South African Journal of Education - Volume 26, Issue 4, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 26, Issue 4, 2006
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 491 –499 (2006)More Less
In this article we report on a study on the effects of adoption on the school performance of birth-mothers (adolescent mothers who choose to have their babies adopted) who return to school following adoption. The study focused on the experience of five white adolescent birthmothers. Factors impacting on school performance were identified in a literature study and correlated with information received from the birth-mothers using phenomenological interviews. The study aimed at providing an in-depth understanding of the factors that impacted negatively on the birth-mothers' school performance in order to ultimately develop guidelines for helping birth-mothers cope better when returning to school.
The relevance of indigenous technology in Curriculum 2005 / RNCS with special reference to the Technology Learning AreaSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 501 –513 (2006)More Less
In this article it is argued that indigenous technology with its long history cannot be ignored and should be assigned a more prominent place in the Technology Learning Area (TLA) within Curriculum 2005 / RNCS Grades R - 9. The argument is based on the findings of a study in which the relevance of indigenous technology in the TLA curriculum was investigated. The findings not only pointed to the long history of indigenous technology, but also evidenced the continued use of such technology among indigenous people, especially in the rural contexts. The findings in the study are suggestive of an enhanced recognition of indigenous technology in the TLA curriculum. Therefore, informed by the findings, the authors pose certain recommendations pertaining to the TLA curriculum. The article has as secondary purpose creation of awareness of, and sensitivity for, the cultural heritage of indigenous people in South Africa and context-specific community needs which can be recognised and addressed in learning areas such as the TLA.
Professionalisation as a social regularity : the policy process in South Africa's Natural Science curriculumSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 515 –528 (2006)More Less
Curriculum 2005 (C2005) in 1997 and the Revised National Curriculum Statements (RNCS) in 2002 have been two major curriculum policy developments in South Africa. In this study, our aim was to unravel the processes by which they developed as they did, and determine how these policy processes are best researched and understood. In this article we use the concept of professionalisation to analyse the policy process for the two reform periods. In addition we attempt to show how professionalisation acts as a social regularity: professionals brought in to write the policy documents for the two reform periods, through their socialization into the profession, have in many ways worked towards the maintenance of a particular social order, rather than changing the social order. This is evident especially in the concept of 'scientific literacy' that emerged, which is strongly consistent with similar policies in developed countries, even though conditions in South Africa are unique.
The partnership of parents, educators and principals in creating a culture of teaching and learning in schoolsSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 529 –539 (2006)More Less
We investigated the partnership of parents, educators, and principals in creating a culture of teaching and learning in schools. To this end, a Culture of Learning and Teaching Partnership Scale (COLTPS) and Factors Contributing to the Decline of a Culture of Learning and Teaching Scale (FCDCOLTS) were used. The findings indicated that parents, educators, and principals, as a group, differed significantly in the extent to which they perceived the partnership role they play in creating a culture of teaching and learning in schools. The findings also indicated that parents, educators, and principals, as a group, differed significantly in the extent to which they perceived the factors that contribute to the decline of a culture of teaching and learning in schools. The findings indicated further that the nature of a stakeholder had a significant influence on parents', educators', and principals' perceptions of the partnership role they play in creating a culture of teaching and learning in schools. Suggestions are made for measures to improve a culture of teaching and learning in schools.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 541 –551 (2006)More Less
The objective in this study was to investigate its structure and validate the Maslach Burnout Inventory for educators in the Goldfields region of the northern Free State province of South Africa. A cross-sectional survey design was used, where a sample of educators was drawn from the total population (N=468). An adapted version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory and a biographical questionnaire were administered. Exploratory factor analysis with target rotations confirmed construct equivalence of burnout dimensions for an Afrikaans and English subgroup and an African Languages subgroup. Burnout is described as consisting of exhaustion, cynicism, depersonalisation, and professional efficacy. However, the depersonalisation construct showed better fit across language groups than the cynicism construct. Item bias analysis was carried out for the cynicism items. For biographical differences, it was found that union membership presented an important distinction in educators ' experience of burnout.
