- A-Z Publications
- South African Journal of Higher Education
- Previous Issues
- Volume 14, Issue 1, 2000
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 14, Issue 1, 2000
Volumes & issues
Volume 14, Issue 1, 2000
Author R.O.A. AluedeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 7 –12 (2000)More Less
The problems associated with educational disparity in Nigeria are such that there is current fear that it could lead to disintegration particularly as it has threatened the peaceful coexistence of the nation before now. The Federal Government of Nigeria, in realisation of the possible danger educational disparity could constitute to peace, took measures to ensure educational parity. One of such is the Nomadic Education. This article employs evaluative approach in evaluating nomadic education scheme, to determine whether it was actually compensatory. The article concludes that although the scheme is helping the Fulani nomads to "come out of the dark", the programme should cover all the nomads in Nigeria.
Critical educational studies : a shift from Freirean critical consciousness to Foucauldian discourse formation in the teaching of South African literature in higher education institutionsAuthor R.P. ChettySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 13 –19 (2000)More Less
This article explores both theoretical and methodological underpinnings for the reconstruction of the South African literature curriculum deriving from the critical educational studies of Paulo Freire and the discursive approach of Michel Foucault. A critical approach requires activities that encourage meaning construction, an understanding of the process whereby meanings are made, an analysis of the relationship between knowledge and power, and the active promotion of critical thinking skills in literary studies. A reconstructionist model will provide for genuine interrogation of textuality, for the production of new subject positions for the reader and opportunities for questioning the political and epistemological status of a text. The dialectical of critical educational studies has much relevance to the current South African educational context since it points to the connection between critical knowledge and emancipatory social change.
Current views of the purpose of the introductory physics laboratory in South Africa : Part II : Specific objectivesSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 20 –30 (2000)More Less
A survey about six general objectives for introductory practical work revealed a remarkable change in the opinion of staff members of the department of Physics at the University of South Africa (Unisa) over the past ten years. This was followed by a second survey on 46 specific objectives. The questionnaire was a condensed version of a 102-item inventory compiled by Kirschner (1991). It was conducted amongst Unisa staff, staff from a large number of residential universities and a group of Unisa students. The ranking of the specific objectives by the three groups is compared and discussed in this article.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 31 –36 (2000)More Less
The academic staff development process we report on in this article was conducted from a transformational learning perspective with nursing educators responsible for the implementation of a new first-year curriculum in nursing colleges in Gauteng. In this staff development process we took as our point of departure the notion that transformation of teaching practice necessitates a process commencing with an exploration by educators of the epistemological foundations of their current teaching practice. The article also reports on the nursing educators' experience of this staff development process. Our investigation revealed that the participants experienced the staff development process positively but that many found the implementation of a new teaching strategy difficult. We concluded that academic staff development is never simple or clear-cut and even when staff developers intentionally aim for transformational learning with regard to teaching, transformation of teaching practice is not guaranteed.
Author J. GultigSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 37 –52 (2000)More Less
Higher education in South Africa witnessed significant changes in the 1990s. Some of these changes are a consequence of post-apartheid legislation; others the consequence of global and local changes in the economy. This article argues that many policy goals have not been achieved. This is particularly true of those related to redressing inequities. So, while South African higher education has de-racialised significantly, the less regulated "market" atmosphere of post-apartheid South Africa has widened the divisions between historically privileged and historically black universities. This isn't surprising: institutions with cultural and economic capital will navigate change better than those who lack these. The interesting phenomenon is the fact that English and Afrikaans-language universities are developing in distinctly different directions. While all higher education institutions have, to some extent, been affected by the utilitarianism that currently pervades educational thinking, English universities have engaged with this warily while Afrikaans universities have embraced it. Consequently a new higher education configuration is emerging: <BR> . English universities seem to be setting themselves up as slightly modernised versions of the old elite academy; <BR> . Afrikaans universities and a rapidly growing private sector represent a new class of entrepreneurial universities, committed to professional qualifications and flexible forms of delivery; <BR> . Black niversities are increasingly invisible as educational institutions but far too visible as political trouble spots; at best they may play a "liberal arts college" role in the future but are more likely to be closed down.
