South African Journal of Education - Volume 32, Issue 4, 2012
Volumes & issues
Volume 32, Issue 4, 2012
Source: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 1 –3 (2012)More Less
An article by Claudia Mitchell that appeared in SAJE in 2008 paved the way for this special issue. Mitchell, who introduced visual methodologies into educational research in South Africa, wrote "... I address educational research in South Africa at a time when questions of the social responsibility of the academic researcher ... are critical" (2008:365). What is the social responsibility of academic researchers in the social sciences, and in education, in particular? Of course, the social responsibility is researching relevant problems to generate new knowledge that would be useful in understanding the educational challenges which confront our society.
Drawing on resilience : piloting the utility of the Kinetic Family - drawing to measure resilience in children of HIV-positive mothersSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 331 –348 (2012)More Less
In this article we describe how using a visual, child-friendly measure of resilience in a randomised control trial (RCT), the Kgolo Mmogo (KM) project, resulted in representative insights on resilience in a mother-child relationship where the mother is HIV-positive. We used the existing psychological method Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD) to measure resilience of young children in the qualitative phase of the concurrent mixed method RCT as the children represent cultural groups for whom standardized measures have not been developed. We use the case example of baseline KM assessment data of 6 year olds (n = 11; 3 female, 8 male). The results of the study demonstrate that the visual and qualitative data from children (KFD) added to quantitative information obtained from mothers (Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, VABS). Additional information from the KFD had interpretation value for VABS scores and provided a child's perspective regarding resilience. Contrasting information from the KFD problematized mothers' perspectives as indicated in the VABS. The absence of significant information in KFD results regarding VABS sub-domains indicates differences in the cultural/contextual conceptualization of resilience. This exploratory study indicates initial support for the cross-cultural utility of the KFD to measure resilience in young children faced with adversity.
How youth picture gender injustice : building skills for HIV prevention through a participatory, arts-based approachAuthor Lesley WoodSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 349 –366 (2012)More Less
Based on the existing literature on the positive relationship that exists between high instances of HIV infections and a high degree of gender injustices in southern Africa, there is clearly a need for HIV-prevention interventions, to focus on the need for changing the existing gender norms. Social change begins with change at the individual level, so the question that this article attempts to answer is : How can we engage youth as key actors in educating their peers on HIV prevention, through a gender lens? Proceeding from a critical paradigm, the article describes how a participatory action-research design, using arts-based methods, has enabled youth to develop self-efficacy beliefs in regard to their ability to design and implement peer- education interventions, in order to raise awareness in the school community of the impact of gender injustices on the lives of youth. The data were collected through drawings, focus-group interviews, photographs, and video recordings of peer interventions. Thematic analysis of the data provides convincing evidence that arts-based methods are effective in developing youth agencies to create and disseminate powerful peer interventions around gender injustice that may make a significant contribution to changing gender norms.
Author Christa BeyersSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 367 –380 (2012)More Less
Teaching about sex and relationships is one of the greatest challenges in not only the combating of HIV and AIDS, but also in preparing the youth for responsible sexual behaviour. Although it seems as if teachers to some extent do feel comfortable with the teaching of sexuality education at school, the question however remains as to whether youth get the information they require. In this article, I present drawings produced by teacher participants in order to investigate the beliefs that teachers hold regarding young people's needs from sexuality education. As a result of the findings from this study, I will argue that teachers do have a sound knowledge of what contributes to promiscuous sexual behaviour and what is required to narrow the knowledge/practice gap, as discussed by Allen (2001), but they still want to teach what they find acceptable. I will attempt to interrogate the knowledge/practice gap from the 'other side' - what do teachers base their beliefs on when deciding what content is appropriate to teach in sexuality education and their understanding with regard to what youth require from sexuality education in the classroom.
