South African Journal of Education - Volume 29, Issue 3, 2009
Volumes & issues
Volume 29, Issue 3, 2009
Situational effects of the school factors included in the dynamic model of educational effectivenessSource: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 293 –315 (2009)More Less
We present results of a longitudinal study in which 50 schools, 113 classes and 2,542 Cypriot primary students participated. We tested the validity of the dynamic model of educational effectiveness and especially its assumption that the impact of school factors depends on the current situation of the school and on the type of problems / difficulties the school is facing. Reference is made to the methods used to test this assumption of the dynamic model by measuring school effectiveness in mathematics, Greek language, and religious education over two consecutive school years. The main findings are as follows. School factors were found to have situational effects. Specifically, the development of a school policy for teaching and the school evaluation of policy for teaching were found to have stronger effects in schools where the quality of teaching at classroom level was low. Moreover, time stability in the effectiveness status of schools was identified and thereby changes in the functioning of schools were found not to have a significant impact on changes in the effectiveness status of schools. Implications of the findings for the development of the dynamic model and suggestions for further research are presented.
Author Rouaan MaarmanSource: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 317 –331 (2009)More Less
In this study I use the notion of 'capabilities poverty', as theorised by Sen, to examine the experiences of learners attending informal settlement schools in North-West Province, South Africa. Sen distinguishes between functionings (what people do or their ability to do something) and capabilities (various combinations of what people do, their notions of freedom, what life opportunities they may have). The study was based on a sample of respondents from four schools in the Sarafina informal settlement in Ikageng township in the municipal district of Tlokwe (Potchefstroom). It captured some complexities of schooling within South Africa's democratic educational framework and clearly exposed the manifestations of capabilities poverty. The precise location of capabilities poverty within the plethora of poverty approaches presents educational research with a reality check when looking at informal settlement schools. The study revealed a multiplicity of barriers for informal settlement learners that prevent them from choosing the educational experience they value and contributes to research into the nuanced nature of the interface between poverty and schooling.
Source: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 333 –344 (2009)More Less
In this article we argue that mothers often construct images of what they perceive as society's expectations of them. These images become the parametersin the eyes of society to which they aspire. This is reminiscent of the adage : "I am not who you think I am. I am not who I think I am. I am who I think you think I am". This study is based on analysis of the life-stories of four professional female educators. These mother-educators shared their assumptions, cultural values and beliefs and showed how these shaped the subjective construction and harmonisation of the multiple roles of mother and educator. It was found that they often find themselves faced with the conflicting and complementary dimensions of the multiple roles of mother and professional. We contend that these mothers set high standards and expectations for themselves as mother-educator and they worry about failing, not only themselves, but also 'others'. They see the world of work, including parents, educators and school principal, as being against them - which is possibly a manifestation of a faltering self-image and linked to feelings of inadequacy. It is argued that mother educators need to negotiate new meaning in terms of their own perceived multiple role expectations so as to enable them to experience success as both homemakers and professionals. The challenge for the mother then is to engage in a constant search for her own identity.
Source: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 345 –358 (2009)More Less
Teaching practice is an integral component of teacher training. It grants student teachers experience in the actual teaching and learning environment. We explore the experiences of student teachers in the Vaal University of Technology Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) during their 10 weeks' teaching practice in the Vaal area. In this article we aim to establish the ways in which these experiences influence the student teachers' perception of the teaching profession. Semi-structured interviews with all student teachers were used to collect the data while content analysis was used to identify themes and analyse the data. We established that, despite the positive experiences during teaching practice, student teachers experienced challenges which affected their perception of the teaching profession. Based on the findings of this study, measures are suggested on how to improve teaching practice in order to have a positive influence on the student teachers' perception of, and attitude towards, the teaching profession.
