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- Volume 18, Issue 3, 2004
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 18, Issue 3, 2004
Volumes & issues
Volume 18, Issue 3, 2004
Factors influencing the sustainability of University Centres promoting multilingualism in South Africa : research in higher educationAuthor C. DyersSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 241 –256 (2004)More Less
The main question addressed by this article is: How can multilingual language centres based at universities ensure their long-term sustainability? Research was carried out at three centres in the Western Cape to find the answers to this question. Several factors, such as funding, staff structures and support by the parent universities, appear to influence the sustainability of these centres.
Indigenous and popular narratives : the educational use of myths in a comparative perspective : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 257 –268 (2004)More Less
This article is based on a research conducted on children's narratives on the tokoloshi (in South Africa), the troll and nisse (in Norway). The article argues that stories about mythical creatures are sources of indigenous cultures, passed on from one generation to another, and should be used for educational purposes. Indigenous narratives are knowledge claims rooted in people's lifeworld, enabling human beings to construct meaning and learn. Higher education and teacher training has a particular obligation, under the vision of curriculum 2005, to provide a platform for African knowledge, identity and cultural creativity. The article argues that popular beliefs should be introduced in higher education in order to be scrutinised, better understood and actively used in teacher training.
Author S. McKennaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 269 –280 (2004)More Less
Difficulties students experience in attaining the required discipline-specific academic literacy practices were frequently described by the lecturers interviewed in this study as arising from low levels of student motivation. Motivation was vested in the student as an individual attribute, rather than as a factor of the broader context. The student discourses analysed in this study, however, indicated that identity formation played an important role in the extent to which students adopted the literacies of the academy. Students were clearly invested in adopting the practices necessary for membership in new social groups in the higher education environment, but they did not, in general, identify with the academic literacy practices that perform a gate keeping function for success in higher education. These literacy practices were perceived by the students as being confusing, difficult to access and, at times, as alienating from the African identities they valued.
Mainstreaming African indigenous knowledge systems in higher and tertiary education : the case of Zimbabwe : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 281 –288 (2004)More Less
Higher and tertiary education institutions have come to be recognised as centers of academic excellence charged with the social responsibility of generating knowledge that can be used to circumvent the challenges confronting society. The western oriented education system characterising higher and tertiary institutions in modern Zimbabwe has failed to meet this premium because it lacks an appreciation of locally produced philosophies and thought systems. This article exposes those methodological and pragmatic tenets of African indigenous knowledge systems (AIKSs), which are worth mainstreaming in higher and tertiary education curricula.
The challenge of preparing and equipping science teachers in higher education to integrate scientific and indigenous knowledge systems for learners : the practice of higher educationAuthor M.B. OgunniyiSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 289 –304 (2004)More Less
The Revised National Curriculum Statement for the Natural Sciences expects learners to acquire scientific and indigenous knowledge which will enable them to, (1) solve practical problems within and outside the science classroom and (2) 'demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between science and technology, society and the environment' (Department of Education 2002, 10). The contention of this article is that the attainment of these objectives depends teachers' ability to equip their learners with the necessary intellectual skills and that this in turn, depends on the quality of their training at the higher the education level. Further, the paper shows how science teachers have modified their views about indigenous knowledge systems and pedagogical practices after enrolling on a module specifically designed to challenge their essentially mechanistic worldview.
Making the invisible visible : portfolios and prior knowledge in higher education : the practice of higher educationAuthor R. OsmanSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 305 –315 (2004)More Less
This article explores the potential of the portfolio process as pedagogy for adult students to recast themselves as producers of knowledge rather than mere conduits for reproducing dominant epistemologies within higher education in South Africa. The exploration has a purchase wherever universities admit students with prior knowledge and where such knowledge is contested and in some instances subjugated. It explores taken for granted approaches to knowledge, teaching and assessing and argues that portfolio courses have much to offer RPL students in South Africa. The emphasis, in this pedagogy, on individual well-being and respect for experience through education, is a significant change for students who were the recipients of a system of education under apartheid, which undermined learners' sense of self-worth and well-being. In this sense the portfolio may give back to learners what was taken away under apartheid, contributing to what Visvanathan calls 'cognitive justice' (Odora Hoppers 2001, 8).
The Basotho indigenous knowledge (IK) : do we understand it well enough to employ it as a tool in higher education teaching? : the practice of higher educationAuthor M.L.E. MapeselaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 316 –326 (2004)More Less
Calls to revert to the unpacking/exploration of the corpuses of indigenous knowledge which lie unused within the African communities and to integrate them into education are heard loud and clear. But is indigenous knowledge (IK) understood well enough to be harmonised with formal teaching? Although evidence abounds that, in the last two to three decades, attempts have been made to encourage a better understanding of IK and its potential in development, so far there is no indication of its integration with formal education. This paper aims to conceptualise IK; to identify the wealth of IK in the Basotho communities; to explain its use and value by decoding the hidden meanings and rationales in it; as well as to suggest ways in which formal education and IK can be made to co-exist in higher education teaching.
'Learning is accompanied by pain' : eliciting personal perspectives on professional roles : the practice of higher educationAuthor A.M. DawetiSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 327 –341 (2004)More Less
This paper is based on the notion that how we think and act is governed by theories that we construe, often unconsciously, to explain what we do and why. Most research on beliefs and conceptualisations about teaching and learning in higher education focuses on academic staff. Little has been written about what developers of academic staff say about their own values, beliefs and understandings of their role. This is a report on the first phase of a study undertaken within the Bureau for Learning Development at the University of South Africa. Though limited by the unstableness of personal conceptualisations, and the singularity of the study, the paper highlights some of the issues raised about professional identity.