Source: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 553 –564 (2006)More Less
We investigated the trustworthiness of qualitative data elicited during cross-cultural interviews and problematised data generation as a vital contributor in cross-cultural data collection. An Interview Process Model was adapted from the Response Process Model of Miller and Cannell, and used to understand how responses might be elicited differently in a cross-cultural interviewing situation than during mono-cultural interviewing, and specifically which data would be generated for collection and ultimately for analysis and interpretation. In this study, the concept 'cross-culture' was focused on three dimensions and / or discourses, namely, race, gender, and language. The two researchers were of different race, gender, and language, and were therefore assumed on occasion to evoke different perceptions and responses from interviewees, influencing the data offered for collection. An interview protocol was devised to distinguish a cross-cultural interview from a mono-cultural interview. The findings are discussed with caution and further reverse study is recommended.
Author Mgadla XabaSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 565 –580 (2006)More Less
Safety at schools is beginning to receive attention in South Africa as articulated in various media reports. Schools as sites of teaching and learning can deliver their educational mandate only in safe and secure conditions, free from injuries, crime, and violence. Basic school safety and security features are therefore essential at schools. I argue for the safety and security of the school's physical environment as a sine qua non and a starting point for overall school safety. Because reported incidents of injuries, crime, and violence seem most prevalent in township schools, I investigated the safety status of their physical environments. This was done through the phenomenological observation of their physical environments. It was found that school environments displayed some measure of basic safety, though there was a need to focus more on features like ensuring proper maintenance and surveillance systems, as well as on functional safety and security systems and procedures. An important finding related to the lack of conscious efforts aimed at creating safe and secure environments. It is recommended that schools focus on the basic safety and security of their physical environments, inter alia, purposefully planned school-based maintenance, surveillance and collaboration with stakeholders, including outside agencies like law -enforcement.
Typical career dilemmas of academic staff during the early career phase within a changing South African higher education institutionSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 581 –594 (2006)More Less
Job satisfaction is of great importance for any organization, including higher education institutions, as it impacts on productivity. Higher education institutions need to identify, and familiarize themselves with, the career dilemmas of their employees. Then they can more effectively introduce mechanisms to support and assist academic staff to manage these dilemmas effectively. Our objective was to determine the career dilemmas of academic staff during the early career stage within a changing South African higher education institution. The data were obtained by means of the Delphi technique in order to cater for the specific and unique individual dilemmas. Respondents were randomly divided into four panels according to gender and race. A response rate of 88% to 100% was obtained from the panel members during the respective rounds. The most prominent career dilemmas that were identified included performance management and promotion; role overload and role conflict; financial remuneration; support regarding research and teaching; discrimination; and certain management matters.
Empowerment perceptions of educational managers from previously disadvantaged primary and high schools : an explorative studySource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 595 –607 (2006)More Less
The perceptions of educational managers from previously disadvantaged primary and high schools in the Nelson Mandela Metropole regarding the issue of empowerment are outlined and the perceptions of educational managers in terms of various aspects of empowerment at different levels reflected. A literature study, including an internet-based search, and empirical research were undertaken. In the empirical study, a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 135 educational managers in the Nelson Mandela Metropole. To investigate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables, 12 null hypotheses were tested by means of statistical methods such as analysis of variance and correlation coefficients. The empirical results revealed highly significant relationships or differences between the variables. It is recommended that empowerment should be carefully managed and not used as a quick-fix solution to solve the problems in education. Empowerment should filter down through the school system from department level to the level of individual learner. Practical guidelines are provided and educational policy implications highlighted for implementation of empowerment in schools.
The relationship between leadership practices and organisational culture : an education management perspectiveSource: South African Journal of Education 26, pp 609 –624 (2006)More Less
The relationship between leadership practice of the principal and school culture was investigated and recommendations on the skills principals need to establish a school culture conducive to teaching and learning are provided. Two standardised questionnaires were used to measure the existing leadership practices and organisational culture in 30 schools. Correlations between leadership practices and school cultures were determined by means of linear regressions and portrayed by scatter plots. It was found that each of the leadership practices tested was positively related to either of the two main elements of organisational culture : sociability or solidarity. The findings provided a sound basis for the appointment of principals able to cultivate a positive school culture.