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- Volume 19, Issue 2, 2005
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 19, Issue 2, 2005
Volumes & issues
Volume 19, Issue 2, 2005
Author C. WinbergSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 189 –200 (2005)More Less
This paper offers a 'genealogy' (Foucault 1984) of technical higher education in South Africa. Key concepts in technological education and research, namely careerfocused education and applied research, were investigated through a study of documents and through interviews with lecturers and researchers in universities of technology. The genealogy describes how these concepts and their associated practices developed, changed and persisted across the period 1967-2004. <br>The genealogy identifies three 'chronotopes' (Bakhtin 1981) in the development of technical higher education: in the first chronotope Colleges of Advanced Technical Education (as they were known) positioned themselves to serve the needs of industry; in the second chronotope, the technikons find themselves in a state of 'academic drift' away from the practices of education for the needs of industry; in the third chronotope the universities of technology engage in processes of reinvention, realignment and enhancement, as the original mission of technical higher education is reconsidered in the light of changing contexts and changing needs.
Managing an incorporation at departmental level in the higher education sector : discourse as a strategic resourceAuthor W.J. GreylingSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 201 –213 (2005)More Less
Receiving institutions (RIs) in the HE sector in South Africa are incorporating designated institutions, and new post-incorporation departments within these institutions are required to function as well-aligned and unified entities. The author reports on a specific academic manager's efforts in such a department at the University of the Free State. The head initiated joint materials design, which, he believed, would promote the sought-after unity among staff. An objection, often raised by staff at the incorporated institution (II), was that the receiving institution had 'perpetrated a hostile take-over'. The case study shows how the head applied Hardy and Palmer's 1998 model, which entails a discursive approach to cycles of activity, performativity and connectivity. The author reports how staff members' 'non-responses' were taken as cues for initiating new cycles. Retrievable evidence of receiving institution and incorporated institution staff's compliance, he argues, may serve as a resource for all stakeholders who may want to generate mutuallysupportive or contending narratives about departmental management processes.
Author J.D. JansenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 214 –228 (2005)More Less
Originally presented as the 41st T. B. Davie Memorial Lecture at the University of Cape Town, this article offers a critical review of the changing meanings of and challenges to institutional autonomy since the coming to power of the first democratic government in 1994. The argument has less to do with enumerating the recent threats to autonomy than with understanding the transnational currents that underpin such changes in university-state relations everywhere. There are at least two paradoxes of concern: that the achievement of a democratic state after apartheid was accompanied by the decline in institutional autonomy; and that more and more is expected from universities even as the state provides less and less commitment in terms of centralised funding.
Issues in competence and pre-service teacher education. Part 1 : can outcomes-based programmes produce competent teachers?Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 229 –245 (2005)More Less
The Department of Education's <I>Norms and standards for educators</I> (Department of Education 2000) require that higher education institutions design and implement outcomes-based teacher education programmes to enable novice teachers to demonstrate their competence across a range of teacher roles. In this article the question of whether outcomes-based programmes can produce competent teachers is explored. This is done firstly by taking a closer look at competence and competence-based education, the role of standards and the four types of competences as defined in the <I>Norms and standards for educators.</I> Thereafter we discuss outcomes and outcomes-based education. The article also points out the necessity of distinguishing between competences for beginning and pre-service teachers on the one hand and experienced teachers on the other.
Issues in competence and pre-service teacher education. Part 2 : the assessment of teaching practiceSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 246 –259 (2005)More Less
One of the challenges facing teacher educators is to develop assessment practices that will minimise the uncertainty and subjectivity associated with assessing teacher competence, and that will allow them to distinguish clearly between those who are competent and those who are not (yet) competent. According to the Norms and standards for educators (Department of Education 2000), teaching practice should form an integral part of teacher education programmes and should be regarded as a way in which to assess all the different roles of educators as part of the integrated and applied assessment task. This is a major challenge since the assessor must consider several modalities such as the selection of suitable measuring instruments, the question of which competences should be assessed, the advantages and disadvantages of the direct observation of teaching performance and the relevant levels of performance. This article explores only some of the many issues related to teaching practice and the assessment thereof.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 260 –273 (2005)More Less
The presentation of undergraduate Business Management degrees that are relevant to the needs of the business community is an ongoing challenge. The content of the degree structure therefore has to be adapted constantly to meet the ever-changing needs of the business community. This study focuses on the broad educational competencies identified by selected South African businesses for the curricula for undergraduate business management degrees. The business management areas investigated were: general management, marketing management, financial management, risk management, human resource management and entrepreneurship.The nominal group technique was used, with between six and 15 specialists chosen from each of these areas from the business community. A total of 48 such specialists participated in the study. Although each area of business holds unique challenges, the results indicated a requirement for generic competencies which are vitally important for the degree programme, irrespective of the specialist field. The study concludes with certain recommendations.
