South African Journal of Education - Volume 26, Issue 3, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 26, Issue 3, 2006
Author Nico BothaSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 341 –353 (2006)More Less
According to the literature on school-based management, there are two clear schools of thought on this issue. One school views school-based management as a positive and successful vehicle of school improvement. The other argues that it has been minimally successful in school improvement. The leadership role of the school principal is widely regarded as the primary factor contributing to a successful relationship between school-based management and school improvement and is therefore an essential dimension of successful school-based management. This article, derived from a qualitative case study undertaken among a number of divergent secondary schools in Gauteng province, is an attempt to conceptualise the important and pivotal leadership role of the school principal in ensuring school improvement via effective school-based management in South African schools.
Author Sakkie PrinslooSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 355 –368 (2006)More Less
The establishment of school governing bodies represents a significant decentralisation of power in the South African school system. Whilst such decentralisation could well be expected to mean an increase in democratic participation in the governance of schools, this is not necessarily the case. The State, its functionaries, and organs of the State have been endeavouring to assert themselves to an increasing extent by limiting or interfering in the real authority that can be exercised by school-level governance structures. Since 1996 parents have had no other option but to appeal to the court, in cases where provincial heads of education departments and their officials have taken illegal actions against schools, or where officials have failed to carry out their duties towards schools. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the rights of parents, to have a say in the governance of a public school, are being violated by interference of the State or by officials who jeopardise the smooth functioning of schools by failing to carry out their duties.
Author Brahm FleischSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 369 –382 (2006)More Less
The Education Action Zone program me in Gauteng province, South Africa, has been widely seen as a very successful school improvement initiative, with particular significance as it represents a unique model of top-down, bureaucratic accountability as a vehicle for turning-around dysfunctional secondary schools. In this article I evaluate the impact of the initiative through an analysis of the senior secondary examination results for 1999 -20 02, in the 70 schools involved in the programme. It was found that the EAZ schools made significant gains in the overall pass rate, university pass rates, number of 'A' symbols, and average mark. The results of comparative analysis confirmed the overall success of the programme. However an alternative explanation raised questions about the mechanisms of improvement by uncovering a relationship between gains in examination results and learner exclusion.
The effectiveness of mentoring in the Distance Teacher Education Programme at the Lesotho College of Education : student teachers' and tutors' perceptionsSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 383 –396 (2006)More Less
In response to the need for more qualified primary school teachers in Lesotho, the Lesotho College of Education (LCE) introduced the Distance Teacher Education Programme (DTEP), an in-service training programme for unqualified and underqualified teachers. As part of the curriculum in this programme, the more than 1 200 student teachers who were enrolled needed to be supported and mentored, but were served by only 16 tutors in six different regions. As one of the tutors and mentors in the DTEP, the researcher (LM-M) undertook a qualitative perception survey through focus group discussions with student teachers and tutors in the DTEP. The researcher was able to evaluate the mentoring system in the DTEP according to the functions of effective mentoring, as identified in a literature review. The strengths and weaknesses identified in the survey are highlighted and recommendations are made for different stakeholders on how the mentoring system can be improved.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 397 –412 (2006)More Less
We report on a study aimed at understanding adolescence as a period of heightened vulnerability, and investigate Life Orientation as a possible means of addressing the risk associated with adolescence. However, if Life Orientation is to be an effective solution to the problem, it needs to respond to Life Orientation needs as perceived by adolescents. An empirical study (n = 445) was conducted to survey the specific Life Orientation needs of Grade 9 learners in the Vaal Triangle region. The study aimed to consult with Grade 9 learners in order to determine and rank their specific Life Orientation needs, thus providing insight as to whether the Life Orientation needs of Grade 9 learners differ according to gender and race, and to examine whether these needs are met by the current Life Orientation programme.
