and Social Sciences of Curriculum 2005. The case study involves a dynamic interaction between a university lecturer, playing the role of 'outside facilitator', and the History and Geography teachers at two independent schools. The article describes how teachers in a given context respond to outcomes-based education assessment policy, and the tools and processes they use to develop the deep understanding inferred by policy (Republic of South Africa, 2000) to implement change in a meaningful way. The article consists of three sections. The first contextualises significant events which foregrounded and provided the impetus for the research project. It provides an overview of the theory informing the research and the goals of the research. The second analyses in narrative form the various stages of the Inception Phase. It describes a process of curriculum development which has involved the development of criterion- referenced assessment rubrics, a Learner and Curriculum Profile, and an audit of current assessment practices in History and Geography at the two schools. The article illuminates the time and effort necessary for creative and systemic curriculum innovation. The final section synthesizes the information gathered.
Developing the next generation of potential entrepreneurs : co-operation between schools and businesses?Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 319 –322 (2003)More Less
To realise the dream of an African Renaissance and a better life for all South Africans, the entrepreneurial energies of all people, including children, should be harnessed to contribute towards economic development, job creation and the alleviation of poverty. Worldwide, various bodies and governments have recognised the importance of entrepreneurship in job creation and as a prerequisite for sustainable economic development. Entrepreneurship development concerns the development of people's potential as a country's most valuable resource. According to a model for entrepreneurship education the challenge is to put more emphasis on creating awareness of the self-employment option and generating interest and desire for engaging in entrepreneurship. More opportunities and support should also be provided for people to learn about the entrepreneurial process. The majority of people who will start businesses in future are currently in the educational system. Integrating entrepreneurial learnership programmes into the educational system in high schools can be critical in developing the skills necessary to start and run successful businesses. The aim of the research was to determine the role and perceptions of business people regarding entrepreneurial learnership programmes in secondary schools. A literature study, complemented by an empirical survey among business people affiliated with the Chambers of Business, was used as the method of research. Conclusions from the study included that respondents strongly agreed that learnership and involvement of business people with schools are essential. It can therefore be recommended that attention be given to an entrepreneurial youth learnership programme for secondary schools.
Exploring community strategies to career education in terms of the asset-based approach : expanding existing career theory and models of interventionSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 323 –327 (2003)More Less
In this article we explore a rural community's strategies for career education from the asset-based approach in order to expand on existing career theory and models of intervention. In a qualitative case study exploring a community's expectations of career education, one of the themes that emerged from four focus group interviews was possible intervention strategies for career education. The stakeholders' suggestions of community-based resources, career education skills training and networking are discussed. Subsequently it is debated that these can be explained from the theoretical framework of the asset-based approach. The asset-based approach is illustrated by means of this case study. Examples of how the asset-based approach could stretch career theory and models of intervention are proposed. It is concluded that parallels exist between the asset-based approach and indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) with regard to career education. In conclusion it is recommended that further research should focus on expounding the links between IKS and career theory as a means to document new and critical career development theories and counseling approaches.
Source: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 328 –337 (2003)More Less
Construction of their role in inclusive education by parents of a child with Down's Syndrome
The purpose of this study was to understand the way in which parents construct their roles in the inclusion of their child with Down's Syndrome. The study was conducted in the South African context with the parents of children with Down's Syndrome, who were included in Grades 1, 2 or 3 in different schools in Gauteng at the time of the study. The role that these parents constructed, before and during the inclusion of their children, was examined and identified by means of semi-structured interviews according to a qualitative research design. Questionnaires, field notes and audiotape recordings were used as data collecting strategies. Results from this study indicated that parents construct their roles in a multifaceted manner. In this context parents construct their roles in terms of self-empowerment, inclusionists, pro-active preparation for inclusion, striving towards inclusion, public awareness, provision of information, facilitation, expertise and the setting of priorities in the inclusion process.The primary contribution of this study is towards the expansion of theoretical knowledge about the role of parents in inclusive education of learners with Down's syndrome.
Author G.S. KotzeSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 338 –343 (2003)More Less
The challenges and activities of outcomes-based education and very often the beauty of this 'new' approach are often overshadowed by the realities of the classroom and the difficulties of assessment. One of the greatest problems concerning outcomes that address knowledge, skills and values is to determine and qualify different types of assessment information. This article examines the dichotomy of determining or qualifying, i.e. grading or portraying assessment information. The article investigates, firstly, the setting of practical criteria and, secondly, the adequacy of assessment criteria in guiding the judgments of the assessor. A possible guide for coding assessment information is suggested with specific reference to mathematics as learning area.
'n Teoretiese besinning oor die invloed van kultuur op leerders se intelligensie -, leerstyl - en kommunikasie - ontwikkeling : implikasies vir assesseringSource: South African Journal of Education 23, pp 344 –348 (2003)More Less
A theoretical reflection on the influence of culture on learners' intelligence, learning styles and communication development
These aspects have certain implications for assessment in the classroom. It is a known fact that biological characteristics influence learners' intelligence, learning styles and communication development. However, there are an increasing number of researchers who have established that culture plays a very important role in the development of intelligence, learning styles and communication. Researchers have identified four factors that contribute to the phenomenon, namely : socialising, conformity, ecological adaptation, and language. It should, however, be kept in mind that culture does not always influence the factors mentioned in the same manner. Diversity regarding intelligence, learning styles and communication will have an influence on the teaching and assessment practices of teachers.