Author J. FavishSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 274 –291 (2005)More Less
This article will show that whilst there has been much progress in opening up access for black students to higher education, this has not involved equity of opportunity for black students to enrol for programmes that will enhance employment opportunities and upward social mobility. In addition, opening up access has not always been accompanied by strategies to provide adequate and appropriate forms of support for all students. <br>The article is divided into three sections: The first analyses the extent to which equity of access has been achieved within the Cape Technikon. The second describes an investigation into factors impacting on learner performance, which was undertaken by the Cape Technikon during 2001. The third sets out the key findings of this investigation. <br>This article illustrates that many Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have adopted new sets of core values, which they believe should underpin the philosophy and activities of their institutions. However, changing the ethos of the institutions in line with the newly adopted core values in a way that they impact fundamentally on the curriculum and the scholarship of the institution clearly remains a basic challenge. This article highlights the need to address the kind of knowledge and skills that staff need in order to design and deliver transformed curricula whilst designing and implementing comprehensive integrated learner-centred support strategies to ensure learner success and retention.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 292 –305 (2005)More Less
The workplace is strongly present in Technikon/University of Technology (UT) programmes, both as a learning resource and as a site of knowledge production. Part of the traditional strength of UTs is that students are simultaneously acculturated into academic and workplace knowledge systems. But while there has been this acknowledgement of the role of the workplace in UT education, very little research has been done on work-based learning, or the development of curricula, and there has been practically no evaluative research to trace the impact of career-focused programmes. <br>The above provides a rationale for this article, which reports on research done in investigating the relationship between changing workplaces and teaching and learning practices within tertiary institutions. We investigate the knowledge that students carry with them from the UT to the workplace and explore the UT curriculum from the perspective of past students, in a number of case studies. The sample subjects are drawn from recently qualified students who are currently working. The research design uses a life history research methodology. This methodology privileges in-depth accounting of experience from a participant's point of view, engages participants in retrospectively assessing the present in relation to the past, and draws on their socio-historical contexts. <br>We identify common strengths and weaknesses in UT curricula across three fields. The strengths we identify include the practical and technical skills developed by students, while the weaknesses include strategic and critical thinking, as well as the communication skills for participation in the new, 'flattened' workplaces. The discussion on our findings is informed by concepts of knowledge movement between the institution and the world of work.
University of the Free State allied health professions students' expectations and experience of an undergraduate physiology courseSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 306 –315 (2005)More Less
Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Dietetics students taking a two semester physiology course completed voluntary questionnaires at the first and last contact sessions of the year. These data as well as students' June and November examination results were included in a database and analysed. In more than 90 per cent of cases students responded that their expectations had been met after completing the course. No association was found between previous experience of physiology and/or biology and passing with distinction, students' definition of physiology, or their reasons for taking the course. No association existed between passing with distinction and students' reasons for taking the course. This study is a step towards realising the ideal in higher education of confirming perceived change with evidence of material change, as both students' expectations were met and high success rates were achieved.
Outcome evaluation of a peer-led drinking and driving primary prevention programme among university studentsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 316 –333 (2005)More Less
The aim of this study was to evaluate a peer-led drinking and driving (DD) prevention programme among 111 University of the North (UNIN) undergraduate students aged 17 to 24 years using a pre-post test intervention design. The results showed that the programme was generally effective in bringing about statistically significant positive changes on almost all knowledge measures. It also brought about significant positive changes on some of the attitude measures, behavioural intentions measures, self-esteem, willingness to drink and drive as well as in willingness to prevent a friend from drinking and driving (DD). However, no significant positive changes were observed in willingness to seek alternatives to drinking and driving (DD) and to ride with someone who has been drinking. Thus, the programme experienced some positive, although by no means conclusive indicators of success, towards its intended objectives. Information generated from studies like the present one provides programme planners with data to support programming efforts.
