South African Journal of Education - Volume 36, Issue 1, 2016
Volume 36, Issue 1, 2016
Non-Hierarchical Clustering as a method to analyse an open-ended questionnaire on algebraic thinkingSource: South African Journal of Education 36, pp 1 –13 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n1a1142More Less
The problem of taking a data set and separating it into subgroups, where the members of each subgroup are more similar to each other than they are to members outside the subgroup, has been extensively studied in science and mathematics education research. Student responses to written questions and multiple-choice tests have been characterised and studied using several qualitative and/or quantitative analysis methods. However, there are inherent difficulties in the categorisation of student responses in the case of open-ended questionnaires. Very often, researcher bias means that the categories picked out tend to find the groups of students that the researcher is seeking out. In this paper, we discuss an example of application of a quantitative, non-hierarchical analysis method to interpret the answers given by 118 Tenth Grade students in Palermo (Italy), to six open-ended questions about algebraic thinking. We show that the use of non-hierarchical analysis allows us to interpret the reasoning of students solving different mathematical problems using Algebra, and to separate them into different groups, that can be recognised and characterised by common traits in their answers, without any prior knowledge on the part of the researcher of what form those groups would take (unbiased classification).
Source: South African Journal of Education 36, pp 1 –11 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n1a1225More Less
This article explores the extent to which an intervention programme helped learners from two contrasting educational settings manage career-related transitions. Forty-two learners from two schools were selected, using convenience and purposive sampling, to take part in an intervention programme. Two comparison groups comprised of 45 learners from the same two schools were similarly selected, and continued to take part in the standard, traditional Life Orientation lessons offered by their schools. Quantitative data on their career adaptability was gathered from the pre- and post-intervention results of The Career Adapt-Abilities Inventory (Savickas & Porfeli, 2012). Qualitative data was gathered during in-depth focus group interviews and discussions with the participants, as well as by observing them. Data-gathering techniques included the Collage, the Career Interest Profile and the lifeline technique. Results revealed that career and self-construction helped the participants from both experimental groups manage career-related transitions. It was also apparent that these participants displayed improved career adaptability after they took part in the intervention programme. More research is needed to establish why learners from low resource schools seemingly embrace school-based, career support initiatives without questioning them and/or responding to them without frustration and/or confusion.
The teaching context preference of four white South African pre-service teachers : considerations for teacher educationAuthor Adre Le RouxSource: South African Journal of Education 36, pp 1 –11 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.10.15700/saje.v36n1a1111More Less
In an attempt to bring about a society in which individuals can realise their full potential, South African (SA) education has undergone fundamental reforms. However, despite these changes, the education system seems to remain hampered by ongoing systematic and institutional racism, and subsequent socio-economic structures of poverty and privilege. Given the national requirement for all teachers to be socially just educators, pre-service teachers need to be guided to first recognise and understand their own worldviews, before they will be able to understand the worldviews of learners in diverse teaching and learning contexts. Framed within Critical Race Theory, this article draws on the interplay between race and whiteness as property to explore four white pre-service teachers' preference for working with black learners. Data generated through an iterative process of qualitative interviewing revealed how the participants' preference is strongly embedded in power and privilege. Based on the assumption that unexamined whiteness will contribute to the continuation of white privilege and teaching premised on a deficit model, storytelling is proposed as a conceptual tool by means of which to decentre whiteness.
Author Barry RichterSource: South African Journal of Education 36, pp 1 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n1a1108More Less
The purpose of the study was to explore how a school-based training model (SBTM) could help to address the shortage of teachers. This model also allows, among other aspects, for poor and disadvantaged students to study while they gain experience. This article reports on the results of the SBTM implemented by a South African university, whereby student teachers are appointed at schools as assistant teachers. A mixed method study was preferred in order to explore the effectiveness of the model. The findings of the research indicate that the majority of teachers, lecturers, students and members of school managements involved were positive regarding the SBTM, and that the advantages of the model outweighed the challenges. It is therefore recommended that the model be implemented as an alternative teacher training programme for the special conditions prevailing in South Africa, as well as other countries that experience a teacher shortage.
