South African Journal of Education - Volume 24, Issue 1, 2004
Volume 24, Issue 1, 2004
Author David MogariSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 1 –4 (2004)More Less
The purpose of the study was to look at the two forms of validation, i.e. face validity and construct validity, of an attitudinal scale measuring learners' attitude towards Euclidean geometry. The article teases out elements involved in face and construct validation and then engages in a discourse to highlight and investigate those elements in validation that may be untenable in the light of existing practice. With the support of empirical data, the argument presented is that the use of face and construct validity should be a given in studies involving the measurement of attitude.
Author J. PillaySource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 5 –9 (2004)More Less
The purpose of this article is to describe the experiences of learners from informal settlements at predominantly Indian secondary schools in Lenasia, as well as their experiences at the informal settlements themselves. Grade 8 learners from the Thembelihle and Hospital Hill informal settlements in Lenasia, Gauteng province, were identified as the target population in the study. A qualitative research design that was explorative, descriptive and contextual was used. Data were collected through individual interviews, focus group interviews, life studies/essays and a projective test. Analysis of the data revealed that learners experience a variety of negative feelings, that they were misunderstood by their educators and other learners and that they experienced racial discrimination, bullying and ganging-up. On the positive side, however, they felt privileged to be in schools where there was a good quality of education. At the informal settlement they experience difficulty in studying. Unemployment and poverty further add to their negative experiences, and make the learners feel disempowered. On the basis of the findings, several recommendations are made for an ecosystemic intervention with the learners, with specific roles of families, government, schools, and the community in the empowerment of learners from the informal settlements.
Perceptions of teachers of the application of science process skills in the teaching of Geography in secondary schools in the Free State provinceSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 10 –17 (2004)More Less
This article reports on teachers' perceptions of the application of science process skills in the teaching of Geography in secondary schools in the Free State province. A teachers' questionnaire on the application of the science process skills in the teaching of Geography was constructed and the questionnaire was content validated against the theoretical assumptions supported by the literature and practical applications of the subject. The questionnaires were distributed to 150 respondents and 71 completed questionnaires were returned for further analysis. The responses to the items of the questionnaire were subjected to a principal component factor analysis and a varimax method of rotation. Two prominent factors were identified and investigated. Factor 1 was labeled "basic science process skills" and reaffirmed teachers' understanding of the basic process skills as autonomous and independent functions. The second factor confirmed the existence of a higher level of advanced and integrated process skills that build upon the basic or foundational process skills. These results confirmed the researchers' assumption that respondents could distinguish cognitively between these two very prominent constructs. They were comfortable with the fact that the science processes applicable to the teaching of Geography could be grouped into two main distinctive clusters or factors. The homogeneous clustering of items also emphasized the understanding that the classical science process skills could easily be applied to the teaching of Geography. This assumption was supported by the empirical investigation and findings. In addition, the results supported the hypothesis that although teachers did not apply integrated science process skills to the teaching of Geography on a regular basis, they were well-acquainted with the fact that these skills remain an important facet in the teaching of Geography in schools.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 18 –24 (2004)More Less
Home schooling may be defined as an alternative to on-site institutionalised schooling. Most education systems accommodate home schooling but such arrangements are regulated in various ways. This article reports on an investigation into home schooling in South Africa as an consequential part of the education system of the country. A literature review of the context, nature, scope and current issues of the home schooling movement, in other countries as well as in South Africa, is presented as background to the empirical investigation. The latter comprised an ethnographic study of a single home-schooling family chosen by judgement sampling. Data were collected during a six-month period of fieldwork employing participant observation and semi-structured interviews. The findings showed that although home schooling is an effective model of education and is rewarding for many families, it requires extensive commitment, dedication, preparation, emotional involvement and stamina.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 25 –30 (2004)More Less
The introduction of Curriculum 2005 and the National Curriculum Statement emphasised the Outcomes-Based Education approach to school education. In an analysis of Curriculum 2005 and the National Curriculum Statement, value and belief systems are identified and integrated in most of the eight learning areas. The multicultural and multireligious character of the South African society holds important implications for education, as the different values that are inherent in each belief system have to be accommodated in societal structures. Research has indicated that most teachers have not played an active or successful role in teaching different values and beliefs in schools. Most of these teachers will now be responsible for the implementation of C2005 and the NCS and their associated values. There is therefore a need for teachers to be sensitised to the different values embedded in each belief system and all cultureal orientations. The prevalence of values and belief systems in the OBE curricula of C2005 and the NCS will have to be acknowledged, identified, and promoted.
Interpreting an integrated curriculum in a non-racial, private, alternative secondary school in South AfricaAuthor R. BassonSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 31 –41 (2004)More Less
Research into school curricula indicates an instability of focus. Curriculum may refer to a disciplinary perspective on a programme, to what practitioners 'do' in a programme, to programme content and its arrangement, to the hidden assumptions patterning thought and action and embedded in the discourse of a curriculum, to the historical and political context of curriculum, to the official curriculum, to the curriculum as curriculum-in-use, to combining academic disciplines in Learning Areas, school with community, or incorporating disability into the mainstream. As opposed to curriculum research being seen as an aspirant body of knowledge, it has been argued that curriculum studies may more usefully be seen as a social movement which focuses, in the first instance, on the unstable but usable arts of the practitioner, rather than on the systematic application of a discipline to elucidate programme purposes and effects and to reflect back on the discipline.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 42 –48 (2004)More Less
Nearly ten years after the first democratic elections in South Africa, educators are still concerned about the needs of disadvantaged students, particularly when introducing computer technology into the educational process. This article reports on the findings of a research project, which explored the use of a Computer Assisted Education program by students from diverse ethnic, educational and language backgrounds. The results showed that initial presumptions that disadvantaged students would be excluded from the use of the technology may be inaccurate.
