South African Journal of Education - Volume 27, Issue 1, 2007
Volume 27, Issue 1, 2007
Communication of psycho-educational assessment results : remedial teachers' reading of assessment reportsSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 1 –18 (2007)More Less
Psychological methods of assessing intelligence have been criticised because of their limited diagnostic-remedial nature and especially their lack of potential for initiating effective and pragmatic intervention programmes. Similarly, the means through which the results of such methods are communicated in order to make them useful and constructive can be debated . In this research we aimed to establish the value of psycho-educational assessment reports in terms of the understanding and interpretation of the reports by the irrecipients, specifically remedial teachers, who participated in focus group discussions and offered their opinion on the utility of psycho-educational assessment reports. The outcomes of these focus group discussions pointed to the fact that psycho-educational assessment reports were problematic in the sense that they failed to provide useful, specific, and pragmatic information for learning support programmes to be developed from. The research revealed insights which may be of interest to psychologists writing assessment reports. Suggestions for multi-disciplinary collaboration are addressed.
Author Gary KotzeSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 19 –35 (2007)More Less
In this investigation I focused o n a process of activities of a particular group of teachers and learners. Basic skills in mastering mathematical concepts were addressed. The focus was on concept formation in the geometry classroom. The methodology involved an educational case study as a form of inquiry to investigate spatial sense. Evidence was obtained regarding mathematics teachers' and mathematics learners' knowledge of space and shape. Problems experienced in concept formation in geometry were investigated and analysed. An account is provided of how teachers and learners responded to problems related to space and shape. Information about the mathematical performance of a group of mathematics teachers and mathematics learners is organised, interpreted, and evaluated.
Author Mary GrosserSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 37 –52 (2007)More Less
The quest for effective teaching remains a demanding, complex and daunting task. In spite of the wealth of research evidence on the nature of effective and ineffective teaching, there are still problems about spelling out what effective teaching really is. Most research efforts aim at investigating teacher effectiveness by probing the following dimensions: special characteristics of the teacher, which include cognitive dimensions, personality dimensions, perceptions of self and others, instructional procedures and interaction styles. An important aspect emanating from the last is the fa ct that teachers are the ones who contribute most to the educational enterprise and therefore need to ensure that the learner is engaged appropriately with the instructional material. In th is regard, it is important that teachers are able to link teaching to learning functions in order to facilitate the optimal realization of learning outcomes. In this study the extent to which teaching assists the development of learning functions was examined by means of a quantitative research project. The findings indicated that, at present, teachers did not link their teaching to learning functions. Recommendations are made to improve the situation.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 53 –67 (2007)More Less
The central argument is that in the presentation of workshops for teachers, presenters should focus on the principles underlying continuous professional development (CPD), since teachers are likely to be more willing to attend workshops if they are worth the time spent and the sacrifices made. In a workshop, on supporting learners with learning difficulties, such principles were therefore applied. A hands-on presentation was used to ensure that the teachers fully understood the use of the suggested teaching methods. The teachers were then asked to complete a questionnaire to determine their perceptions of how they had experienced the workshop. The questionnaire focused on the various CPD principles applied in the workshop, as well as the personal value and expected effect of the workshop on their teaching approach. In general, the teachers reported that regardless of their teaching position, qualifications, gender, or age they had experienced the CPD workshop positively.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 69 –82 (2007)More Less
The majority of learners in southern Africa receive their education through the medium of a second language, English. Although teachers of English play a crucial role in helping learners to acquire language skills in the medium of instruction, we argue that subject content teachers' lack of attention to the teaching of the four language skills may be a raison d'être for learners' lack of academic achievement. A situation analysis conducted among three study populations examined the extent to which subject content teachers took responsibility for the teaching of language skills in the content classroom, as well as possible reasons for not doing so. It also shed some light on the amount of language teaching that actually took place in a content classroom. The aim of the situation analysis was to determine whether there was a need for a specialised training course for English second language medium of instruction teachers.