Author D. HaySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 53 –61 (2000)More Less
Since the installation of the first democratically elected government in 1994, South African higher education has been facing the daunting task of addressing substantial social transformation. The restructuring of higher education creates a number of new opportunities for researchers to contribute to social, political and economic development in the country (Segal 1998). However, the South African higher education research community is still trying to overcome the heritage of the previous fragmented higher education system which did not only hamper the quality of research outputs, but was also detrimental to the development of promising researchers and to society at large. This article is an attempt to firstly give an overview of the complexity of higher education research in South Africa. Secondly the researcher proposes distinctive prerequisites that ensure quality in South African higher education research.
Author K. LuckettSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 62 –74 (2000)More Less
This article examines the effects of the imposition of a new Higher Education and Training dispensation on academics working in the Humanities disciplines at South African Universities. It uses Habermas' two concepts of "system" and "lifeworld" to try to make sense of current tensions experienced by many of these academics. It argues that both the demands of the system and of the lifeworld needs of its practitioners may be accommodated within the different moments of the curriculum action-research cycle, but that this will require very careful planning by those involved in establishing quality assurance systems both at the institutional and national levels.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 75 –78 (2000)More Less
This preliminary study investigates relationships between students' expectations before an assessment, their in situ assessment of their own performance and the evaluations made by the lecturer. Most recently, it has been widely accepted by academics that self-assessment and self-monitoring has a valuable role to play in the learning process. Does self-assessment play a role in the moderation of student expectations? The results of this study show that while there is a high correlation between the students' final assessment of their own performance and that of the lecturer, the students do not have an innate ability to assess their own performance reliably Â± training and practice is necessary. It is however clear that the use of self-assessment is an extremely effective way of moderating students' expectations which are often unrealistically higher than their performance.
Regional consortia, partnerships, mergers and their implications for the transformation of the South African higher education systemAuthor J. ReddySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 79 –87 (2000)More Less
A number of regional consortia have emerged in recent years to collaborate in sharing scarce resources and attempting to overcome the legacy of the skewed and fragmented system of higher education. Rationalisation of course offerings and movement towards mergers of institutions are further possibilities. The purpose of this study is to record baseline data of the existing consortia with respect to their projects, location, composition, governance and financing mechanisms. Emerging best practice, trends in the rationalising of course offerings and movement towards mergers are identified. The consortia operate through a series of projects such as the library consortia, information literacy, a central applications office etc, are governed by a Board of Trustees and administered throughan Executive Director. They are financed through member subscriptions and donor support. Despite the progress made with a range of collaborative arrangements, there is little evidence of cost savings or improvements in efficiency.
Author R. Roos PaolaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 88 –95 (2000)More Less
This article explores some philosophies of scientific research and their relation to research reporting styles. So-called "scientific research" reporting tends to be associated with the use of certain standardised discursive practices. These discourse conventions are grounded in a view of scientific rationality known as logical positivism which has been adopted by social scientists and educational researchers, has dominated these fields of research until recently and is still very influential. When adopting the impersonal style associated with this research tradition, research accounts tend to ignore or describe as inadequate opposing perspectives in order to make the author's results appear purely factual. Allowing informal accounting in research reports could provide a richer and more balanced description of the research procedures and interpretations of the results. Such description would be in line with a movement away from a traditional view of scientific knowledge to a more socially contingent view.
Author M.E.S. Van den BergSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 96 –107 (2000)More Less
This article has its genesis in an investigative survey amongst first-year university learners on six South African university campuses regarding the need for the development of modules in critical thinking skills which would be portable between different disciplines and faculties at tertiary level. In this article I shall look at various interpretations of critical thinking and approaches for developing critical thinking skills in learners. While definitions of critical thinking differ among philosophers and educators, I maintain in this article that some current approaches at developing critical thinking skills in learners still concentrate on the formal instruction of learners, rather than on interactive learning where they are actively involved in constructing knowledge. The results of the survey show some interesting trends and frequencies as regards first-year learners' understanding of critical thinking, what skills and competencies they think they need at tertiary level and their expectations of tertiary education. I shall discuss and interpret the data of selected questionnaire items with some suggestions as to how one might approach the development of future modules in critical thinking.
