South African Journal of Education - Volume 24, Issue 2, 2004
Volume 24, Issue 2, 2004
An exploratory survey of male and female learner opinions on secondary school biology education in GautengAuthor J.G. FerreiraSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 105 –107 (2004)More Less
An exploratory survey was undertaken to determine whether secondary school learners have certain preferences regarding the biology they study at school and whether learners from co-educational and single-sex schools hold the same opinions. A survey schedule comprising two components was developed. The first component consisted of 15 items related to the biology learning programme, and the second consisted of 10 items related to the school. These schedules were completed by 384 Grade 11 learners (16 to 17-year-olds) in co-educational and single-sex schools in Gauteng province.
Author Lena GreenSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 108 –113 (2004)More Less
It is widely accepted that certain values and their associated virtues are desirable in citizens of a democracy. Schools in South Africa and elsewhere are expected to play a part in the development of appropriate values, although the precise form of their influence is frequently not clarified. The development of values and virtues is the central theme of moral development, a process linked by some psychologists to cognitive development. Although cognitive competence cannot guarantee virtue, it is generally recognized that insightful moral judgement and action are facilitated by certain cognitive dispositions and skills, and that values and habits of thoughtfulness are interdependent. Research indicates that educators are aware of a responsibility to nurture morality but suggests a number of concerns related to their capacity and to their understanding of their role. The study reported here is a quantitative survey of the priorities of a sample of 350 Western Cape educators regarding the dispositions (both cognitive and moral) they consider to be important to nurture in the classroom and the extent to which they attempt to do so. Educators rated all 25 dispositions as at least of some importance, the four most highly rated being goal-setting and planning, reliability, punctuality, and persistence. Despite the high priority accorded to certain dispositions the percentage of educators who claimed to assign effort to their active nurturance was never more than 31%, and educators did not seem to prioritize cognitive dispositions. Gender, professional experience and phase of education were each found to influence priorities and practices. Finally, educators maintained that they assigned effort to nurturing many characteristics in addition to those listed on the questionnaire, of which respect (21%) and self-respect (14%), were mentioned most frequently. These findings have implications for the engagement of educators in values education.
'n Model vir kurrikulumontwerp van uitkomste-gebaseerde leerprogramme vir onderwysersopleiding in Suid-AfrikaSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 114 –118 (2004)More Less
A new approach to teacher training is necessary to empower teachers to teach within the new outcomes-based education system. Because the new system implies a new curriculum for teacher training, there is a need for research on how providers will have to adapt their training approach and curriculum to meet the challenges of outcomes-based education. It also implies that a model for outcomes-based curriculum design is needed. To develop a model for curriculum design of outcomes-based learning programmes, requirements for the training of teachers in the context of outcomes-based education and Curriculum 2005 were identified, as were requirements for outcomes-based curriculum design. These were used as guidelines for the development of the proposed model for curriculum design of outcomes-based learning programmes.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 119 –125 (2004)More Less
One way to generate useful information, for both the schooling sector and higher education institutions, about students who continue their studies after school is to assess students' perceptions of themselves. Once reliable profiles of these students have been established and related to student performance, analyses may assist to predict factors associated with the persistence of first-year students and retention rates in higher education. First-year student perceptions were measured at one South African university, using the Alpha Baseline Questionnaire. Applying Tinto's Student Integration Model, the potential effect of first-year students' perceptions of their academic, general and social competence on their academic persistence potential was then determined. It was found, inter alia, that entry-level university students seem to underestimate time requirements of out-of-class work. Students at a lower level of school performance proved to be over-optimistic about their potential to persist and seemed to be over-confident about their academic self-image compared to school leavers who performed at higher academic levels at school. In areas of general and social self-image this pattern continued. The results of the study are important for school counsellors, teachers in both schooling and higher education, and for academic developers in higher education. Findings indicated the need to prepare school leavers to have more realistic expectations of higher education programmes and to support lower level school achievers more effectively for improved retention rates in higher education.