Author Susette BrynardSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 83 –100 (2007)More Less
Despite current legislation which makes provision for collaboration between the public school sector and home schooling, it appears that much can still be done to move towards a closer partnership. Consequently I investigated the possibilities of such a liaison. A literature review on the nature of home schooling in general was conducted as background to a qualitative investigation on the views of parents, educators and other role players of home schooling within the South African context. The findings showed that home schooling was an open learning educational system which provided opportunities to those learners who wished to participate, irrespective of the possible disadvantages. In conclusion it was found that co-operation between the education authorities and home schoolers was in the best interests of the individual's right to learn, and a symbiotic relationship between the two could benefit both of them.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 101 –115 (2007)More Less
The changes in post-apartheid South Africa have been accompanied by considerable changes in the education system. The most notable include desegregation of schools, development of a National Qualifications Framework, adoption of new language policies for education, and introduction of outcomes-based curricula. However entrenched assessment practices appear to be hampering the efforts to transform school education. An analysis of the assessment practices of three Grade 4 educators in multilingual classrooms revealed that the educators were unable or unwilling to adapt their assessment practices to the changing demands of South African school education.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 117 –137 (2007)More Less
It is a well-acknowledged fact that the role of women in society has been changing worldwide over recent decades and South Africa has not been exempt from this trend. Dramatic changes - politically, socially, economically and educationally - have occurred in South Africa since its first democratic, non-racial elections in 1994, which have affected the lives of all citizens. These changes have had major implications for South African women, also regarding their identities. This necessitates a re-evaluation o f the prior conceptualisation of identity among women, an issue which has moved from the periphery of academic discourse to the centre. The objective in this research was to explore and describe the career identities of a group of first-year female coloured students in post-apartheid South Africa. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual research design was implemented. Using purposive sampling, data were collected during six focus group interviews with the students. The findings of the study are presented under four central themes which emerged, namely, the participants' perspectives on career issues; self-knowledge; factors influencing career identities and career choices; and concerns regarding career development. Finally, recommendations are presented in this regard.
The evaluation of an intervention programme for reception learners who experience barriers to learning and developmentSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 139 –154 (2007)More Less
It is believed that learners who experience barriers to learning and development are at risk for formal education and that stimulation can off set these barriers,ensuring that learners are able to actualise their potential. An intervention programme was designed with the aim of improving abilities in learners whohad not yet attained the learning outcomes in th e areas of fine-motor and / or language development. Although many research studies support educational intervention, to date insufficient attention has been paid to researching programmes of this kind. This programme of intervention was effective in improving the Eye and Hand Co-ordination and Personal-Social subscales of the Griffiths Scales and the Draw-a-Person test score s of all the learners who experienced barriers in their fine-motor and/or language development. In male learners,improved scores on the Eye and Hand Co-ordination and Hearing and Speech subscales of the Griffiths Scales and the Draw-a-Person test were shown. The female learners improved on the Eye and Hand Co-ordination subscale of the Griffiths Scales and the Draw-a-Person test.
Implementation of life orientation programmes in the new curriculum in South African schools : perceptions of principals and life orientation teachersAuthor Erna PrinslooSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 155 –170 (2007)More Less
The curriculum of the Life Orientation (LO ) learning area forms an excellent basis for equipping learners to respond positively to social demands, assume responsibilities, and optimise their life chances. I report on a qualitative study that focused on the extent to which schools and LO teachers succeeded in achieving the outcomes of the programmes. Teachers' views regarding their training and skills in this area were investigated and factors that determined successful implementation were probed. Data were gathered through semi-structured questionnaires and interviews with principals and LO teachers from 12 secondary schools in four provinces in South Africa. Principals identified the problems they experienced in establishing the necessary climate and structures for the implementation of Life Orientation in their schools and teachers described the barriers they had struggled to overcome. The findings emphasised key challenges in achieving successful implementation of the LO programmes in schools.