South African Journal of Education - Volume 25, Issue 2, 2005
Volumes & issues
Volume 25, Issue 2, 2005
Source: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 61 –68 (2005)More Less
Graphing software and graphics calculators are widely used in most of the world's larger economies to facilitate students' development of conceptual understanding of mathematical function analysis. This has proved to be an extremely effective vehicle in making complex mathematics more accessible to the majority of learners. In contrast, its use in South Africa has been limited. Possible reasons may be the cost of graphics calculators, limited availability of supporting study material, and teachers who lack the necessary skills and confidence. At the School of Teacher Training, University of Pretoria, the Master Grapher for Windows was introduced by way of a pilot study in an effort to adapt the training of mathematics teachers-in-training to meet the specific needs of these students. The experiences of five students were monitored. The aim is to enhance and facilitate trainee-teachers' understanding of mathematics, but also to equip them to develop learner-centred, group-based learning experiences in future teaching situations. Action research was implemented to develop the course.
The development 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 25, pp 69 –76 (2005)More Less
The second phase, the 'development phase' (January to December 2003), of an ongoing research project on policy implementation with specific reference to Grade 9 of the Human and Social Sciences (HSS) learning area of C2005 is described. More specifically, a journey, in which nine History and Geography teachers at two independent schools and one university lecturer, working collaboratively as an HSS research team, navigated their way through the national curriculum and assessment policy arena, pushed the boundaries of their own practice as reflexive practitioners, and implemented the first national application of the new General Education and Training Certificate (GETC), is outlined. The article consists of three sections. The first outlines and offers critical commentary on the national policy context in which the research was located, and in which all South African educators currently work. Drawing on national and international literature, it illuminates a number of issues pertinent to national policy enactment. The second section describes the Development Phase. It outlines two areas of curriculum innovation at the two schools, namely enquiry-based learning and the development of a learning process 'map', before honing in on Grade 9 CASS. Section three describes the implementation at the two schools of the HSS Common Tasks for Assessment (CTA) in October/November 2003. The conclusion synthesises the narrative.
Accountability and school obligation : a case study of society's expectations of the schools curriculum in ZimbabweSource: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 77 –81 (2005)More Less
The expectations of society on the contribution of the school, through its curriculum, to social development and the justification for such expectations vis-a-vis the availability of the prerequisites for the proper implementation of the curriculum are examined. Professional expertise, financial and material resources and decision-making power are argued to be fundamental prerequisites for accountability. The article reports on the findings of a mini-study carried out in Harare, Zimbabwe, on the expectations of the parents and teachers on the role of the school and its accountability to various stakeholders. It was concluded that there are serious constraints which make it difficult for schools to carry out their operations as intended. It is argued that these constraints have to be taken into consideration when schools are criticised for failing to meet their expected goals. The authors' observations on the Zimbabwe school curriculum are discussed and suggestions on how it could be made more relevant to the needs of the society are presented.
Author Corene De WetSource: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 82 –88 (2005)More Less
Bullying infringes upon the child's right to human dignity, privacy, freedom, and security. It also has a negative influence on both the victim's and the bully's physical, emotional, social, and educational wellbeing. However, every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse, or degradation. Against this background a research project was conducted to investigate the experiences of a group of Free State learners who were victims, aggressors as well as spectators and listeners of bullying. The research instrument was the Delaware Bullying questionnaire. This article reports on the investigation against the background of a literature review. It was clear from the investigation that bullying is a problem at most schools in the Free State, to a lesser or greater extent. Only 16.22% of the learner respondents indicated that bullying was not a problem at their respective schools. Although the majority of respondents had been very rarely, if ever, victims of and/or aggressors in bullying situations, many of them had witnessed incidents of verbal bullying, in particular. It was also evident that boys more often than girls are/were the victims and/or aggressors in bullying situations.
The impact of previous knowledge and experience on the entrepreneurial attitudes of Grade 12 learnersSource: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 89 –94 (2005)More Less
According to the 2003 edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (a report which examines the relation of a country's economic growth to the level of entrepreneurial activity), South Africa has a poorly developed entrepreneurial culture, characterized by a shortage of entrepreneurs and negative attitudes towards pursuing entrepreneurial careers. Against the background of the country's worsening unemployment problem and the need for economic development, a stronger entrepreneurial culture, that produces more entrepreneurs, businesses and employment opportunities to contribute to economic growth than at present, is critical. Entrepreneurship education can contribute to the development of a stronger entrepreneurial culture. In this regard the outcome of the learning area, Economic and Management Sciences (EMS), as part of the Revised National Curriculum Statement (Grades R-9) requiring that the learner be able to demonstrate entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and attitudes should support the development of a stronger entrepreneurial culture. This research examined the impact of relevant previous knowledge and experience of Grade 12 learners on their entrepreneurial attitudes. Although these learners had not been exposed to Curriculum 2005, their training in commercial subjects as well as previous business-related experience appear to have created a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, as 65% of the respondents indicated that they would like to start their own business one day.