Does visual participatory research have resilience-promoting value ? Teacher experiences of generating and interpreting drawingsAuthor Linda C. TheronSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 381 –392 (2012)More Less
I report on a phenomenological investigation into teacher experiences of generating and interpreting drawings during their participation in the Resilient Educators (REds) intervention. All 18 teacher participants came from rural communities challenged by HIV & AIDS. I reflect critically on the ambivalence in teacher experiences of drawings to highlight the complexity of employing drawings as visual method. Then, I interpret the teachersâ?? methodological experiences through the lens of social-ecological understandings of resilience in order to address the question of how drawings, as form of visual participatory methodology, may make a positive difference and nurture participant resilience. What the teachers' experiences suggest is that drawings offer methodological opportunities for participants to make constructive meaning of adversity, to take action, to experience mastery, and to regulate emotion associated with adversity. All of the aforementioned are well documentedpathways to resilience. I theorise, therefore, that researchers with a social conscience would be well advised to use drawings, albeit in competent and participatory ways, as this methodology potentiates participant resilience and positive change.
The potential for using visual elicitation in understanding preschool teachers' beliefs of appropriate educational practicesSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 393 –404 (2012)More Less
We explore the use of video and photo elicitation in a research study undertaken to understand the way in which preschool teachers perceive and construct their provision of children's educational experiences. We explore the value of visually elicited interviews based on video footage and photographs captured during teaching and learning in four classrooms in two preschool settings in Kenya. Through visually elicited interviews, both the teachers and the researcher constructed meaningful conversations (interviews) to explore preschool teachers' practical experiences and their beliefs, understanding and interpretation of developmentally appropriate educational practices. This paper targets the possible value of and contribution made by visual data generation procedures, as well as their inherent challenges, in order to add to the body of knowledge on visually elicited interviews.
Author Shannon WalshSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 406 –415 (2012)More Less
Educational research using visual methods has the power to transform the society in which we live and the communities in which we work. We must not naïvely imagine that having the desire to make change in people's lives will mean that it will happen, as sometimes there may be surprising, unintended negative repercussions as well. Other constraints, such as structural violence and institutional racism, can also intersect with the possibility of making tangible change through educational research using visual methods. Qualitative assessment with a longitudinal approach is one approach that can reveal both the impact, and the limitations, of educational research on social change. I discuss these issues through grounded examples from an HIV educational project that used visual methodologies with a group of youths in Cape Town, South Africa over a number of years. Almost ten years later we interviewed three of the former participants about what impact the work has had on their lives. Each has travelled a different journey and been faced with different constraints that have implications for the effectiveness of such work. Where are they now, and as adults, what do they have to say about the visual methodologies, memory, and social change?
Towards academic generativity : working collaboratively with visual artefacts for self-study and social changeAuthor Kathleen Pithouse-MorganSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 416 –427 (2012)More Less
There appears to be a mounting consciousness in academia that knowledge production and the scholarly dissemination of knowledge do not necessarily lead to general well-being or improvement in society. In this article we start with ourselves by initiating an exploration into generative possibilities for becoming agents of social change through our own educational research. We take a collaborative self-study approach to our inquiry, using artefact retrieval as a visual method to re-examine our own research interests. Our individual reflections on our chosen artefacts are brought together into a reflexive dialogue. We follow this with a collaborative reflection, in which we explain how we have noticed similarities in both the connotative and denotative histories of our artefacts and gained an alternative perspective on our interests and practices as educational researchers. The article demonstrates how, by working with visual artefacts from our professional spaces, we were afforded the opportunity to collaboratively re-think our research endeavours. As 'critical friends' we were able to recognise the importance of moving beyond advocating change, and to explore how 'starting with ourselves' research approaches can facilitate social action for the benefit of others.
The use of drawings to facilitate interviews with orphaned children in Mpumalanga province, South AfricaAuthor Teresa A. OginaSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 428 –438 (2012)More Less
HIV/AIDS and being orphaned impact greatly on children's lives. This article explores the life experiences of orphaned children in Mpumalanga province, South Africa. In this qualitative case study, draw-write techniques and face-to-face interviews were used to generate data related to the experiences of the children. Results suggest that although the interviewed children yearn for their parents and experience unmet emotional and material needs, they use promotive factors, such as personal agency and environmental relationships, as resilience in fulfilling their needs. Furthermore, the results suggest relationships based on values, such as caring, respect and mutual understanding, as protective factors that may contribute to the fulfilment of social needs as well as enabling their emotional well-being.