Philosophical enquiry as a pedagogical tool to implement the CAPS curriculum : final-year pre-service teachers' perceptionsSource: South African Journal of Education 36, pp 1 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n1a1140More Less
In this paper, we argue that philosophical enquiry, as practised using community of enquiry pedagogy, is an appropriate implementation strategy for Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) if the principles that underlie the curriculum are to be taken seriously. Matthew Lipmanâ??s Philosophy for Children Programme and its community of enquiry pedagogy were intended as a classroom means to enhance children's critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinking and prepare them for democratic citizenship. A previous study suggested that pre-service teachers benefitted from exposure to this pedagogy. The aim of this study was to explore the extent to which pre-service teachers, after a brief experiential introduction to community of enquiry pedagogy, perceived its relevance to the CAPS curriculum. The research was positioned within an interpretivist qualitative paradigm with an emphasis on shared construction of meanings. In 2013 the final-year student group consisted of seventy-four students, of whom 30 volunteered to participate in focus group discussions at the end of the year. Themes were identified within the data and are reported within the following broad categories : perceived relevance to the general requirements of the CAPS curriculum, perceived relevance to specific curriculum areas, and constraints on implementation. Discussion focuses on the insights of participants, potential challenges, some limitations of the research and our plans to address them.
Evaluating the effectiveness of a metacognitive programme for disadvantaged learners in the foundation phaseAuthor Louis BenjaminSource: South African Journal of Education 36, pp 1 –12 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n1a627More Less
Learners in South Africa lag behind in literacy and numeracy skills relative to their peers in other countries. This is ascribed to a lack of quality education in the preschool and Foundation Phases of schooling, and conditions related to poverty. The Basic Concepts Mediated Learning Programme (BCMLP) aims to promote the conceptual development of young children through training teachers to be mediators in a metacognitive educational programme. The BCMLP was implemented in the Foundation Phase (Grade R to Grade 3) in two schools in impoverished areas of the Northern Cape over three years (2008-2010). Baseline testing found that children at both schools experienced significant delays in their conceptual and scholastic development. After being trained as mediators, teachers implemented this approach with groups, eventually integrating it into the curriculum. There was variable continuity of implementation at the two schools, with one school only implementing the programme for the first year. The conceptual development and scholastic functioning of learners were monitored pre-intervention to post-intervention. Results found that implementation of the programme was consistent with considerable improvements in conceptual and scholastic functioning. Further, improvements were more pronounced, where the programme was implemented continually for three years. The researcher concluded that the programme made a positive impact on participating learners' knowledge and understanding of basic conceptual systems and scholastic functioning.
Source: South African Journal of Education 36, pp 1 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n1a792More Less
This qualitative study focuses on primary schools' state of readiness for the introduction of early childhood education. Adopting a multiple case study design, the article explores, through semi-structured interviews and documentation, school heads, teachers-in-charge and classroom teachers' perceptions of their respective schools' state of readiness for the installation and implementation of early childhood education. The study established that, while classroom teachers were adequately qualified to implement early childhood education, teachers-in-charge were not. Secondly, school heads received limited induction for the introduction and implementation of early childhood education. Additionally, inadequate teaching-learning resources and lack of on-going teacher support contributed to schools' lack of readiness for the introduction of early childhood education. The study recommends interventions that curriculum planners and implementers can utilise in order to create conditions that enable primary schools to be ready for introducing and implementing early childhood education.
Problem behaviours of kindergartners : the affects of children's cognitive ability, creativity, and self-esteemSource: South African Journal of Education 36, pp 1 –10 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n1a1177More Less
This study investigated the affects of cognitive ability, creativity, and self-esteem on kindergartners' problem behaviour. Participants were 203 children (mean age = 65.8 months) attending kindergartens in Korea. Data collection used the Korean version of Child Behaviour Checklist, the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, and the Children's Sense of Self-Esteem Inventory. Pearson's correlations and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used to analyse the data. There were four primary outcomes. First, there were negative correlations between children's problem behaviour (internalising and externalising problems) and cognitive ability. Second, there was a negative correlation between internalising problems and fluency in creativity. No correlation was found between children's externalising problems and creativity. Third, there were negative correlations between children's problem behaviour (internalising and externalising problems) and self-esteem. Fourth, sequential processing, emotional competence, and fluency were revealed to be predictors of children's internalising problems. Social competency and sequential processing were found to be predictors of children's externalising problems.