Source: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 95 –99 (2005)More Less
Traditionally, teachers try to promote reading by bringing texts on topics they feel are interesting to learners into the classroom, such as stories about young people, biographies of pop-stars, or books about sports or sporting personalities. We argue that such attempts by teachers to simulate middle class home based reading practices in working class schools are not effective in building a reading culture among young learners. The mismatch between learners' home and school cultures inhibits this. Our study of working class children's literate actions and interactions in a school context indicated that reading practices are more likely to be supported through school-based activities. This involves a re-conceptualisation of a reading culture developing out of academic subjects and their related activities, rather than as developing out of home-based activities. Our research indicated that, for working class children, reading occurs more "naturally" in the context of the academic subjects which they study at school, rather than in areas traditionally associated with learners' out-of-school interests. As reading is associated with academic success more generally, we propose that integrating supplementary reading activities into mainstream academic subjects, particularly where mainstream subjects are interesting to learners, is effective in the promotion of reading at school.
Source: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 100 –108 (2005)More Less
The objectives in this study were to determine the psychometric properties of an adapted version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory ( General Survey (MBI-GS) for South African educators in different language groups and to determine the differences between burnout in different demographic groups. A cross-sectional survey design was used. Stratified random samples (N = 1 170) of educators in the North West Province in South Africa were taken. An adapted version of the MBI-GS and a biographical questionnaire were administered. Structural equation modelling confirmed a three-factor model of burnout, consisting of Exhaustion, Mental Distance, and Professional Efficacy. All three factors showed acceptable internal consistencies and construct equivalence for two language groups. The results showed that practically significant differences exist between aspects of burnout in demographic groups.
Source: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 109 –114 (2005)More Less
The different ways in which student teacher learning was organised and managed as part of the Level 6 Learnership for Educators in Schooling are described. Three primary schools working in 2003 with the Cape Technikon were chosen for the study. Lave and Wenger's notion of situated learning is used as the conceptual framework for describing the purpose of a learnership. The article focuses on the spatial and temporal organisation of this learnership, the knowledge and practices that are privileged in each school, how these repertoires are made available to student teachers and how the student teachers are assessed. Some points for further exploration are raised, in particular around the selection of schools, the roles and responsibilities of mentors, and models of partnership.
Source: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 115 –119 (2005)More Less
Validity is one of the traditional touchstones of assessment practices. However, the definition of validity has evolved over time along with changes in assessment practices. Killen argues that the common view at present that a test is valid when it measures what it is intended to measure provides a necessary, but insufficient basis for considering validity. He proposes that it might be more pertinent to focus on evidence from which valid inferences can be made about learning. We accept Killen's argument but wish to extend his ideas by looking at how validity has been (re)conceptualized in discourses on educational research and to explore how insights gained from this work apply to assessment practices. We examine how triangulation, face validity, catalytic validity, and rhizomatic validity could broaden our thinking about assessment and enhance assessment practices
Source: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 120 –126 (2005)More Less
A narrative on the stress and coping of an educator in inclusive education. Several studies explore the stress and coping skills of teachers in inclusive education, both nationally and internationally. Even though these studies often combine qualitative methods in their research design, the narratives of the educators who are involved in inclusive education often get compartmentalized during the data analysis process as the themes start to emerge. In this study we endeavored to explore a singular narrative of an educator in inclusive education, in order to serve the purpose of an individualized and nuanced interpretation of the data and the opportunity to give a voice and identity to an educator as she shared her narrative of stress and coping in an inclusive classroom. Data were collected by means of diary entries, an open-ended interview and electronic communication. The data were then considered in terms of the characters, context, conflicts, actions, plots and the solution to problems. They were then used to re-tell the narrative along three dimensions: interactions, continuity, and situations. In post-foundational times we search for formats in which knowledge can be presented differently, in order to contribute to different knowledge. This article forms part of this search.
Author Susara J. BerkhoutSource: South African Journal of Education 25, pp 127 –131 (2005)More Less
On imagination and performance in education policy. I explore some of the ambiguities and contradictions in conceptualising education policy. The contradiction between imagination and performance forms the basis for thinking about the power of education policy to shape transformation. I argue that, contrary to my initial allurement to the critical power of imagination, the power of education policy to transform should be sought in allowing the multiplicity of performances to challenge our historically imbued imagination. An analysis from a poststructural perspective of the conceptualisation of policy text as an imagination of the future reveals the ambivalence of this notion. If 'our' imagination is the outcome of a temporal spatial linked identity - a collective socio-political imaginaire reproduced in our discursive practices - how can it contradict, be creative and transcend ongoing discourses? If 'our' imagination is regulated by the unarticulated rules of a dominant discourse and particular embodiments thereof, how will that enable reconstituting the future? My initial resistance to the critical power of the notion of performance as historically embedded habitual patterns of action or as homogenised global performance is, however, contradicted by my experience as comparative educationist with the myriad of alternative responses to similar global challenges. Only in our sensitivity to difference will we allow performance voice beyond the meaning determined by a 'standardised gaze', beyond the boundaries of 'our' stereotyped meaning and the powerful imaginary of the market.