South African Journal of Education - Volume 30, Issue 3, 2010
Volume 30, Issue 3, 2010
"They should know where they stand" : attitudes to HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing amongst a group of out-of-school youthAuthor Dennis FrancisSource: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 327 –342 (2010)More Less
This article draws on a larger study that examined the ways in which out-of-school youth responded to a context of HIV / AIDS and how they themselves can be active participants in HIV / AIDS prevention. In addition, four out-of-school youths, trained as fieldworkers, interviewed 32 other out-of-school youths in the Shongweni area of KwaZulu-Natal about their attitudes towards VCT. The out-of-school youth displayed a very positive attitude towards VCT and 91% stated their intentions of getting tested. However this attitude was contradicted by the facts that only nine (28%) had been for testing and that participants evidenced high levels of fear and stigma surrounding VCT. Of the participants, 43% stated a preference for a VCT site or hospital far from home, or, if they could afford it, a private doctor, to minimise the likelihood of being seen by someone they knew. This factor made it more difficult and costlier for out-of-school youth to access VCT. For some, the fear of HIV infection is caught up with their existing social exclusion. In contrast, one reason for wanting to test amongst girls was the health of future children. While out-of-school youth understood the role of VCT in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the obstacles to acting on those intentions included the context of poverty, gender inequalities, stigma and the fear of gossip. Campaigns have succeeded in raising awareness, but translating awareness into action remains a central problem.
Author Saloshna VandeyarSource: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 343 –359 (2010)More Less
Recognizing that teacher commitments are consequential for classroom practice, this study sets out to determine the extent to which the ethos of South African schools has been transformed towards integration in the truest sense. Findings emanating from this research indicate that teachers do not enter their classrooms as 'blank slates' with respect to diversity questions; teachers respond differently to the challenge of school integration; and a few teachers went against the grain and responded to school integration in a way that holds immense promise for the South African schooling system.
Source: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 361 –386 (2010)More Less
To create unique and appropriate learning opportunities and environments and to nurture the development of creative thinking abilities among learners are some of the demands for creative thinking currently expected of teachers globally and also in South Africa. Creative thinking in academic context assumes, among other things, the ability to generate a variety of original ideas, to see different viewpoints and elaborate on ideas. We report on the findings of a quantitative pilot investigation by means of experimental research utilizing an ex post facto design to determine the status quo regarding the creative thinking abilities of a hetrogeneous group of 207 pre-service teachers studying at a South African university, using the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA) and a Partial Least Squares (PLS) exploration into the relationship between contextual factors and the students' creative thinking abilities. Strong correlations were found among a variety of contextual factors such as the type of school model and culture and creative thinking abilities and also between specific contextual factors such as the choice of role model and socio economic and acculturation factors and certain creative thinking abilities. This research explores a largely unknown field, namely, the creative thinking abilities of a group of South African pre-service teachers of different cultural groups and creates an awareness of the need for the development of creative thinking abilities among these prospective teachers.
Educators' disciplinary capabilities after the banning of corporal punishment in South African schoolsSource: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 387 –399 (2010)More Less
The escalation of learner indiscipline cases in schools suggests failure by teachers to institute adequate alternative disciplinary measures after corporal punishment was outlawed in South African schools. We sought to address the following two research questions : (a) How do educators view their disciplinary capabilities in the post-corporal punishment period? and (b) How do educators view the usefulness of alternative disciplinary measures? The study adopted a qualitative approach. A case study of three purposively selected practising junior secondary school educators was used. Data were collected through interviews. We found that educators generally feel disempowered in their ability to institute discipline in schools in the absence of corporal punishment. Educators revealed that learners do not fear or respect educators because they know that nothing will happen to them. Although educators are aware of alternative disciplinary measures, they view them as ineffective and time consuming.
Source: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 401 –419 (2010)More Less
The notion of teacher leadership is implicit in official documentation in the South African education system post 1994, which emphasises a move towards a more shared and participatory approach to the practice of leadership and management in schools. The concept of teacher leadership is embedded in a distributed leadership theoretical framing which emphasises that leadership need not be located only in the position of the principal but can be stretched over a range of people who work at different levels in a school. We report on a study in which the perceptions of teachers' on their understanding and experiences of teacher leadership were explored. The study adopted a survey approach and utilised closed questionnaires to gather data from 1,055 post level-one teachers across a range of schools of diverse contexts in KwaZulu-Natal. We found that while teachers supported the notion of shared leadership and believed they were equipped to lead, their leadership was largely restricted to their classrooms. There was some evidence of teacher leadership amongst teacher colleagues in certain curricular and extra-curricular activities. However, teacher leadership in relation to school-wide and community issues was almost non-existent. We signal two problematics regarding the leadership of school teachers and consider the implication of these for the distribution of leadership, and therefore change, in schools.