Author R. MestrySource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 126 –132 (2004)More Less
The Schools Act 84 of 1996 prescribes how a school should manage its funds. It also provides guidelines for the school governing body and the principal on their roles and responsibilities in managing the finances of the school. However, there are school governing bodies and principals that have little knowledge of the contents of the Schools Act or are simply interpreting it incorrectly and this has led to many schools being victims of mismanagement or misappropriation of funds in the form of embezzlement, fraud and theft. Although the Department of Education provides training for school governing bodies in financial management, financial problems in many schools have not abated. The principal or members of the school governing body (SGB) may choose to sweep these financial problems under the carpet for fear of being implicated. In instances where financial problems have been taken up with school districts in the Department of Education, many of these problems remain unresolved. Who is accountable for the school's finances, the principal or the governing body of the school? In the case Schoonbee and others v MEC for Education, Mpumalanga and Another (unreported case No. 33750/01) (T), the issue of accountability was raised. Should the principal or the SGB be held responsible and accountable for the school funds? The decision in this case has far-reaching implications for the various role players in school financial management. This article explores the role functions of the SGB and the principal and determines to what extent these parties are accountable for the financial school management. Guidelines have been developed that will ensure schools are managing their funds effectively and efficiently.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 133 –140 (2004)More Less
The importance of early childhood intervention in a developing country is indisputable, but how should early childhood intervention be structured to ensure desired outcomes for families and children in a country where support resources are limited? In South Africa we need to look further than the traditional way of intervention in order to find approaches that are less expensive and more innovative than what we have. In this regard the asset-based approach may offer some possibilities, because it departs from the deficit/medical model of intervention that relies on extensive resources. The asset-based approach was initially developed for community development, therefore the purpose of this study was to explore the asset-based approach to educational psychological early intervention. An instrumental case study was undertaken in order to investigate what asset-based early intervention would entail and what the methodological and procedural challenges and opportunities would be. Results indicated that the asset-based approach entails an intensive investment of time and that a key factor to its success is sustained relationships with all involved. Assets that were closer to the participant could also be mobilised more easily than those that seated in the wider system. It was evident that the asset-based approach can be utilised effectively as an educational psychological approach in early childhood intervention. Numerous assets were identified and mobilised and the outcome thereof was constructive. However, sustainability remains a challenge.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 141 –147 (2004)More Less
The relationship between the application of self-regulated learning strategies and the academic achievement of tertiary distance learners from a rural area is explored. The literature review indicated a positive relationship between self-regulation, application of learning strategies and academic achievement. The study focused on investigating the differences in the application of self-regulated learning strategies by a group of successful and non-successful distance learners (n=143). An <I>ex post facto</I> design was used and data were statistically analysed by means of factor analyses and multiple regression analyses. It is argued that distance learners, who are successful in their endeavours to complete an academic module, apply more and/or different self-regulated learning strategies than non-successful learners.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 148 –152 (2004)More Less
Although the primary purpose of schools is to educate, it has long been understood that education consists of more than the development of academic skills and the accumulation of knowledge. One of the central purposes of schools in a democratic society is to encourage the critical and independent thinking necessary for effective participation as citizens. Schools have a further duty to teach respect for the rights of all members of society, as spelled out in the preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. An important aspect of education about the rights and duties that underpin citizenship is to learn both the use of, and the appropriate limits upon, freedom of expression essential to a functioning democracy. In this article we look at problems that may arise in connection with written expression by learners in schools, including the publishing of school newspapers and the distribution of unauthorized publications on school premises. It is argued that school authorities should act proactively and develop a prior approval policy for publications that could be construed as representing the viewpoint of the school. However, such procedures may not be overly broad nor overly restrictive. A clear policy should be developed about the disciplinary consequences, for learners as well as school staff, of expression within the school or in the context of school-sponsored activities which are disruptive of the educational mission of the school or violates the norms established by section 16(2) of the Constitution.
Author Corene De WetSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 153 –158 (2004)More Less
The academic successes and failures of learners during their school years are closely linked to the quality of their educators. It is therefore necessary to determine what knowledge and skills the practitioners of this profession should have to effect such a tremendous influence on their clients' lives. A review of the literature serves as theoretical base for the empirical study. In the article I report on the content analysis of short essays of a group of Education students, in which they were required to either pay tribute to educators who played an important role during their school years or denounce educators who they felt should never have entered the profession. From the literature and the content analysis, it appeared that the nature of learner-education relations and the scope of an educator's academic and professional knowledge and skills determined whether a person was a good or unsatisfactory educator.
Values of parents : interpreting results of a survey of parents in terms of contemporary social change and educational policy directionsAuthor Hans Peter MullerSource: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 159 –169 (2004)More Less
A survey of the values of parents of children in a primary school in the Western Cape provided significant although limited empirical material for the discussion of contemporary social change and educational policy in South Africa. The parents surveyed were mostly white, higher middle income class parents, who experienced life and work as very competitive, perceived themselves to be competitive as well, had a high level of satisfaction in their working life, felt themselves to be free and were generally satisfied with life. It was found that these parents give the highest priority to the development of the self-confidence and imagination of their children. This was a consistent pattern in their expectations for home and school formation. This finding is interpreted to be consistent with Ulrich Beck's expectation of value change in Second Modernity. The finding is also interpreted to mean that one could expect a high level of resonance between an education system that is value driven and the priorities of the parents. If parents want children to have a high level of self-esteem and a developed imagination, an education system that is not value driven but rule governed and/or simply performance orientated would be in conflict with their values. However, a closer look at the National Department of Education's specification of a values-driven education revealed an important gap between the motives for the Department's interest in a values-driven education and those of the parents. This gap will have to be bridged if schools in pre-dominantly white middle class areas are to align themselves with the national Department of Education's ideals of value formation in schools.
Source: South African Journal of Education 24, pp 170 –175 (2004)More Less
School violence in South Africa has a long history. Despite the introduction of a new democratic political dispensation in 1994, it appears that violence in schools has not abated. School violence unfortunately impacts negatively on a culture of learning and teaching. In this project, the nature and extent of violence in schools among a sample of learners was investigated. It was found inter alia that school violence has indeed remained a serious problem among these learners and has impacted deleteriously on the culture of teaching and learning in their schools. Two solutions for the eradication of the problem are suggested.