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- Volume 17, Issue 1, 2003
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 17, Issue 1, 2003
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Volume 17, Issue 1, 2003
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 5 –8 (2003)More Less
Extracted from text ... Editorial Research and development in higher education: rating or not? Y Waghid* & L le Grange University of Stellenbosch Research and development has become a primary focus of the higher education landscape in South Africa over the past decade, particularly focus- ing on producing "knowledge interests" which take seriously the advancement of academic research and the construction of knowledge for social relevance The practice of research has become synonymous with the construction of knowledge by critical inquirers who use their disciplinary bases to explore multiple dimensions of epistemology which include aspects such as experience and reality, foundations, realism ..
Author R. ChettySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 9 –15 (2003)More Less
This article is underpinned by the current changes in the South African higher education environment and its impact on research within the technikon sector. It is based on a case study of the M L Sultan Technikon (which has subsequently merged with Natal Technikon in April 2002 to form the Durban Institute of Technology). Instruments used include the weighted publication index for 2001 by amount of research activity and a survey of the structural and personal factors related to institutional research productivity. The rationale for the article is the growing sense of disillusionment among academic staff at previously disadvantaged technikons that have a legacy of poor governance and research capacity. Also, standards of research and teaching have come under increasingly close examination as can be seen with the release of the New Academic Policy for Higher Education Evidence from parallel investigations in the United Kingdom (UK) (Bassey 1995) and Australia (Ramsden 1998) point to the crucial role of academic leadership at management level in maintaining morale, enhancing productivity and increasing research output. The key recommendation of the article points toward a change in the dichotomous model of technikon work (teaching versus research, practice versus theory) to continuous ones. More important to the Arts and Humanities is the need to devise appropriate measures of the range of scholarly outputs.
Author J. CurrieSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 16 –23 (2003)More Less
This article discusses the concept of globalisation as a neoliberal ideology with materialist consequences for universities. It distinguishes between globalisation and internationalisation, emphasising that in globalisation there is the transcendence of the nation to establish a borderless economy. It describes how universities are seeking to be transnational players in this global economy. The article uses Sklair's (2001) four criteria to measure globalisation : foreign direct investment, world best practice, corporate citizenship and global vision. This article applies those four criteria to universities. For example, it describes how universities make foreign investments in off-shore campuses to produce export dollars as a means to survive their declining budgets from the government. It also shows how adopting benchmarking as a world best practice is used to demonstrate the quality of their institutions. These practices appear to be taken up by globalising professionals without thinking about the long-term goals of universities and may do irreparable damage to the integrity of these universities. It urges academics to become involved in the critical debate about globalisation and its effects on universities and on the wider community.
Author J. FavishSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 24 –30 (2003)More Less
This article seeks to explain some of the causes of the disjuncture between the policy goals related to the role of higher education in social and economic development on the one hand, and the practices of higher education institutions on the other hand. This will be done by suggesting that the lack of conceptual clarity regarding the meaning of "responsiveness" contributes to the relative marginalisation of the social dimensions of "responsiveness". The absence of appropriate coordinating structures at regional and local level for facilitating an integrated approach to the implementation of the array of government social policies makes it difficult to achieve synergy between the programmes offered at higher education institutions and the development needs of society. Some policy gaps, impacting on the seriousness with which higher education institutions views their social responsibilities, are identified. The manner in which the various imperatives of the national plan appear to have been prioritized and addressed by the department has reinforced the relative marginalisation of the developmental role of higher education. The lack of capacity in many higher education institutions to drive comprehensive transformation initiatives is also highlighted.
Beyond the ivory tower : service learning for sustainable community development : perspectives on higher educationAuthor M. FourieSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 31 –38 (2003)More Less
Teaching, research and community service have since earliest times been regarded as the three core functions of a university. The concept and practice of service-learning has succeeded in uniting these core functions. Whereas the quality of student learning resulting from service learning experiences is of crucial importance for universities, the role of service learning in community development also deserves attention. <br>This article explores the necessary conditions for service learning to make a viable and effective contribution to sustainable community development by critically analysing a number of service-learning projects at the University of the Free State. From this analysis certain conclusions are drawn on necessary prerequisites for service learning to satisfy the requirements of participatory development and thus contribute to sustainable community development. It is the author's contention that the university's involvement in service learning along the lines of participatory development is a crucial investment in the future of students, communities and the university itself.
The promise of problem-based learning for training pre-service technology teachers : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 39 –46 (2003)More Less
This article describes a learner-centred pedagogy for training student teachers. The inquiry was guided by two questions : (1) Is problem-based learning (PBL) an effective strategy when training prospective Technology teachers? (2) To what extent do student teachers transfer their own experiences of PBL to the authentic classroom situation? After exploring the cognitive dimensions and characteristics of PBL, a rationale is provided for using PBL particularly for teacher training in Technology Education. Data collected through quantitative and qualitative methods suggest that the training was perceived as a relevant, creative and satisfying professional development learning experience. However, when having to transfer PBL competencies to real schools, the student teachers experienced uncertainty about their new roles as learning facilitators in a less structured and less predictable PBL environment.