Source: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 359 –376 (2009)More Less
In this study enrolment numbers and levels, as well as language-in-education, were viewed from a linear, comparative perspective. In the era prior to 1994, black and white learners not only attended separate schools but the segregated schools had different policies regarding medium of instruction. Resistance to the language policy regarding black education culminated in the 1976 uprisings. This led to the scrapping of both Afrikaans and black home languages as language of instruction in black schools. After the uprisings, black schools followed a policy of decreasing bilingualism. After 1994, in the spirit of democracy, official and educational status were granted to eleven languages. Deep-seated distrust and fear, that home-language education would lead to impoverishment, social and political isolation, and disempowerment, caused the majority of South African learners to prefer English rather than their home language as language of instruction. From a linear comparison, it transpires that the language-in-education situation in the classroom has changed very little since 1994. Enrolment numbers and levels, particularly the disparities between white and black, were other points of criticism regarding the education system before 1994. Prior to 1994, compulsory education had only been fully implemented with regard to the white and, to a lesser extent, Indian and coloured sections of the population. The vision that the ANC had in 1955, that "the doors of learning shall be open", was only reflected in policy documents and laws. Both primary-school and secondary-school enrolment numbers showed an increase after the ANC government came to power. The net enrolment numbers (1995-2004) for primary education showed a decrease from 95.0% to 87.4%,but the enrolment numbers for secondary education showed an increase from 56.0% to 67.2%. Despite the latter positive statistics, it would appear that the objective of universal education has still not been realised in South Africa.
Source: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 377 –392 (2009)More Less
For many years, education in South Africa has been based mainly on western values. This has contributed to the fact that many learners from disadvantaged backgrounds cannot see the connection between the education they receive at school and their everyday experiences. This may well have contributed to the high failure rate amongst mathematics learners as well as the perceived difficulty of mathematics. It is believed that indigenous knowledge, in general, can be used to promote the teaching of mathematics in multicultural classes. We report on an enquiry into the use of the indigenous game of morabaraba in the mathematics class. Various mathematical concepts have been identified from the game. It was found that learners enjoy playing the game, and that it can be used in the mathematics classroom to promote the learning of mathematics. It was also found that the use of this game promotes spontaneous interaction amongst learners as they communicate their activities to fellow participants. The enjoyment of the game was found not to be restricted to a specific cultural group, which suggests that it can be used in a multicultural setting.
Source: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 393 –404 (2009)More Less
Education systems all over the world, like all other organisations, have certain organisational goals that they set and wish to achieve. It is argued that for increased pupil performance, in the case of education systems, teachers must work harder and smarter. A performance system is regarded as part of the process to achieve this organisational goal. Some prominent researchers, however, forecast a movement away from performance management as we know it. In this paper we use insights from a specific school district in South Africa to highlight the need for effective advocacy of a performance system to ensure a measure of success. One of the major findings is that although advocacy in its narrow sense is a process to make stakeholders aware of a new policy, the data collected reveal two broad themes, namely, the process itself but also the issues about the content of that which should be advocated. Findings on the process itself focus on sufficient funding, effective training, reconsideration of the cascading mode of delivery, clarity on the roles of different structures, official sources of information, anticipated reaction of teachers and effective monitoring of the implementation process. Findings on the content of IQMS focus on the conceptual framework of IQMS, clarity of the content and contextual factors to be considered.
Source: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 405 –425 (2009)More Less
Research into bullying has generated an awareness of many aspects of this phenomenon : it has shown a distinction between various types of bullying and how these are delineated by gender. It has also shown a scarcity of research on bullying amongst girls, a phenomenon which is rife. We report on a qualitative study, which explored and described the nature of bullying amongst girls, in order to make the invisible problem more visible and to make recommendations for intervention and prevention. In this interpretive study we explored bullying amongst girls by using the perspectives of Grade 5 girls in a parochial school in the Western Cape. Data were generated through the use of semistructured group interviews. We argue that there is no single solution to the problem. Each situation seems to require a unique set of rules, a unique understanding. This is supported by the main finding, namely, some girls have innate characteristics that help maintain bullying while others have characteristics that protect them from bullying. The environment also plays a large part in either maintaining bullying or protecting girls from bullying. The implication is that intervention and preventative strategies need to be based on these personal and contextual factors in order to effect change.