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- Volume 14, Issue 3, 2000
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 14, Issue 3, 2000
Volumes & issues
Volume 14, Issue 3, 2000
The United Nations University - the concept, history, structure, financing, objectives, centres and programmes : guest editorialAuthor J. ReddySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 5 –14 (2000)More Less
Extracted from text ... Guest Editorial The United Nations University ? the concept, history, structure, financing, objectives, centres and programmes J Reddy Chair of the Council of the United Nations University The United Nations University (UNU) is an international academic organisation which among its other activities promotes the aims of peace and progress of the United Nations Organisation. It achieves these objectives by bringing together leading international scholars to tackle the world's most pressing problems of today. The purpose of this article is to bring to the attention of the community of South African scholars, institu- tions, governments and their agencies the importance of the work being undertaken by the UNU since its founding in 1975. The isolation during the long Apartheid years ..
Accounting for change : the micropolitics of university restructuring. Part one : balancing books and ideasSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 15 –26 (2000)More Less
In this first of three articles on "the micropolitics of university restructuring", the authors examine the political processes which shaped the restructuring of a single university (the University of Durban Westville) in the period 1998± 2000. Under external pressures (eg, declining student enrolments and increasing institutional accountability) and internal forces (eg, high repetition and dropout rates and high student default rates with respect to tuition), the University was forced to engage in a comprehensive process of strategic planning in order to improve efficiency, promote equity, and enhance effectiveness in its core business. This article develops an analytic narrative of the restructuring process in order to show how the unfolding of the planning process led to the kinds of outcomes which cannot be understood outside of the recognition of the interplay of conflict, compromise and consensus-building in changing universities. The first article also identifies the various roles of key stakeholders, thereby facilitating a deeper understanding of the case studies (the second article) and the theoretical interpretation (the third article) that follow in successive publications on this theme. Changing a university is like trying to move a cemetery; you get no help from the inhabitants (Anon). The only thing holding together a university is the central heating system. The university can be thought of as a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over parking.
Author N. Hyde-Clarke HumphriesSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 27 –31 (2000)More Less
Since the African National Congress (ANC) assumed power in South Africa in 1994, there has been a concerted effort to correct the gender and race imbalance in tertiary education institutions. These alterations have been facilitated by government policies and economic incentives. Have these methods been successful in encouraging previously disadvantaged groups to register at universities and continue into postgraduate studies? The statistics are favourable in this regard. When observing registration numbers at the University of the Witwatersrand, it is clear that there is an increase in the number of historically marginalised people entering this institution, particularly black females. It is also reassuring to note that more women students are studying in traditionally male disciplines.
Author S. MorrowSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 32 –37 (2000)More Less
This article, occasioned by the possible disappearance of history from the curriculum of the University of Port Elizabeth, argues that this discipline is a vital part of higher education in contemporary South Africa. History, it argues, should not be seen as the inevitable handmaiden of authority. A historical approach has the capacity to reveal links between academic areas and encourage a critical approach distrustful of superficial generalisation. Examples are given as to how history can make a distinctive approach to higher education, and a strategy is suggested that can integrate history with a range of other disciplines, while also making a distinctive and valuable contribution in its own right. "Mm, I see. It's a waste of time teaching history, is it?" Dixon resolved not to mind what he said to this man. "No. Well taught and sensibly taught, history could do people a hell of a lot of good. But in practice it doesn't work out like that. Things get in the way ..." Kingsley, Amis Lucky Jim:214
Author S. NarseeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 38 –42 (2000)More Less
The author's research was inspired by the assumption that the Communication Skills course presently offered to science and engineering students at technikons in South Africa does not appear to satisfy the cognitive and workplace needs of an ever-changing engineering industry. Since the engineer belongs to a profession whose objective is to improve the conditions of human life by changing the physical environment and the systems of human life, the engineer has a great responsibility to society. In order to discharge that responsibility, engineers must be versatile and competent in a broad spectrum of communication skills. The newly graduated engineer's needs are: more liberal arts and humanities, some knowledge of a second language to better understand other cultures and to work with people internationally, and a better preparation for the legal, social and ethical problems they will face in industry. It is hoped that the conclusions that arose from the author's research and the recommendations made will provide the next generation of engineering students with the tools necessary for productive and rewarding careers in the global workplace (Narsee 1997).