Race differences in academic expectations and perceptions of ability in relation to actual achievementAuthor C. OchseSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 334 –344 (2005)More Less
The main aim of this study was to explore theory and findings of past research to gain insights regarding race differences in academic expectations, perceptions of ability in relation to actual achievement. The sample consisted of 715 third year psychology students from the University of South Africa. In contrast with previous suggestions it was found that black students neither expected lower marks nor had lower scores on self-perceptions of ability than white students. However, on examining discrepancies between marks expected and marks obtained notable differences between race groups became apparent. The data revealed that on average white males had realistic expectations; black males and females overestimated their future success, and white females underestimated their future success. Furthermore, all race and gender groups had relatively high scores relating to perceptions of ability; believed that they were above class average and more intelligent than their school peers. The dangers of overly optimistic expectations are addressed.
Author M.A.J. OlivierSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 345 –358 (2005)More Less
Academics at tertiary institutions often reflect on the emotional impact their profession has on them and they mention tension, anxiety and stress. Research on stress has indicated that people in the helping professions dealing with people, especially those in the teaching professions, are particularly prone to emotional distress. Yet information regarding the stress-related emotions specifically experienced by academic lecturers at institutions of Higher Education is not abundant. Factors such as the current rapid social and political transformation in South Africa, as well as the emphasis on efficiency, downsizing, and short-term contracts in the workplace, all contribute to feelings of insecurity and stress in the academic context. The interesting relation between cognitive intelligence (including rationality) and emotional intelligence, becomes the thrust of this article, with specific reference to the role of job-related emotions. The purpose of the quantitative research that serves as the empirical basis for this article was an explorative investigation into aspects of stress among academics in the Nelson Mandela Metropole and its impact on their functioning.
The representation of women academics in higher education in South Africa : progress in the pipeline?Author N. BoshoffSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 359 –377 (2005)More Less
This article is devoted to a discussion of women academics (more specifically instructional/research staff) in higher education in South Africa. It disaggregates the sex-specific data by sector, race, age, rank, qualification and scientific field. The proportion of female instructional/research staff substantially increased from 30 per cent in 1992 to about 40 per cent in 2001, with a small but continued increase in their share of senior positions. Women, however, are still under-represented at the upper ranks. Should the increase continue, one would eventually expect equal representation of the sexes in the most senior ranks. This argument, known as women's progress 'being in the pipeline', does not appear too unrealistic for South Africa, given that no differences were found in either rank or employment status (full-time/part-time) for women and men younger than 30 years (i.e. young academics). Various factors, however, may prevent women's progress into higher ranks or more stable positions.
Author J. HardmanSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 378 –392 (2005)More Less
This article attempts to expand and elaborate Activity Theory as a theory for studying human computer interaction in South Africa. It first sketches ways in which Russian activity theory arising out of the work of Vygotsky may expand understandings of learning before elaborating the theory in terms of Engestrom's contributions. Using case study data collected from a postgraduate course in Education at the University of Cape Town, I investigate how Activity Theory can be used in order to understand the process of transformation occurring when computers are used as teaching/learning tools and how different systems interact with, and transform each other over time. By employing methods such as interviews and observations I develop an account of how pedagogy shifts across the different contexts of lecture hall and computer laboratory, illustrating how a shift in the object of the activity system leads to shifts at all levels of the system. I conclude by arguing that the strength of Activity Theory lies in its ability to enable one to understand learning as the complex result of tool mediated interactions, rather than as something opaque, which happens in a student's mind.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 393 –410 (2005)More Less
The last decade has seen a considerable growth in the application of e-learning courses in most higher education institutions and in companies that provide inhouse training for employees. Hereby recognition is given that modern information and telecommunication technologies can help educators to meet the dual challenge of giving the learners the tools needed to access a virtually unlimited array of information whilst on the other hand to provide ample interactive learning opportunities that supplements the learning content (Schreiberg and Berge 1998, 26). E-learning systems, originally designed to support distance education, is currently getting a new face as it is increasingly used to supplement face-to-face tuition. This article reports on five different e-learning systems, why it has been chosen by the specific institution, what challenges these institutions are facing and reflects lastly on criteria that needs to be considered when e-learning programmes are designed.