Author E. AlantSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 108 –120 (2000)More Less
During the past years, the concept of team research has become a frequent topic of discussion as researchers realise the benefits that can be derived from collaborative efforts. A paucity of literature is, however, available on procedures and strategies that can be used as part of this process. The present article explores the concept of team research by focusing on a collaborative project that was conducted by the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC), University of Pretoria (UP) and the Department of Speech and Hearing Therapy at the University of Durban-Westville (UDW) in consultation with the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Program from the University of Purdue (Indiana, USA). The aims of the project were to build expertise in the field of AAC and severe disabilities as well as to facilitate research capacity building amongst staff and students involved. The process and strategies used to facilitate interaction between teams are discussed and a specific framework for the planning of collaborative projects is presented. Finally problems that were experienced during the process are discussed and recommendations are made for the management of further collaborative research projects.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 121 –129 (2000)More Less
This article surveys criteria that have been published on the Web and proposes a set of criteria (toolbox) that can be used by teachers, students and researchers to evaluate Internet information sources. Many evaluators of Internet information resources rely on subjective values of style and "coolness", instead of focussing on information content, currency, compatibility, authority, ease of use, connectivity, etc. After assembling some 223 possible criteria and indicators of excellence, we re-work these to 59 indicators in seven categories. These are then compared against a number of acknowledged Internet evaluation sites and the most frequently used criteria are identified. Currency, graphic design and browsability emerge as the most highly rated aspects to consider when evaluating educational web sites.
Critical variables that influence students to study tertiary mathematics : using a pilot study to empower novice researchersSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 130 –134 (2000)More Less
A pilot study was conducted as part of a project designed (i) to identify critical variables that influence students' decisions to study tertiary mathematics and (ii) to provide a fuller understanding of factors influencing both participation and performance in tertiary mathematics. A group of 54 volunteer students following the Science Foundation Year Programme at the University of Transkei were administered a questionnaire, 10 agreeing to be interviewed. Significant gender differences were found in students' beliefs about tertiary mathematics, while the main influences on participation and performance in mathematics were the students' own decisions to study the subject, their preference of mathematics and mathematics being a prerequisite for other courses. Running concurrently within the research project were coordinated activities that enabled each member of the research team to engage directly in all aspects of the research process through hands-on participation. This article reports on the major findings of the pilot study as indicators for the main investigation, reflects on the processes the novice researchers were engaged in and highlights the synergistic benefits of these research capacity development activities.
Author E. HenningSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 135 –145 (2000)More Less
In the preceding article (see SAJHE 13(3) 1999), titled, Crafting a combinative ethnography of unlicensed teachers' journey towards professionalisation, the evolvement of the casebook on unlicensed teachers' professionalisation was presented, emphasising the construction of the inquiry. The article ended with the final data categories. In this follow-up article the data are integrated into seven thematic wholes, using the image of "travelling" as unifying feature. Although the narrative is presented via seven individual teacher characterisations or portraits, the themes run across individuals. The portraits of the persons were used to exemplify the themes and do not constitute descriptions of individuals only. Subsequent to the portrayal of the characters (or the depiction of episodes from the stories) the main pattern is discussed, suggesting that the pragmatics of teacher education should play a far more decisive role in designing programs.