Author G.O.M. OnwuSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 43 –50 (2000)More Less
This article addresses some aspects of the academic and professional objectives in the development of science teacher education programmes in the context of South Africa's changing society. Governments the world over, are now realizing more than ever that poor science educational quality has serious implications for the sustained development of their countries. This realization has led to a renewed commitment in many countries to upgrade the quality and efficiency of the teacher education programme. The article focuses on some aspects of South Africa's educational environment in relation to the education of science teachers. This was done by first examining current trends in teacher education with a view to identifying those features that are said to contribute to the success of teacher education programmes, and thereafter evolving a framework within which the preparation of science teachers at tertiary level, the universities, may be properly considered
Author P.G. ParsonsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 51 –55 (2000)More Less
This article addresses the question of how to improve the selection procedure for academic staff in higher education to promote quality assurance at the point of entry. The procedure that is described has been in operation at the Cape Technikon since 1993 with very positive results. The procedure requires prospective candidates to follow specific guidelines when making a presentation to staff in the academic department. Their presentation is then evaluated in terms both of structural components and presentation skills by one of a panel of evaluators, in consultation with the members of staff of that department. The results of this procedure indicate that approximately 27% of prospective candidates were not recommended for appointment on the basis of their presentations. The procedure has also encouraged departments to reflect on and make explicit their own understanding of the dimensions of effective teaching.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 56 –62 (2000)More Less
Although management education aims to equip students with relevant knowledge, skills and competencies, making explicit and developing the cognitive thought processes necessary for management students to deal effectively with the current and future demands of the world of work, have been neglected. This article argues for the development of "complicated understanding" (Bartunek, Gordon & Weathersby 1983) in management students, through cultivating academic literacy. Using mediation, reflective inquiry and reflective writing interactively, it is illustrated how academic literacy could be promoted at the post-graduate level.
About tarbrushing and feathering : developing institutional capacity for postgraduate research within a "historically disadvantaged institution"Author M. SamuelSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 63 –76 (2000)More Less
Often when seeking out new models of education and training systems, there is a tendency to look to exemplars from outside of one's own immediate environment: in the international context, in the more advantaged and better resourced institutions within the region or country, or even within an institution itself. Are these choices appropriate and/or relevant to our existing needs and goals, or are they simply politically expedient to buy into the dominant discourse concerning what constitutes "good quality" education? This article attempts to provide a critical description of a postgraduate research training and development model beyond the context of "external" models. Instead it draws on the experiences from within the context of an institution that has not been historically architectured to serve the goals of a "researching institution", in an institution that is labeled a "historically disadvantaged institution" (HDI). In the description I will show how strategic development of the postgraduate research sector is being undertaken at the University of Durban-Westville, Faculty of Education. Hopefully this will attempt to counteract the tarbrushing and feathering that accompanies most descriptions of the HDI sector. This article highlights the danger of homogenising all HDI's as fatalistically doomed when meeting the challenges of a fiercely competitive higher education environment in the late 1990's. This article aims to speak also to sectors within and outside the HDI sector who have disparate qualities in postgraduate research training and development, providing a counterpoint to the reports of negative experiences presented by some students from the HDI sector. The "home-grown" models arising out of the particular experiences of a HDI are perhaps most pertinent to realising the specific realities that confront the South African higher education sector. Rather than casting ourselves within a deficiency syndrome, this article will argue that the HDI sector could provide a key to unlocking the potential of a large majority of future South African researchers. The experiences of the HDI sector could provide the basis for reviewing which exemplars and models are being held up as targets towards which all should aspire.
