South African Journal of Education - Volume 28, Issue 3, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 28, Issue 3, 2008
Education sciences, schooling, and abjection : recognizing difference and the making of inequality? : research in education : trends and innovationsAuthor Thomas PopkewitzSource: South African Journal of Education 28, pp 301 –319 (2008)More Less
Schooling in North America and northern Europe embodies salvation themes. The themes are (re)visions of Enlightenments' projects about the cosmopolitan citizen and scientific progress. The emancipatory principles, however, were never merely about freedom and inclusion. A comparative system of reason was inscribed as gestures of hope and fear. The hope was of the child who would be the future cosmopolitan citizen; the fears were of the dangers and dangerous people to that future. The double gestures continue in contemporary school reform and its sciences. American progressive education sciences at the turn of the 20th century and contemporary school reform research are examined to understand their different cultural theses about cosmopolitan modes of life and the child cast out as different and abjected. Today's cosmopolitanism, different from that in the past, generates principles about the lifelong learner and its cosmopolitan hope of inclusion. The inclusionary impulse is expressed in the phrase "all children can learn". The child who stands outside of the unity of "all children" is disadvantaged and urban. School subject research in music at the turn of the 20th century and today's mathematics education are exemplars of the inscriptions of hope and fears in the sciences of education. The method of study is a history of the present. It is a strategy of resistance and counter praxis by making visible what is assumed as natural and inevitable in schooling.
Source: South African Journal of Education 28 (2008)More Less
The "movement" of mixed methods research and the role of educators : research in education : trends and innovationsSource: South African Journal of Education 28, pp 321 –333 (2008)More Less
The landscape of research is continually evolving, enabling researchers to study increasingly complex phenomena. Educational researchers have propelled much of this forward progress and have developed novel methodologies to provide increasingly sound and complete evidence. Mixed methods research has emerged alongside quantitative and qualitative approaches as an important tool for researchers. In this article our overall aim is to better acquaint educational scholars with the mixed methods field by articulating the development of the mixed methods field and by citing current trends and issues. The role of educational researchers in the evolution of mixed methods research is highlighted. The early and ongoing dialogue of mixed methods research is multidisciplinary in nature with current writings across fields. The current debate over key aspects of mixed methods research is now in progress and is ripe for future contributions. Even the very nature of what constitutes mixed methods research is being discussed among scholars. Understanding and advancing the mixed methods field is an important goal for methodologists and researchers. With the increased interest and enthusiasm for mixed methods research, it is likely that the dialogue surrounding mixed methods approaches will thrive, continuing the movement of the field.
Author Noel GoughSource: South African Journal of Education 28, pp 335 –349 (2008)More Less
In this semi-autobiographical essay I explore the representation and performance of imaginative inquiry practices in educational inquiry and other disciplines, with particular reference to 'thought experiments' in the natural sciences and comparable practices in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. I share a number of experiences of writing as a mode of educational inquiry, with particular reference to narrative experiments inspired by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's figuration of the rhizome - a process characterised as rhizosemiotic play - and demonstrate the generativity of intertextual readings of selected fictions in catalysing them.
The significance of 'I' in educational research and the responsibility of intellectuals : research in education : trends and innovationsAuthor Jean McNiffSource: South African Journal of Education 28, pp 351 –364 (2008)More Less
In this paper I call for an unequivocal legitimisation of the living 'I' in educational research. The paper itself becomes a context that explains this call. It is a report of my action research into my professional learning through working in South Africa, within the context of new policy frameworks for continuing teacher development. The call embeds issues about the need for higher education practitioners to produce their explanatory accounts of practice as they support teachers' enquiries for improving practice and knowledge creation, and to legitimise a free academic press for the dissemination of those accounts. The accounts need to demonstrate epistemological, methodological and scholarly validity, to strengthen practitioners' attempts to influence policy debates about continuing professional development. By clarifying the processes of establishing quality, it becomes possible to show the links between continuing professional education and the active contributions of practitioners to economic and social wellbeing.
Getting the picture and changing the picture : visual methodologies and educational research in South Africa : research in education : trends and innovationsAuthor Claudia MitchellSource: South African Journal of Education 28, pp 365 –383 (2008)More Less
At the risk of seeming to make exaggerated claims for visual methodologies, what I set out to do is lay bare some of the key elements of working with the visual as a set of methodologies and practices. In particular, I address educational research in South Africa at a time when questions of the social responsibility of the academic researcher (including postgraduate students as new researchers, as well as experienced researchers expanding their repertoire of being and doing) are critical. In so doing I seek to ensure that the term "visual methodologies" is not simply reduced to one practice or to one set of tools, and, at the same time, to ensure that this set of methodologies and practices is appreciated within its full complexity. I focus on the doing, and, in particular, on the various approaches to doing through drawings, photo-voice, photo-elicitation, researcher as photographer, working with family photos, cinematic texts, video production, material culture, advertising campaigns as nine key areas within visual methodologies.
The experience of and need for training of school governors in rural schools in South Africa : research articleSource: South African Journal of Education 28, pp 385 –400 (2008)More Less
The concept of decentralisation originates from the belief that the state cannot alone control schools, but should share its power with other stakeholders, particularly those closer to the school, on a partnership basis. The South African Schools Act (Act 84 of 1996) mandates the establishment of school governing bodies that allow stakeholders - such as the state, parents, educators and learners (in secondary schools) - to play an active role in taking decisions on behalf of the school. However, this can only happen if participants in school governance are trained to decide on matters affecting their schools. With this in mind, qualitative research was undertaken to determine what training school governing bodies had received in selected rural schools in the Free State and to what extent this had assisted them in fulfilling their tasks. Findings indicated perceptions of training and its effectiveness. Based on the findings, detailed recommendations for the improvement of practice are made.
Author Aneshkumar MaharajSource: South African Journal of Education 28, pp 401 –414 (2008)More Less
I report on the findings from research and literature on (a) use of symbols in mathematics, (b) algebraic / trigonometric expressions, (c) solving equations, and (d) functions and calculus. From these, some insights and implications for teaching and learning are derived.
Support services perceived necessary for learner relationships by Limpopo educators : research articleSource: South African Journal of Education 28, pp 415 –430 (2008)More Less
After more than a decade of democracy, based on rule of law and human rights in South Africa, some parts of the education system are still lagging far behind others. Following reports that the provincial departments of education are neglecting schools, especially in the far-flung rural areas of the country, a survey was undertaken on the core pedagogical function of educators. The survey focused on their perceptions of the need for creating and improving their relationships with their learners and the availability of support services to help them improve these relationships. A questionnaire was submitted to a sample of relatively experienced school managers and educators in Limpopo province. Most respondents felt the need to establish and improve such relationships, but a relatively large percentage also perceived such support services to be either non-existent or unavailable to them.
Negotiated identities : dynamics in parents' participation in school governance in rural Eastern Cape schools and implication for school leadership : research articleSource: South African Journal of Education 28, pp 431 –450 (2008)More Less
School governance is a feature of school leadership in schools in South Africa. Currently, there is a dearth of research examining the dynamics in, and how parents navigate their way through, the process of school governance. Using a qualitative approach, we investigated these dynamics. The sample was parents in rural communities in secondary schools in the Eastern Cape. The parents responded to questions in semi-structured phenomenological interviews. Multiple factors linked to gender politics and African traditions shaped how parents participated in school governance. School governance practices were imbued with a tension between values inherent in African traditions / customs and values of modern school policies / legislations. While outlining the implications for school leadership, we argue that conflict and tension in school governance is likely to continue unless leadership practices and policy provisions reflect more of people's customs / traditions.