South African Journal of Education - Volume 29, Issue 4, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 4, 2009
Author Elaine BothaSource: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 431 –444 (2009)More Less
I track the influence, presence and pivotal role of changes in the understanding of metaphor, which accompanied the paradigm shift from objectivism to pluralism and relativism in education. These shifts are also reflected in the choice of teaching methodology. I argue that metaphors are constitutive of educational activities, events and processes and that they inter alia mediate foundational world view assumptions of these events and activities. Metaphor carries epistemic and ideological freight, functions as a vehicle of a world view and provides access to a discipline's assumptions about the way the world and humankind are structured.
Source: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 445 –460 (2009)More Less
This meta-synthesis is on research conducted by different researchers in a team research project on learners' experience of aggression in secondary schools in South Africa. The objective was to obtain a broader understanding of their experience of aggression in different contexts in South Africa, as well as possible ways to assist learners to address the experienced aggression. Eleven completed research projects were purposively sampled. Data were collected utilising the following headings : objectives, sampling, research design, research method, and research results, and guidelines. At the end of the meta-synthesis process the results are described, with supporting direct quotations from participants and a literature control. Guidelines for learners to cope with aggression are described.
A comparison between the views of teachers in South Africa and six other countries on involvement in school changeAuthor Cassie SwanepoelSource: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 461 –474 (2009)More Less
Worldwide, and especially in South Africa, change and decentralised decisionmaking have been topical issues in the provision of education for the past years. It appears that teachers - the key agents in implementing the policies concerned - are largely ignored in the pre-implementation phases, and treated merely as implementers of these policies. The results from an empirical investigation revealed that the teachers in the South African sample expressed an exceptional degree of eagerness to be involved in decision-making and responsibility-taking concerning school change, even in aspects of management that could be considered as the principal's 'turf'. Although the views of a group of teachers in six other countries showed very similar result patterns, the sample of South African teachers was considerably more eager to be involved in initiatives of school change and related responsibilities than the teachers in the samples of the other countries. The results are illuminating, taking into consideration the increased workload of teachers, as well as certain other factors. Possible explanations for these observations are discussed.
Perceptions of teachers on the benefits of teacher development programmes in one province of South AfricaSource: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 475 –490 (2009)More Less
Evidence in literature indicates that Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of teachers is essential in creating effective schools. Since 2001 the implementation of education legislation and policies has progressively shifted the new agenda within a transformation framework aimed at reconstructing the education system to the fore. The many changes that have taken place in the education system arise out of the implementation of legislation and policies and the restructuring of the education system to align with the vision of the National Department of Education. One such policy, the Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) was introduced in an attempt to improve the culture of teaching and learning in schools. CPD is a performance standard in the IQMS policy which aims to contribute to the professional development of teachers. Quantitative research was used to investigate the perceptions of teachers in South African public schools on the importance of continuing professional development. The data analysis from questionnaires administered to teachers revealed that two factors form the underlying components of CPD as an aspect of IQMS, namely, purpose of teacher development programmes, and the process of teacher development programmes.
A case study of a learner's transition from mainstream schooling to a school for learners with special educational needs (LSEN) : lessons for mainstream educationSource: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 491 –509 (2009)More Less
Currently there is an international shift towards inclusive education, a means of education according to which the learner is schooled in the least restrictive environment possible, to overcome his or her challenges to learning and development. Bearing this in mind we considered the experiences of a learner with learning difficulties who transited from a mainstream school environment to a school for learners with special education needs (LSEN). Inclusive education and ecological systems were the theoretical underpinnings of this study. The findings revealed that the learner benefited from placement within the LSEN environment on psychological, social, and academic levels. It appears that these changes occurred as a result of being placed in an environment that provided valuable and necessary resources to meet his learning needs, which were lacking in the mainstream school environment. Therefore, it seems that while inclusive education may be a way forward to access quality education for all, it can be argued that the current South African socio-economic environment does not necessarily allow for its successful implementation, as further access to resources and facilities need to be made available. These findings provide useful lessons at regulatory, infrastructural, and instructional functional levels for what is needed for learners with special education needs to succeed in mainstream school environments.
Author Irmhild HornSource: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 511 –525 (2009)More Less
Contemporary education theory (and official South African policy) underwrites learner-centredness. I analyse learner-centredness as a possible piece of the puzzle about why it is proving so difficult to improve academic achievement. Learner-centred ideas are grounded in the belief that cognitive abilities develop spontaneously in accordance with a natural developmental trajectory and optimal education is education that is in harmony therewith. The origin of learner-centredness is Rousseau's education naturelle. I set out Rousseau's ideas and then critically analyse their manifestation in contemporary education.
Personal characteristics that predict South Africans' participation in activities of their children's schoolsSource: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 527 –540 (2009)More Less
We investigated the extent to which personal characteristics such as age, marital status, education level, living standard measure (LSM), environmental milieu, race, gender and employment status predict parents' participation in the activities of their children's schools. The data used for analysis were drawn from 5,734 South Africans aged 16+ years who participated in the Human Sciences Research Council's (HSRC) annual South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS). Respondents (n = 1,364) who had at least one child in school were selected for the analysis. The logistic regression model was used to estimate the extent to which personal characteristics would predict parents' level of participation. Results showed that personal characteristics such as age, marital status, gender, and living standard measure (LSM) had a significant influence on parental participation. Amongst these, gender was the most significant factor. Respondents aged 35-49 years were 1.5 times more likely than those aged 50+ years to participate in their children's school activities. Respondents who were married were more likely than those who had never married to participate. Mothers were more likely than fathers to participate in their children's school activities. The literature suggests that American fathers show some interest in participating in activities of their children's schools, at least in the first few years, but discontinue that participation in time. The results confirm a common belief in some communities in South Africa that fathers do not take seriously their responsibility to provide for their children and their partners in that regard from the onset. Even though the results on personal characteristics support existing theory and empirical literature on parental participation, a multidimensional perspective is needed that would incorporate other factors into the study.
Author Sonja SchoemanSource: South African Journal of Education 29, pp 541 –556 (2009)More Less
History curriculum revisions post 1994 were followed by a range of new History textbooks intended to meet the needs of teachers seeking to implement the revised curriculum. I sought to establish whether or not a sample of these textbooks had built upon the gender equality initiatives introduced after 1994. A qualitative intrinsic case study was conducted to determine the extent of the representation of women in three South African school History textbooks. The results demonstrated that, despite the introduction of gender equality initiatives, in the sample selected the role of men in history continued to receive emphasis. In South African history men have indeed been more prominent than women, and have been viewed as the decision-makers, yet there is room in standard South African History textbooks for the inclusion of the ordinary daily events in which women participated or through which they exercised an influence on decision-making by men. Shepherd's media literacy curriculum model, incorporating the Department of Education's approaches to critical media education, is proposed as a tool to empower in-service History teachers to teach learners to deconstruct patriarchal or hegemonic power relations in school History textbooks.