Author L. SutherlandSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 77 –80 (2000)More Less
The very existence of history as a discipline is being threatened by a variety of factors, but, despite this threat, many historians still argue that it holds a key position in a dynamically changing South Africa. However, in order to secure this position, teachers of history will need to provide evidence that it has accommodated the current changes taking place in higher education. While a number of curriculum development initiatives have taken place in the discipline, in many cases, this has not been reflected by related changes in assessment practices, which still reflect a traditional epistemology. If the academic community is to believe that the discipline of history is serious about adapting to the current changes in South African education, history needs to provide evidence that its epistemologies are also adapting.
Author H.M. Van der MerweSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 81 –89 (2000)More Less
The purpose of this article is to cast some light on the nature, the essence and the functioning of the transformation process, as viewed from the higher education perspective. This is realised, firstly, by a study of the semantic value of the term transformation, as interpreted against the background of related terminology, which is followed by a discussion of the complexities involved in the carrying out of the process of higher education. Thirdly, various factors that form the basis of a successful transformation process are highlighted. The discussion is guided throughout by the actual process of the provision of higher education.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 90 –100 (2000)More Less
South Africa has embarked on educational reforms that are based on the concept of Outcomes Based Education (OBE). These reforms have introduced a `'new language" into the discourse about South African education that have to a large extent alienated and disempowered teachers who were not familiar with this new way of describing their work. Partly because of this feeling of disempowerment, many educators were not enthusiastic about OBE. The authors of this article believe that OBE does embody principles that can benefit both learners and teachers, that it can work in South Africa and that some of the confusion surrounding OBE can be removed by recontextualising several of its basic principles. The article attempts to resolve a common concern about the implementation of OBE, namely, the way in which outcomes can/should be written and interpreted
Notions of transformative possibility : equality, accountability, development and quality within higher educationAuthor Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 101 –111 (2000)More Less
This article is an attempt to analyse equality, accountability, development and quality which hold much promise for shaping higher education transformation in South Africa. First, I give an overview of the South African higher education policy framework, in particular its concern with issues of equality, development, accountability and quality which can be linked to educational transformation. Thereafter, I show how notions of equal access, relevance and dialogism can contribute towards initiating equality and development and enhancing accountability and quality in higher education transformation in South Africa.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 112 –119 (2000)More Less
This article provides both a description and analysis of the teaching and learning principles used in the design, development and implementation of a foundation course in Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand. The course was launched in an attempt to provide a structured and more sustained intervention for addressing the needs of students with little basis in the skills required for study at tertiary education institutions. The article demonstrates the ways in which these principles have informed not only the initial and continued design of the course, but also the teaching methods employed and the teaching and learning materials used. The approach has proved to be very successful in developing a wide range of skills in students who complete the course. Such an approach is not limited to the teaching and learning of Sociology only, nor should it be confined to foundation and academic development teaching. The article therefore concludes by advocating the approach for all areas and levels of teaching at tertiary institutions.
Author M.R. De VilliersSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 120 –131 (2000)More Less
This article is a follow-up to "Instructional theories of experts: a practical implementation" in SAJHE Volume 12(2) of 1998 by the same author. The previous article discussed current instructional and learning theories and tenets of instructional design, upon which a prototype computerised interactive learning and practice environment has been developed for first-level university students in theoretical computer science. The environment gives learners the opportunity to select their own instructional transactions in terms of content, sequence, and the type of performance, in modes ranging from perusal to independent practice. Formative evaluation is defined and a practical application, namely, learner-evaluation of students' interaction with this practice environment is described, based on questionnaires, interviews, and a post-test. Conventional evaluation is conducted of learner-attitudes and product effectiveness, but particular attention is paid to the five "C" characteristics introduced in the previous article: cognitive learning, constructivism, component-based instruction, customization and creativity. The Five C model has subsequently been extended to incorporate a sixth C, collaborative learning, and has thus become the Hexa-C Metamodel. The practical evaluation of the practice environment is particularly focused on investigating the level of attainment of the characteristics embodied in the Hexa-C Meta-model.
