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- Volume 19, Issue sed-1, 2005
South African Journal of Higher Education - Special Edition 1, January 2005
Volumes & issues
Special Edition 1, January 2005
Introducing indigenous education to university undergraduate students : feelers from Obafemi Awolowo University, NigeriaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1189 –1196 (2005)More Less
The article investigated the perception of OAU undergraduate students of Agriculture offering a special elective course (SEE 001/002), entitled <I>Indigenous education in Nigeria</I>, as regards its appropriateness and curriculum relevance to higher education. The specific objectives were to analyse the socio-economic/ demographic characteristics of the students; identify the course contents and their relevance to the development of indigenous knowledge theory and practice in higher education; and determine the acceptability of indigenous approach to education among students. A purposive sampling of 100 agriculture undergraduate students was carried out with the use of structured and unstructured questionnaires. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics (such as percentages, measures of central dispersion) and inferential statistic (correlation and chi square analyses).The result showed that a positive and significant relationship existed between a student's cultural background (r= 0.225), parent's occupation (r= 0.175) and his favourable perception of the adaptation of indigenous knowledge in higher education.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1197 –1207 (2005)More Less
Changes in assessment theory and practice have become commonplace in many education systems across the globe. Many of the changes are evident in state education polices, which have implications for the ways in which teachers/lecturers perform their work. Calls have been made for more authentic ways of assessing learning and for assessment to become integral to teaching and learning processes. However, shifts in assessment theory and practice remain largely framed within a Western paradigm and increasing globalisation might lead to greater homogenisation of assessment practices. In this article we examine whether current shifts in assessment theory and practice provides space for accommodating the socio-cultural backgrounds of African learners. We further invoke the notion of <I>ubuntu</I> to explore its potential to provide a more nuanced understanding of authentic/alternative forms of assessment and examine ways in which the idea of <I>ubuntu</I> might contribute to disrupting the hegemony of contemporary assessment theory and practice, given its strong Western base. We specifically will look at implications that the Africanising of assessment might have for teacher education practices in South Africa.
Author L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1208 –1219 (2005)More Less
The theme of the 2005 biennial SAARDHE conference, `The African University in the 21st Century' provokes a discussion of fundamentals, in a similar manner to JH Newman's grapple with `the idea of the university' and more recently, the question proposed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities of whether universities should embrace `engagement with the wider society' as a core value? In this article I wish to critically reflect on recent debates on `the idea of engagement' and in which sense such debates have pertinence for `the African University in the 21st century'. Specifically, I shall look at engagement through the lens of research and examine what spaces the discourse of engagement might offer for the inclusion of indigenous knowledge in research processes. Since universities have traditionally specialised in knowledge production and manipulation it is fitting to focus on the role that the African University might play in knowledge production processes in the context of a global society that is fast becoming what is referred to as a `knowledge society' and in the context of local communities amongst whom indigenous ways of knowing reside.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1220 –1237 (2005)More Less
This article begins with the argument that an ideal `African university' would be characterized by the universal value of social justice. `Social justice' is presented as having two complementary and interrelated elements: redistribution of resources and recognition of difference. Crucial aspects of social justice in societies embedded in a past of conflict and inequity are reconciliation, sharing of selfconsciousness and the democratization of knowledge systems. The article describes the first phase of a team led research project designed to explore the educational identities of lecturers, and how these impact on teaching and learning, at a historically white university in South Africa. The research design involves the narrating of educational biographies by 64 lecturers and academic support members. The positive impact of the research process on the research team is described. The themes and issues arising out of the research, which could emerge in a dialogue towards transformation of teaching and learning, are discussed with examples. The article concludes by stressing the need to guard against stereotyping individuals according to categories such as race or gender. It advocates the value of reflection as well as disclosure, within the dialogue towards transformation. It stresses that in order for social justice to flourish, this dialogue must be accompanied by distribution of power and resources.
The pains and gains of supervising postgraduate students from a distance : the case of six students from LesothoSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1238 –1254 (2005)More Less
South African policy emphasises internationalisation and the recruitment of learners from other countries, with particular focus on countries of the South African Development Community (SADC). While such advocacy is legitimate, there are some negative factors which impact on the efficiency and the smooth running of teaching and learning of international students. Common problems range from - among others - physical distance, communication, financial implications and insufficient background in and experience of research. <br>The purpose of this article is to reflect on the experiences of the supervisor(s) and the challenges faced by six Lesotho students enrolled for a part-time master's degree at the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development (CHESD) at the University of the Free State. What started off as a normal master's degree study, proceeded into a phase of pain when students failed to complete their minidissertations in the allocated time. This period became equally challenging to the supervisor whose roles had to change to being counselor, parent and mentor. <br>The report is based on the voices of the students, as well as on one of the authors' experience and observations as the supervisor of this group. A post-evaluation survey was done to gather information from the students.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1255 –1266 (2005)More Less
This article presents two research projects undertaken by two female international students studying for a master's degree at the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development (CHESD) at the University of the Free State. Both projects followed a community-focused approach. <br>The case studies reflect upon issues of research in neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and remind us that education should not be treated as a commodity especially in instances where international students are concerned, but should contribute in the development of their countries. This is in harmony with the stringent requirements and objectives of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to eradicate poverty; to place African countries on a path of sustainable growth and development; as well as to accelerate the empowerment of women. In this regard South Africa's higher education institutions are contributing to the enhancement of human capabilities and thus to the overall social development. Through the projects of the students enrolled in the CHESD, higher education is directly achieving some of NEPAD's objectives. These research projects should be seen as scaffolds to anchor other researchers and stakeholders who may wish to undertake further research in the specific fields or who desire to initiate other development-orientated research projects in Lesotho.