RPL as cognitive praxis in linking higher education, the African Renaissance and lifelong learning : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 47 –53 (2003)More Less
This article argues that one can use the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to reconceptualise the project of bridging the articulation gap between further and higher education in South Africa by framing the cognitive praxis of this project simultaneously within the African Renaissance and within a progressive global project of lifelong learning. The article then suggests that RPL requires recognising both the complementarity and the contestation or disjunction between different modes of learning and knowledge production. In a postmodern period of intensified globalisation that inevitably shapes what is possible in lifelong learning and the African Renaissance, it may be useful to frame "bridging the gap" within a broader notion of "mediating difference". The article uses the experience of introducing RPL at the University of the Western Cape to illustrate the general argument.
On the proposed new funding framework - a trajectory for growth or negative entropy for research at technikons? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor D.C. JinabhaiSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 54 –60 (2003)More Less
The proposed new funding framework has dire repercussions for technikon subsidies when measured in terms of research outputs. The steering mechanism for state funding is focused on graduate output rates and this lends added pressure for technikons to enrol quality students and at the same time increase throughput rates. It also implies that technikons with different mandates and resources may have to focus on enrolling more students for Master's and doctoral degrees in order to generate research output subsidies. More importantly, the funding strategy for research and development places technikons at a distinct disadvantage especially those historically institutions whose track record for research is undernourished. In essence, the funding framework although advocating a new trajectory towards sustainable growth, paradoxically appears to lead historically disadvantaged technikons towards negative entropy. This article explores the implications of the proposed funding mechanism on technikon research outputs and highlights the historical ethos of the philosophy of technikon education.
Reappraising learning programmes and knowledge production in higher education in post-apartheid South Africa : perspectives on higher educationAuthor M. NtshoeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 61 –66 (2003)More Less
Benchmarking curricula, learning programmes and research designs in a globalising, knowledge-intensive and technology-driven society remains a major challenge for higher learning institutions (HLIs). The prevailing trend is to benchmark curricula, learning programmes and research in higher education (HE) in terms of single disciplines, subjects and courses. This has led to the division of academia into separate faculties, departments and units. This article contests the conventional view of planning curricula, learning programmes and research in terms of single disciplines and argues for designs underpinned by interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary planning. It argues that, although single-disciplinary designs have undoubtedly contributed to the creation of knowledge, this practice has theoretical and practical limitations, particularly in the globalising, knowledge-intensive and technology-driven society. It further argues that the proposed interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary designs are useful tools for transforming qualification-based curriculum planning in HE in South Africa. It also argues that although programme-based planning was proposed four years ago as part of transforming the HE sector, the implications of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary planning and how it may improve practice remain unexplored. Furthermore, there is growing recognition in HE in general and in South Africa in particular that HLIs are no longer exclusive producers of knowledge in the current learning society. The implication of this recognition is that application-driven and participatory research should take preference to propositional and homogeneous knowledge in research agendas.
Are positive self-perceptions and expectancies really beneficial in an academic context? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor C. OchseSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 67 –73 (2003)More Less
The main aim of this study was to discover interrelations between university students' self-perceptions, expectancies, and academic achievement. A sample of 645 Unisa students was divided into three groups : Overestimators, Realists, and Underestimators. The data revealed that, compared to Underestimators, Overestimators (a) expected significantly higher marks; (b) were significantly more confident about their expectations, and (c) perceived themselves to have significantly more ability. Although Overestimators had more positive psychological profiles than Underestimators, they gained significantly lower marks than Underestimators (47% and 76% respectively) in the examinations. In strong contrast to major psychological theories the results suggest that, in a university context, (a) poor performance is not associated with negative self-perceptions and low expectancies, and (b) overoptimistic self-perceptions and high expectancies may in fact be maladaptive. Indeed these results suggest that humble self-assessments may be more conducive to success.