Reflection as learning about the self in context : mentoring as catalyst for reflective development in pre-service teachersSource: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 421 –437 (2010)More Less
Establishing a close alignment between teacher education programmes and the realities of the actual classroom remains a challenge in preparing pre-service teachers at higher education institutions. The literature indicates that reflection is a core quality of effective teachers. We investigate how the development of reflective practice through mentoring programmes can facilitate the inevitable transitions that students have to make to the professional sector. Through a narrative analysis, we report on the insights of a selected group of Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students participating in the initial development phase of a mentoring system during their practice teaching in schools guiding them to reflect critically on their learning and practice. The data suggest that mentoring can act as a catalyst to enhance reflection. The development of reflection as praxis can assist in bridging the gap between theory and practice.
Source: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 439 –456 (2010)More Less
In this pilot study, we sought to examine the influence of the beliefs of Grade 10 to 12 physical science teachers on their intended and actual usage of interactive simulations (Physics Education Technology, or PhET) in their classrooms. A combination of the Theory of Planned Behaviour, the Technology Acceptance Model and the Innovation Diffusion Theory was used to examine the influence of teachers' attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control on their intention to use simulations in their classrooms. Using regression and factor analyses, it was found that beliefs about the perceived usefulness and the pedagogical compatibility of PhET have a significant effect on teachers' attitude towards the use of the simulations in their classrooms. The expectations of the teachers' colleagues contribute to the subjective norm of these teachers. The regression and partial correlation result also highlights the importance of teachers' general technology proficiency. Although we were not able to confirm a direct link between attitudes, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, and the teachers' behaviour intention we show the influence of behaviour intention on the actual use of the simulations with an accuracy of 70.83%.
Primary school teachers' knowledge and misperceptions of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)Source: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 457 –473 (2010)More Less
Putting inclusive education into practice and within diverse classrooms, teachers have to support and teach according to a variety of needs and preferences of learners, among them learners with ADHD. Teachers are seen as some of the most valuable sources of information with regard to referral and diagnosis of this disorder. They are also responsible for creating an environment that is conducive to academic, social and emotional success for children with ADHD. However, since there is some doubt as to whether teachers have the appropriate knowledge of ADHD to fulfill this important role, we aimed at assessing the knowledge and misperceptions of primary school teachers in towns on the periphery of the Cape Town Metropole. A quantitative study using a survey was conducted. The measuring scale used was the KADDS (Knowledge of Attention Deficit Disorders Scale), which measures teachers' knowledge and misperceptions in three specific areas : symptoms / diagnosis of ADHD, general knowledge about the nature, causes and outcome of ADHD and possible interventions with regard to ADHD. The data were statistically analysed. Overall knowledge of ADHD was poor. The results suggest that teachers are most knowledgeable about symptoms / diagnosis, scoring lower on treatment and general knowledge subscales.
Source: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 475 –490 (2010)More Less
Some historically black schools manage to do quite well despite their circumstances, such as dire poverty. We aim at explicating some of the causal factors regarding the effectiveness of three schools in deep rural Mpumalanga, South Africa by tapping the perceptions of their learners. Data were collected from learner samples (four girls and four boys from each school, all of them black) by means of semi-structured focus group interviews. The results lead to the conclusion that the perceptions of disadvantaged black learners in this area, with respect to what contributes to their educational effectiveness, may also be understood in terms of hierarchical insights and awarenesses, the ontological basis of which seems to be successful pedagogical dialogue, with mutual acceptance as its fountainhead.
Source: South African Journal of Education 30, pp 491 –507 (2010)More Less
The ideal of creating a non-racial and equitable school environment is embedded in the South African Constitution. This ideal is informed by a desire to overcome the divisions of the apartheid past by pursuing policies and strategies that will promote the achievement of social cohesion, without denying space for various identities. Schools are seen as important vehicles for driving social cohesion amongst learners and it is therefore important that all learners, irrespective of their race, experience a sense of belonging in the school. Using a case study and an interactive qualitative analysis research methodology, we explored the experiences of black and Indian learners in a desegregated former House of Delegates school to determine the successes and possible challenges of ensuring racial integration at the school level and therefore its contribution to social cohesion. The study demonstrates the importance of eight concepts (namely, the school as a welcoming space; belonging; respect; security; equality in the way we socialise; tender loving care; motivation; and freedom) to the study of racial integration and social cohesion. This article focuses on the contribution that sense of belonging has on creating a school environment that is enabling, contributing to learner achievement and concludes that sense of belonging, integration, and social cohesion are intertwined and important in creating an environment that is welcoming and a "home" to diverse learners and educators.