South African Journal of Education - Volume 26, Issue 2, 2006
Volume 26, Issue 2, 2006
Author Roger DeaconSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 177 –187 (2006)More Less
Foucault's concepts, methods and arguments invite us to look as much before as behind and beyond both pragmatic policy formulations and abstract theoretical critiques, in order to investigate the everyday functioning and effects of relations of power, forms of knowledge and ways of relating ethically to oneself and others. Yet, despite a vast scholarship on the work of Foucault, the field of education has been relatively under-represented in terms of full-length studies as envisaged by this research project.
The involvement of teachers in school change : a comparison between the views of school principals in South Africa and nine other countriesSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 189 –198 (2006)More Less
Previous international studies, in which the authors participated, have revealed that involvement of teachers in decision-making and responsibility-taking processes is crucial for their receptiveness towards implementation of current and future educational change. It is also evident that the role and responsibilities of school principals have changed significantly over the last decade or two. An indication was obtained of the views of South African secondary school principals regarding the involvement of their teachers in processes of school change and these were compared to the views of school principals from other countries. The results for the South African sample, as well as those for the other nine countries, showed that there was fairly strong support for the involvement of teachers in most school-change activities. It also appeared that, in comparison to other countries, principals in the South African sample occupied a middle position in all of four clusters of possible activities, as well as for the mean questionnaire score.
Critique of an intervention programme to promote resilience among learners with specific learning difficultiesAuthor Linda TheronSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 199 –214 (2006)More Less
A quasi-experimental study, which focused on inculcating resilience skills in adolescents with specific learning difficulties by means of a group intervention programme, is reported on. The results of the study suggested that adolescents with specific learning difficulties can acquire resilience skills despite obstacle-ridden circumstances, but that the programme requires continued research to be optimally effective.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 215 –228 (2006)More Less
Recent policy on teacher appraisal in Botswana emphasises that the process should be professional, non-threatening and constructive. The extent to which the teachers themselves experience their appraisal as meaningful was investigated. The findings indicated that teachers had varying experiences and mixed feelings about the appraisal process. It emerged that many teachers viewed the current teacher appraisal system in Botswana as demoralising, even threatening. Our study confirmed the thesis that all parties involved in the teacher appraisal process should know its purposes, and should interpret and apply these in a uniform, professional way. The empirical and theoretical findings of our study showed that the current teacher appraisal system as practised in Botswana secondary schools requires further improvement to ensure general professional acceptance and implementation. The interpretation of the research findings cannot be confined to the Botswana borders. There is hardly a country in the world where teacher appraisal is not a contentious issue.
Predictors of learner performance in mathematics and science according to a large-scale study in MpumalangaSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 229 –252 (2006)More Less
Eight hundred and ninety-nine (431 male, 467 female and one missing value) Grade 8 and 9 (n = 184 and 713, respectively, with two missing values) learners from secondary schools in Mpumalanga completed a science and mathematics questionnaire. Student's t tests showed that male and female, as well as language groups' scores, differed significantly. Stepwise non-linear regression shows that a combination of factors contributes significantly to learner, science and mathematics performance (R2 = 25%, 20%, and 11%, respectively).
Factors associated with high school learners' poor performance : a spotlight on mathematics and physical scienceSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 253 –266 (2006)More Less
This study, using a non-experimental, exploratory and descriptive method, established learners' and educators' views about factors that contribute to poor performance in mathematics and physical science. Participants were purposefully selected from seven schools with poor pass rates in District 3 of Tshwane North. Focused group interviews with ten Grade 11 learners from each school were used as a means to collect data. In addition, one-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten educators from the participating schools. Results indicated that two factors were identifiable. The first identified to have a direct influence related to teaching strategies, content knowledge, motivation, laboratory use, and non-completion of the syllabus in a year. The second factor, associated with indirect influences, was attributed to the role played by parents in their children's education, and general language usage together with its understanding in the two subjects. Recommendations as well as suggestions for further research aimed at addressing the identified factors are advanced.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 267 –279 (2006)More Less
The development of a child's language skills is very important for his / her success at school, as well as in his / her later life. Learning problems may arise at school as a result of problems experienced in mastering a language. Such learning problems can cause the child to develop a poor self-image, which in turn may lead to deficient social skills. For this reason, it is very important to monitor the language skills of learners on a continual basis, so that any reading or spelling problems can be identified as early as possible. In the past, reading and spelling tests were developed and standardised for Afrikaans- and English-speaking learners; but as yet, no similar tests have been developed for learners whose mother tongue is an African language. In this study, a reading and spelling test for the Sesotho-speaking learners in the elementary phase was developed and standardised. A Sesotho reading and spelling test was developed, which could be used to determine the reading and spelling skills of Grades 1-3 learners. The test indicated norms per quarter and could be used to identify specific reading and / or spelling problems. The test had high reliability levels. The predictive validity of the test was investigated and was found to be high. Therefore the test could be used meaningfully in the identification of learners with reading and / or spelling problems.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 281 –293 (2006)More Less
Keyboarding as writing apparatus is an essential skill in the technological era and more self-regulated learners perform better in keyboarding than less self-regulated learners. In order to indicate this, students registered at the Faculty of Arts for a compulsory keyboarding and word-processing course completed a questionnaire to identify both more and less self-regulated learners. From the literature it is deduced that keyboarding has become a necessary skill for writing in a technological era. The results of the empirical study indicated that self-regulated learners performed better in keyboard skills tests than less self-regulated learners.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 295 –304 (2006)More Less
After ten years of a democratic education system in South Africa , the demographic realities should be better understood in educational planning. The fragmented nature of the pre-democratic education system has led to undesirable perceptions about quality education and has subsequently influenced the demographic imperatives present in the South African school system of today. Further investigation is needed to understand the complexities of learner numbers and enhanced consideration of the components and elements of the concept of demography in educational planning is necessary.
Author Sakkie PrinslooSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 305 –318 (2006)More Less
After 1994 several pieces of legislation were passed in South Africa to ensure equity in education and equal opportunities for all learners. Some shocking reports have indicated that sexual harassment of girls is a serious problem in many of our schools. These girls are denied equal opportunities and effective education in schools as they are subject to pestering by educators and boys. In addition, they are harassed by the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy and emotional pressure, and they are denied their self-respect. The purpose in this article was to determine the nature and extent of sexual harassment and violence in South African schools and to establish how the rights of female learners to equal opportunities and equal treatment could be promoted and protected.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 319 –332 (2006)More Less
Parental guidance - a task for educational psychologists.
Parental guidance within specific educational settings requires distinct emphasis because of parents' unique needs. In order to guide and assist white Afrikaans-speaking Christian parents effectively, it is necessary, firstly, to determine the nature and content of such intervention. This is possible only if the parents' needs regarding the education of their children are known. For this reason, white Afrikaans-speaking Christian parents' needs regarding general educational matters and their need for Christian-based parental guidance on the spiritual education of their children were investigated, with the aim of determining the impact their needs may have in respect of the practice of educational psychology. The data collected indicated that white Afrikaans-speaking Christian parents have a very strong need for guidance regarding the discipline and spiritual education of, and communication with, their children, whilst they appear to have little need for guidance concerning political issues. These findings necessitate that educational psychologists note these parents' strong, weak or divergent parental guidance needs. Educational psychologists should also consider, from the perspective of their field of speciality, which educational matters should be addressed during intervention with these parents, even though these matters are not specifically indicated by the parents as a particular need (such as the political issues). Furthermore, in the event that educational psychologists are not (or do not feel themselves) able to assist these parents on a spiritual level, they should refer them to a Christian counsellor.