Identifying and responding to barriers impacting women educators : reflections by feminist educators on institutional constraints : perspectives on higher educationAuthor J. PerumalSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 74 –82 (2003)More Less
A national audit conducted by the Centre for Science Development in 1997 aimed to ascertain the research and teaching status of women in academia. Among the recommendations emerging from the audit was the need to review institutional policies, and focus on networking and support. Using the audit as a point of departure, this article draws on narrative research that was conducted with five tertiary educators who teach English from a feminist perspective at various universities in Southern Africa. Through narrative research comprising autobiographical essays, and post lesson interviews the study investigated the specific contribution of feminist pedagogy to the task of reconceptualising English-language teaching in multilingual classrooms. In reflecting on the various factors that continue to shape their feminist and socio-linguistic identity construction, the participants almost organically reflected on institutional factors that enabled or disabled their participation in academic life. Drawing on these reflections, this article explores the notion of academic citizenship as it relates to the status and practice of these five educators who teach at various institutions of higher education in Southern Africa. The article is divided into two parts. <br>(a) Part 1 identifies the barriers impacting the participants. It draws on the British sociologist T.H. Marshall's tripartite conceptualisation of citizenship, viz civic citizenship, political citizenship and social citizenship as a framework that explores the constituent factors comprising an individual's citizenship status and membership in society. Based on macro notions of citizenship, the article adapts these to the micro context of academia to explore the status of women's academic citizenship. <br>(b) Part 2 explores the ways the participants in the study are responding to the barriers impacting them by attempting to negotiate the tightrope of rights and justice and the morality of ethics and care.
The four-year eternity : sacrifice, death and resurrection as metaphors for aspects of tertiary institutional transformation : perspectives on higher educationAuthor T. UllyattSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 83 –90 (2003)More Less
Being involved in a voluntary retrenchment programme in his employing tertiary educational institution, and as part of a need to understand the retrenchment process and its impact, the author set out to find aspects of language that were apposite and accurate enough not only to delineate the process but also its impact at unconscious levels. Metaphors and similes often serve as useful means of clarification, of providing multiple perspectives, of constructing parallel insights into what is happening to individuals. This article explores the proposition that the processes of sacrifice, death and resurrection provide valuable metaphors for understanding organisational transformation. The paradoxical ideal of putting death to the service of life is incorporated through Duverger's discussion of sacrifice in Aztec culture.
Democracy, higher education transformation and citizenship in South Africa : perspectives on higher educationAuthor Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 91 –97 (2003)More Less
Higher education restructuring in South Africa has been heavily influenced by policy processes which culminated in the formulation of several documents which include : the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) Report (1996), the Education White Paper 3 (EWP 1997) entitled A Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education, the Council on Higher Education (CHE) Report entitled Towards a New Higher Education Landscape : meeting the Equity, Quality and Social Development Imperatives of South Africa in the 21st Century (2000) and the National Plan for Higher Education (2001). The primary aim of these policy documents is not only to ensure that the higher education system is planned, governed and funded as a single national co-ordinated system but also, to enhance the transformation of the higher education system which needs to reflect the changes that are taking place in South African society, to strengthen the values and practices of our democracy and most importantly, "to overcome the fragmentation, inequality and inefficiency which are the legacy of the (apartheid) past" (EWP 1997). On the one hand, three central transformation pillars on which the detailed policies of the 1997 Education White Paper 3 are based include the following : increased and broadened participation, responsiveness to societal needs, and partnership and co-operation in governance. On the other hand, the CHE's arguments concerned with restructuring higher education in relation to, by now well-known globalised conditions accentuate the concern to develop human capital, that is, to develop the thinking and intellectual capacities of South African society which is considered to be the key to economic, social, cultural and political stability. It is taken as axiomatic that the development of human capital articulated by a demand for a more skilled and educated populace, is central to South Africa's "capacity to purposefully, energetically and creatively establish a democracy after decades of political strife" (CHE 2000:2). The National Plan for Higher Education in South Africa (2001) outlines the framework and mechanisms for implementing and realising the policy goals of the Education White Paper 3. With reference to the need of the higher education system to develop the intellectual capacities of people by inculcating in them high quality skills and competences which in turn, can lead to a heightened form of political accountability on the part of democratic South African citizens, my contention is that this can best be achieved if "outcomes" announced in the National Plan are implemented along communitarian liberalist lines. It is this position I wish to analyse and explore in this article with reference to one specific "outcome" : Enhanced cognitive skills of graduates.
Gender representation patterns in higher education management in South Africa : perspectives on higher educationAuthor C. ZuluSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 98 –104 (2003)More Less
This article examines gender representation patterns in higher education transformation, with a view to raising pertinent questions and obtaining possible answers and solutions to the problem of gender equality in higher education management in particular. The article takes a critical look at the issue of disparity in the professional advancement of women academics, particularly with regard to their under representation in academic and administrative positions. It examines possible barriers to academic women's advancement and makes some recommendations on what institutions could do to minimise these barriers. In addition, the article presents a summary of the results of a survey of South African universities' top academic and administrative structures carried out over three years (2000 - 2002) to determine whether or not women representation shows a changing pattern. The data indicate that the pattern of representation is still generally the same, with very little change over the three years.