Author Charlotte PietersenSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 413 –426 (2006)More Less
A pre-test post-test correlated groups design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the Shuttleworth / Rotary Number Skills Development Programme to enhance the numeracy of Grade 2 learners (N = 1 69) from five primary schools (a private school, a school of auditory impaired learners, and three rural schools). An unstructured questionnaire was employed to obtain teachers' views about the program (n = 5). The findings of the study showed that the programme was effective in developing the numeracy of the total sample, and of learners from the different types of schools. It was concluded that the use of concrete educational material should be central in the teaching of number skills in Grade 2. The teachers also indicated that the programme was beneficial to learners and to themselves. However differences in the improvement of the numeracy scores of the five classes were found (possibly due to difference in instructional quality). Therefore, it is recommended that teachers should be trained in the use of educational equipment and also to create an optimal learning environment. Further research, with more representative samples, is required to verify the effectiveness of (and broaden) the application of the programme, and to explore teacher-related variables that could limit numeracy development in learners.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 427 –441 (2006)More Less
The major aim of teacher appraisal is to develop teachers in order to improve their delivery in schools. The effectiveness o f the process of teacher appraisal is, however, dependent on the perceptions of the teachers themselves. Since the expansion of the education system of Botswana in the 1970s and 1980s, as a result of the cardinal reforms, there has been concern about quality. One of the quality assurance measures introduced was teacher appraisal. The current teacher appraisal scheme in Botswana was introduced in 1992 as a non-threatening, valid, and extensive system to develop the individual and the school.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 443 –456 (2006)More Less
The aim in this study was to develop a way of identifying resilient and non-resilient middle-adolescents in a formerly black-only urban residential (township) school, in order to ultimately support the development of learners' resilience under stressful circumstances. A Resilience Scale was developed to screen for resilient and non-resilient learners by means of self-evaluation. A Learning Behaviour Scale was developed to examine the ability of the teachers to reliably recognise learners' resilient and non-resilient academic and social behaviours. As a control, in-depth interviews were conducted, to evaluate the construct validity of results on the two scales qualitatively and to identify themes signifying resilience and non-resilience in the coping behaviour of middle-adolescents in a township school. The participants were 190 learners in Grade 8 and 9 who all completed the Resilience Scale, 12 learners selected on the basis of their Resilience Scale scores who were interviewed, and eight curricular teachers who completed the Learning Behaviour Scale in respect o f the 12 selected learners. All the items of the Resilience Scale proved statistically reliable. However, the interview data profile differed from the Resilience Scale profile in the lower range, suggesting that the scale failed to reliably reflect non-resilience in the context of a formerly black-only urban school. The results on the Learning Behaviour Scale differed from both learner-based data sets, suggesting that the teachers were wholly unable to identify resilience and non-resilience in their learners.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 457 –467 (2006)More Less
In this article we argue that the asset-based approach is one explanation for sustain ability in programmes supporting vulnerable children. We structure our argument by formulating five questions and then pursuing tentative answers to them. We start our contention by highlighting the particularity of the challenges faced in schools to support vulnerable children. We then consider the common denominators in programmes that have shown evidence of sustainable practices for supporting vulnerable children. This is followed by a deliberated link of the identified sustainability factors (e.g. common denominators) with the asset-based approach as a theoretical framework. Subsequently, we consider why the asset-based approach can be considered in terms of supporting vulnerable children in education. We indicate the similarities between the asset-based approach and current discourses focusing on the notion of schools as nodes of support and care. We conclude by suggesting that knowledge of asset-based good practices could be shared with families in school-based sessions, thereby developing schools', families' and communities' capacity to support vulnerable children.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 469 –482 (2006)More Less
The intrapersonal learner's experience of co-operative learning and group work.
We report on research done on how learners with a preference for the intrapersonal learning style experience group work. We expand on Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Observation of group work in Afrikaans Methodology classes at the University of Pretoria revealed that these learners tended to experience co-operative learning and group work negatively. The observations were followed up by interviews with the participants. The researchers found that the participants withdrew from collaborative learning environments and they indicated both verbally and non-verbally that group work irritated them. They preferred to complete their assignments alone and disliked the interdependence a collaborative learning situation forced on them. We conclude with the recommendation that group work should be used with care and an understanding of differences in learning styles by teachers and lecturers.