The differential validity of matriculation and university performance as predictors of post-first-year performanceAuthor G.K. HuysamenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 146 –151 (2000)More Less
In this study, support was found for the late blooming hypothesis which postulates that the university marks of educationally disadvantaged students increasingly overlap, from the first to the final undergraduate year, with that of their educationally non-disadvantaged counterparts. The point-biserial correlation between mean percentage mark and academically advantaged or non-disadvantaged group membership decreased for the same intake of students from their first to their third year of study. Moreover, for both groups first-year percentage marks were better predictors of subsequent performance than were matriculation marks and the difference in the predictive correlations of the percentage marks of these groups was smaller for second-year performance than for first-year performance. <BR>One of the most striking features of South African university enrolments during the last decade of the 20th century has been the rapid increase in the numbers of black students at historically white universities, especially historically Afrikaans universities. According to figures eleased by the national Department of Education (1999), black enrolments at the University of the Orange Free State increased from less than 5 percent in 1993 to more than 42 percent in 1999 and at the Rand Afrikaans University from 16 percent to 41 percent during the same period. <BR>It is common cause that students from schools formerly falling under the Department of Education and Training (DET) have been exposed to a school system which was inferior compared to that attended by their white counterparts. In 1988Â±89, R656 was spent per black child on education as opposed to the R2 882 per white child. Because staff constitutes a sizable portion of the education budget, this difference in expenditure was mainly due to differences in the salaries of the teachers at black and white schools that stemmed from differences in their respective qualifications. In the period just mentioned, 32% of black teachers were not even matriculated and only five percent held university degrees as opposed to the teachers in white schools all of whom were matriculated and of whom 32% held university degrees (Christie 1991). <BR>Although the departments of education for different demographic groups were integrated in 1995, the ill effects of the former DET may still be expected to prevail in the historically black high schools. Miller (1992) rightly cautioned that a change of departmental names would not immediately result in an overhaul of the deficiencies of the former DET schools. This article concerns the effect of a non-disadvantaged university training on the university performance of students from a disadvantaged high school background and on the predictability of such performance.
Author L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 152 –159 (2000)More Less
This article reports a case study that formed part of the South Africa/Australia Institutional Links project entitled "Educating for socio-ecological change: capacity-building in environmental education". The case study explores some of the pedagogical processes used in a preservice education course at the University of Stellenbosch. It is argued that education policy changes in South Africa post 1990 have provided space for the transformation of pedagogical practices in the context of teacher education. Further, the role that collegial relationships between lecturer and students played in enabling critical reflection, is illuminated.
Conceptual integration of some basic concepts in Physics and Chemistry among Science Foundation year studentsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 160 –165 (2000)More Less
A one-year Science Foundation Programme, designed to prepare disadvantaged students for admission to first-year Bachelor of Science courses, was initiated by the University of Transkei in February 1998. This study was aimed at determining whether the guided, open-ended, interactive, foundation-building, practical-oriented, skill-developing, remedial, physical science course offered in this programme would improve the level of conceptual integration (ability to identify, differentiate, correlate and integrate similar concepts in Physics and Chemistry) of these students. The sample consisted of all the 48 registered Science Foundation Year students. Pre- and post-tests in a few chosen concepts sandwiched the intervention procedures. Statistical and qualitative analyses indicated an improvement in the level of conceptual integration of the participants. The highest level of conceptual integration was exhibited by 21% of the students in the concept of ion formation; 25% in the concept of energy conversion; 19% in the concept of static versus dynamic equilibria and 21% in the concept of dynamic equilibria. The research revealed that the conducive study environment and the special care provided by the lecturers enabled the students to consolidate their knowledge base and to integrate some selected concepts in Physics and Chemistry.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 166 –173 (2000)More Less
The focus of this study is on open-book assessment in relation to essay and multiple choice kinds of assessment based on the performance of 512 first- and second-language students. In addition to the standard examinations (MCQ & essays), students were tested on 4 open-book assessments during the course of the semester. The results showed that the pattern of marks across grades for the open-book assessments were similar to that for MCQ and essays. There was very little variation across the 4 open-book assessments within grades and also within bands of matriculation point scores of 5 30, 30Â± 34, 4 34. Matriculation point scores yielded significant correlations with the different kinds of assessment only for the first-language students with scores 4 29. In general, the results indicate that student performance tends to remain fairly stable with MCQ generally yielding higher marks than other kinds of assessment.
Author G.M. SteynSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 174 –184 (2000)More Less
In pursuit of quality, educators and learners must be continuously engaged in a process of finding opportunities for improving the learning process, the quality of the learning experience and the way it is delivered. In this article two principles of TQM: (i) Focus on the needs and expectations of customers and (ii) Be committed to continuous improvement, are applied to the assignment and assessment system in the module: Personnel Management (a component of a postgraduate degree in education) as taught at a distance education university. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect feedback from learners. The responses of learners indicate that the needs and expectations of the majority of learners were met by the assignment and a system of self-assessment. In the light of learners' expectations the article concludes with strategies to improve the current assignment and self-assessment system.