Service learning in teacher education : an institutional model for an emerging practice : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 105 –111 (2003)More Less
Interest in service learning is growing at a time of curriculum change in teacher education and institutional change in higher education in South Africa. This raises the question "What models are available to guide institutions to develop service learning?" This article outlines Pollack's typology of institutional responses to service learning in the United States of America (USA). It then reviews two case studies of service learning piloted in the Wits College of Education in 2001. The article concludes that Pollack's "professional school" model is appropriate to promote service learning in the college. Combining "school experience" with service learning is a viable way to prepare students for the professional demands laid down in national policy in teacher education.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 112 –122 (2003)More Less
This article describes and evaluates a case study of a postgraduate practical learning event in the Department of Tourism Management at the University of Pretoria. It involved a real-world situation and departed significantly from traditional learning, as it bridged the gap between theoretical class-learning and professional practice. The Hexa-C Metamodel is used as inquiry tool to evaluate the student project according to contemporary learning and instructional theories, using the criteria of Creativity, Collaborative learning, Customisation, Components, Cognitive learning, and Constructivism. Background to the particular course is provided followed by a description of the context and scope of the project. This is followed by the research design and the findings of this qualitative evaluation. The article provides valuable insights into the value, challenges, and practicalities of designing and implementing real-world practical projects as part of the higher education learning experience.
Author C.M. FourieSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 123 –131 (2003)More Less
In teaching generally over the past 20 years, there has been a move towards teaching methods that encourage deep, rather than surface approaches to learning. The reason for this being that students, who adopt a deep approach to learning are considered to have learning outcomes of a better quality and desirability than those who adopt a surface approach to learning. However, how students approach their learning is still undervalued in higher education, as it is assumed that by the time a student enters higher education, he or she has already learned how to study. The purpose of this research is, therefore, to discuss the extent to which a South African higher education institute promotes and develops a deep approach to learning in its undergraduates, and to describe any changes in students' approaches to learning as they progress through their studies.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 132 –139 (2003)More Less
As institutions are gearing themselves for integrating Information Communications and Technology (ICT) in their instruction, a number of challenges come to light. The challenges are particularly prominent when the institution operates in a predominantly developing country. Academics question the rationale of making use of sophisticated technology when clients stand to be "disadvantaged" by the technology. Issues of access or the so-called information technology divide precipitate in profuse debates among academics and management of higher education institutions. A further complication in the debate arises when the delivery of instruction is through the "distance mode". Large distance education institutions such as the University of South Africa are engrossed in self-reflection to determine the parameters on which to base ICT instruction principles. A case study is presented of endeavours to forge ahead with online education given the constraints of the digital divide. The results of this case study indicate that digital divide considerations can undermine the provision of enhanced pedagogies in distance education programmes and thus contribute to non-development of individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds. Consequently, it is proposed that online education should be incorporated in distance education programmes should the need arise, in part to address the digital divide and in part to enhance learning.
Constructing a mutually empowering university : funder and school partnership through action research : research in higher educationAuthor R.G.P. NgcongoSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 140 –145 (2003)More Less
This article suggests that the traditional pure research which universities undertake is limited in impacting on communities. The article indicates that this type of research often does not empower communities as researchers, for these tend to be objects, of the research projects. The article argues that universities, however, have a role to play to facilitate research, which directly empowers communities, specifically as researchers. As part of the argument, the article refers to the Action Research project conducted in the Durban South Region, within the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department. This research involved five racially mixed schools each working on its chosen problem area. The Department of Educational Planning and Administration facilitated the project through Professor R.G.P. Ngcongo. The article also outlines how the process of facilitating the Action Research project by the University, which was represented by Professors L.M. Magi (Vice Rector of the University), Professor R.V. Gabela (Head of the Department of Educational Planning and Administration) and Professor Ngcongo (Assistant Head within the department) constituted mutual empowerment, between educator-researchers and the Department of Educational Planning and Administration The article also points out how accountability of the project was ensured. The article indicates challenges of facilitating the undertaking of action research by schools and discusses how these were managed. It concludes by mentioning the limitations and strengths of the project and reiterates the role which universities could play in promoting community service through action or similar research.
Student teachers' experiences of a learning programme based on the content dimension of the essential features of technology education : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 146 –155 (2003)More Less
The aim of this article is to explore student teachers' experiences of the content dimension of the essential features of technology and Technology Education in an OBE related learning programme. To achieve this, a learning programme was developed using criteria derived from these essential features. In gauging students' experience of the programme, a case study involving 20 second-year students following a course in Technology Education was undertaken. The naturalistic-qualitative research strategy, using the descriptive, contextual case study was considered the most acceptable research design for an investigation of this nature. Engagement with the programme proved to be an empowering experience for the students who had hitherto not had the opportunity to experience a formal programme in technology educatio. Although it could not be proved conclusively that cognitive development had occurred, positive inter-dependence, shared responsibility, social skills and enhanced learning were evident.