Author Myra TaylorSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 441 –448 (2012)More Less
Can the use of a method such as role play help reduce sexual risk behaviour among KwaZulu-Natal learners? A study was undertaken of the use of role plays by Grade 8 learners, at eight urban and rural KwaZulu-Natal high schools, as part of a programme to reduce the prevalence of teenage pregnancy. Within the framework of Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory, learners participated in role plays covering five topics - choice, self-respect and emotional abuse; partner coercion/negotiation about having sex; visiting the clinic for contraception; perceived and purchasing value of the child support grant; and testing for HIV. We report on the organisation, implementation and evaluation of the role plays. Data from facilitators, educators and learners were triangulated and suggest that role play has potential for building self-efficacy among learners with respect to sexual behaviour.
Author Ina JoubertSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 449 –464 (2012)More Less
This article is about an investigation of eight-year-old children's life experiences as child citizens in democratic South Africa, their right to be listened to and to participate in the democracy. Research indicates that understanding children's life experiences can influence adults' understanding of what needs to be done to support their participation in democratic processes. I employed photo voice methodology as primary mode for data generation. The young children took photos of their home environment and interpreted the content of each photo. Despite the fact that they live in a central city environment known for its crime, the findings revealed surprisingly positive life experiences. However, they did take photos of negative aspects that could harm their experiences of an open society and a free democracy. Through their photos these young participants showed their capability of acting as agents for transforming their home environment, provided that their voices are heard and they are granted the opportunity to participate in these matters.
Author Vedant NanackchandSource: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 465 –478 (2012)More Less
The value of human rights in a democratic South Africa is constantly threatened and often waived for nefarious reasons. We contend that the use of visual graphics among incoming university visual art students provides a mode of engagement that helps to inculcate awareness of human rights, social responsibility, and the public good in South African higher education. Visual graphics, the subject of the research project which forms a key component of a Masters dissertation by one of the authors, provides an opportunity to counter a noticeable decline in the students' response and sensitivity to the freedoms entrenched in the South African Bill of Rights. The article presents a study using an action research approach in the classroom between 2005-2010, in order to inculcate awareness of human rights among participating students and deepen their understanding of social responsibility. The method used involved an introduction to specific visual art curricular intervention projects which required incoming first-year students to develop visual responses to address selected human rights violations and, in their second year, to develop their visual voice in order to promote human rights advocacy through civic engagement. The critical outcomes impact positively on the use of graphic images in the curriculum as a visual methodology to re-insert the discourse of human rights as a basic tenet of constitutional democracy in higher education.
Source: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 479 –493 (2012)More Less
This article examines how visual methodologies might be incorporated into educational policy studies. By bringing together theoretical perspectives on critical policy studies and visual methodologies, we aim to demonstrate the ways in which the visual can be an important tool to help us interrogate how knowledge is produced through the constructions and representations of policy texts and discourses. In so doing, we suggest that the use of visual methodologies can help us to rethink policy, particularly in relation to studying social difference in globalizing conditions. While we focus here on one set of documents, the annual Global Monitoring Reports associated with Education For All (EFA), our aim overall is to highlight both the methodological and policy implications that could be applied to a variety of official texts.
Source: South African Journal of Education 32, pp 495 –511 (2012)More Less
Gender-based violence is pervasive in South African society and is often seen as the driver of HIV, particularly affecting youth. Rural KwaZulu-Natal, where we have been working in a district in an on-going university-school partnership, is noted as the epicentre of the epidemic. The two secondary schools in this study were therefore conveniently chosen while the 30 Grade 9 learners, 7 boys and 23 girls between the ages of 13-16, were purposively selected. The use of participatory visual methodologies, which is the focus of this special issue, taps into the notion of 'research as intervention' and speaks to the potential of educational research contributing to social change. In this qualitative study we used participatory video to explore youths' understanding of gender-based violence, as well as how they envision making schools safe. Power theory is used as theoretic lens to frame the study and to make meaning of the findings, namely, that girls' bodies are sites for gender-based violence at unsafe schools; that the 'keepers of safety' are perpetuating gender-based violence at school; and that learners have a sound understanding of what can be done to address gender-based violence. This study, with its 'research as intervention' approach, enabled learners to make their voices heard and to reflect on what it is that they as youth can do to contribute to safe schooling.
Source: South African Journal of Education 32 (2012)More Less