Author Noleen Van WykSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 49 –54 (2004)More Less
The South African Schools Act of 1996 (SASA) mandates the establishment of school governing bodies (SGBs), comprising parents, educators and non-educator members of staff. As parents are required to form the majority on an SGB, they have been placed in a powerful position with authority to influence fundamental issues, such as school budget, school and language policy, discipline, and appointment and promotion of teaching and administrative staff. A survey of educators' experiences and perceptions of the role of SGBs, followed by in-depth interviews with selected principals, was undertaken. Findings suggested that educators do not consider their SGBs to be very effective. They support the role of the SGB in learner discipline, but they have reservations about its role in matters of educator misconduct. The role of the SGB in appointing staff is accepted, although educators feel that school governors should be trained for this and all other functions of the SGB. Many educators are concerned that the principal may dominate the SGB. Results further suggested that a purely legalistic approach to dividing the responsibilities of SGBs may not always be helpful and that the emphasis should rather be placed on the constitutional principles for co-operative governance.
Die onderwysmanifes oor waardes en demokrasie in die onderwys : 'n fundering of flirtasie met waardes?Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 55 –63 (2004)More Less
The Manifesto on Values and Democracy in Education was released as a document for debate and discussion, but was soon seen by political decision-makers as a document on which education policy could be based. The point of departure of this article is that any document dealing with values, which must serve as a basis for the development of educational policy, should at least provide a clear outline of what values are, be grounded in education philosophy, and clearly reflect the relationship between values and education. A manifesto of this nature should therefore indicate its world view, its anthropological view of the child, the role and function that education should play, the content to be included, a demarcation of what teaching and learning entails and a clear indication of where education should take place. According to our analysis very few of these aspects are covered and at best it could be assumed from the document that the authors lean more towards a sociological orientation to education. It is also inferred that the authors seem to be more inclined towards an eclectic view of values and education resulting in a number of tensions and contradictions emerging in the document. To illustrate the point, two of these theory/praxis problems are discussed.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 64 –69 (2004)More Less
The relation between chaos and order in social systems has been a recurring theme in educational literature over the last decade. Discussions commonly propose links with developments in mathematics and physics. The authors take a critically constructive look at some of the fundamental questions that underlie the discussion. They look at the nature of the relevant developments in mathematics and physics in their possible relation to educational theory and practice. They proceed to explore the role of order, predictability and control and the place of religion in the education systems, and in academic discourse, of today's pluralist societies.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 70 –79 (2004)More Less
South Africa is in a skills revolution, launched by the Department of Labour via the Skills Development Act in 1998 and the Skills Development Levies Act in 1999. The skills revolution challenges workplace training providers through employers who pay a percentage of payroll towards skills levies and want to recover these levies via skills grants; skills legislation that call for employees to be trained annually; and upgrading to provide SAQA/NQF accredited learnerships and skills programmes. Training providers need an internal management framework to enable them to improve workplace skills development.
Using various approaches in career counselling for traditionally disadvantaged (and other) learners : some limitations of a new frontierSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 80 –87 (2004)More Less
Career counselling in a post-modern South Africa needs to shift from an objective approach to a more interpretative process. New and creative ways of assessment need to be developed. Counsellors need to be facilitators rather than experts who do all the thinking and decision making. They should allow their clients to speak, act, think and choose for themselves: in other words, clients must be led to accept responsibility for their own choices and development. In a post-modern, multicultural country this is not always as easy as it may appear to be. The purpose of this study was to compare the traditional and post-modern career-counselling approaches towards traditionally deprived learners and all other learners, focusing specifically on the practical implementation of both approaches. A case study is used as an example of efforts to justify the use of various approaches in the collection and utilisation of comprehensive data (both objective and subjective) for career counselling.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 88 –94 (2004)More Less
We used Toulmin's scheme for analysis of argumentation to analyse the interaction between three Grade 5 learners solving a common fractions problem. This analysis identified several issues, e.g. the ability of young children to participate in discourse characterised by argumentation, the complexity of the mathematical constructs that children have to deal with, and the nature of their discourse when they grapple with such complexities. The analysis showed that the process was driven by the classroom mathematical culture and the social and socio-mathematical norms, keeping the learners from closing their argumentation prematurely.
An analysis of reading profiles of first-year students at Potchefstroom University : a cross-sectional study and a case studySource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 95 –103 (2004)More Less
Many South African students enter higher education under-prepared for the reading demands that are placed upon them. These students very often become part of the "revolving door syndrome". An analysis of the reading assessment profiles of a group of first-year students at Potchefstroom University indicated that these students experienced problems across all aspects of the reading process (i.e. vocabulary, fluency, reading comprehension, and reading strategy use). The reading assessment profiles of an efficient and an inefficient learner indicated that their profiles were diverse and that any one measure of reading achievement may not be sufficient to identify strengths and needs for instruction. Recommendations are made in terms of the reading support needed by these students.