Author C.M. FourieSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 132 –138 (2000)More Less
The relationship between "Class Size" and student ratings of lecturers' "Teaching Presentation" was analysed. Data from 213 different university lecture halls was collected with classes ranging from 2 to 316 students. The data was analysed by means of Configural Frequency Analysis and a graphical representation of the relationship between "Class Size" and "Teaching Presentation". The results strongly support conclusions that (a) there is only a weak relationship between "Class Size" and student ratings of "Teaching Presentation"; and (b) the relationship is further nonlinear in nature. Theoretical, methodological, and practical issues regarding the research are also discussed in the article.
Author M.E. HerselmanSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 139 –150 (2000)More Less
University students in South Africa come from diverse backgrounds. Exposure to different types of resources are limited for some students, especially those who stay in resource deprived conditions. This article proofs the significant role computer games can play in providing learning opportunities for resource deprived students. It also reveals the correlation between the resource-deprived students' preference for certain types of games and their game literacy levels. Depending on their resource levels, different intrinsic motivators cause students to continue playing these games, although recognition is the most important motivator. After exposure to the games as individuals and in groups the English Second Language (ESL) proficiency of the resource deprived learners showed a great improvement and this finding is supported by their way of coping with computers in a lecture. More exposure to the games allowed them to become more game literate which increased their scores in the games which in turn motivated them to learn more from the games.
Author C.A. KappSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 151 –160 (2000)More Less
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is that part of the human spirit which motivates one to perform and provides the energy to demonstrate positive behaviours. For this pilot study the value of EQ for success in post-graduate studies was investigated. Of the 80 post-graduate students in education who completed the EQ-map questionnaire, a sample of ten were selected to represent two categories of academic success (n=5) and two categories of partial or no success (n=5). The EQ-profiles provide some indication that high responses at the optimal and proficient levels of most of the identified scales seem to differentiate between upper level successful and lower level unsuccessful students. Successful students appear to be strong on quality of life and optimal performance, while unsuccessful students have negative emotions. Most post-graduate students experience high levels of life pressures. It seems that EQ does have some value in securing success in post-graduate studies.
Effects of the instrumental enrichment and CoRT thinking skills programmes on the creativity of pre-service teachersSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 161 –168 (2000)More Less
This study assessed the effectiveness of Feuerstein's Instrumental Enrichment and de Bono's CoRT thinking skill programmes in enhancing the creative thinking and attitudes of pre-service teachers in a disadvantaged South African community. Four groups of students (n = 20 each) were randomly constituted and taught, respectively, Instrumental Enrichment, CoRT, a combination of the two, and their usual studies (that is, a control group). Results on the measures of creative thinking were inconsistent and non-significant. However, after intervention, the experimental groups were all more open to autonomy and divergence among their pupils than the control group. Further, unlike the others, the Instrumental Enrichment group displayed a consistent tendency to improve following the intervention on the measures of creative attitudes. Implications of these results for teacher education and further research are discussed.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 14, pp 169 –176 (2000)More Less
This article focuses on the experiences of women academics at a South African university, historically an enclave of male domination. The study employed an interpretative research methodology and utilised in-depth, semi-structured interviews as data collection method. The constant comparative method of data analysis was used to construct categories that captured recurring themes and patterns. The findings of this research denote both positive and negative experiences of women academics at the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU). Positives include the lessening of visible, overt discrimination and the advantage of flexible working hours. Negative experiences include the double workload of women academics, their ambivalent feelings about academia and its impact on their reactions and behaviour. The article concludes with a number of possible recommendations for all role-players in the academic arena.