Evaluation of South African tertiary institutions' competitive orientation toward internationalisationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1267 –1281 (2005)More Less
The international higher education market is becoming more competitive as institutions of higher education compete globally with one another to recruit international students. This demands a thorough understanding of this market for strategic and policy-making purposes. The outcomes of this research provide valuable insights regarding the perceived competitive profile employed by the various institutions in South Africa. Information is provided to whether a typical South African approach can be detected regarding competing to attract national and international students. In order to determine the relative competitiveness of South African tertiary institutions the four categories of competitiveness were evaluated, namely product, institutional, strategic and tactical.
Patchwork text : innovative assessment to address the diverse needs of postgraduate learners at the African university of the 21st centurySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1282 –1305 (2005)More Less
In this article the background and origin of and a rationale for transformational learning and the patchwork text as an alternative to the academic essay and the traditional portfolio as assessment instruments are clearly illustrated. The authors also share their own as well as their learners' experiences with the implementation of patchwork text assessment in a master's degree course work module. They conclude the article with a reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of patchwork text assessment in the context of learning facilitation for postgraduate learners with diverse needs, aptitudes and learning styles and how the lessons learned can help with possible improvements in this and other postgraduate programmes. The ultimate message for the African university of the twenty-first century is that patchwork text can assist learners in becoming more critical and reflective thinkers.
On the possibility of an African university : towards a scholarship of criticism, deliberation and responsibilityAuthor Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1306 –1314 (2005)More Less
For those making an argument in defence of an African university, the question about the need to justify the notion of such a university seems absurd. In this essay I argue that the idea of an African university cannot be separated from the notion of what scholarship entails. My contention is that scholarship is inextricably connected to what it means to be critical, deliberative and responsible. And, unless an African university lends itself to being critical, deliberative and responsible - constitutive features of scholarship - it cannot be justified as a university.
Author S. LillejordSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1315 –1320 (2005)More Less
We are proud to present this special issue of the <I>South African Journal of Higher Education</I> that features refereed articles based on paper presentations at a joint conference between the South African Association of Research and Development in Higher Education and the NUFU-funded project Productive Learning Cultures. The international conference <I>Knowledge Production and Higher Education</I> in the 21st Century was hosted by the University of Bergen, Norway, 31 August - 2 September 2005. The three day conference was focusing on how the emerging knowledge society in various ways challenges higher education.
Author A.A. BeylefeldSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1321 –1333 (2005)More Less
In the years preceding the twenty first century, contributions to knowledge had to be in propositional form, answering the question: What is new to what is already known about the topic under investigation? It had to add yet another abstract idea to the existing accumulation of abstract ideas. In more recent times, a contribution to new knowledge could also take the form of an answer to the question: How can I go about transforming ideas about the topic I am studying if I implement something which is not necessarily new within the field of research, but an innovation in my specific context? <br>This article relates how action research was used to transform ideas on general skills development in a medical curriculum. The focus is on the measures that were taken to ensure that claims of having gained a deepened understanding of the incorporation of general skills into the curriculum were legitimate.
Author G. BiestaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1334 –1349 (2005)More Less
There is a strong drive in many parts of the world for education to become an evidence-based practice and for teaching to become an evidence-based profession, based on a model of professional action. The author examines several of the main assumptions of this position and argues that education cannot be seen as `intervention' or `treatment' in the manner implied. The author also explores the epistemological implications of evidence-based practice in education and urges educators, researchers and policy makers to broaden the scope of thinking about education and knowledge production for the 21st century. <br>This article is derived from an invited keynote address, given by the author at the Joint Conference of the South African Association for Research and Development in Higher Education and the Productive Learning Culture Project in Bergen, Norway (31 Aug - Sept 2005).
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1350 –1367 (2005)More Less
This article seeks to explore the practical, cultural and educational effects of information and communication technology support and the computer mediated communication of doctoral candidates from cross-cultural backgrounds in an asynchronous online learning environment. The history of educational development is replete with technology-based projects that failed because of high operating costs, problems of adaptation to local conditions, lack of skilled personnel to operate the technologies, and lack of effectiveness. The challenge has been how to facilitate learning contexts that are productive for the individual learner. This investigation provided insights for the managers of the Norwegian Council for Higher Education's Programme for Development Research and Education (NUFU) Productive Learning Culture project on the challenges of such a project. Four lessons from this research emerged on cross-cultural learning communities, and have bearing on technology, project management, online learning communities, and cross-cultural issues.
Author S.V. BluntSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1368 –1378 (2005)More Less
In the twenty-first century knowledge is increasingly being viewed as a consumable, a commodity; a product to be traded locally and in the world market to expand business and increase profit margins. Individuals, too, have come to be viewed as commodities - indicated by the term `human resources'. This article addresses the implications of this perspective, arguing that pedagogy (and what it means to be educated) should be viewed from a critical thinking perspective to stem the veritable tsunami of `common sense' ideologies that underpin the view that tertiary institutions are powerhouses of delivery of the type of product that can be used to sustain an insatiable world economy, particularly since the demands on South African education to heed this rhetoric are intensifying.
Author L.A. Du PlessisSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1379 –1394 (2005)More Less
In 2004, the minister of education reformed higher education in South Africa by merging institutions and by re-designating technikons as universities of technology. In the current tertiary environment, increasing pressure is placed on academic staff to do research and to improve their qualifications. The emphasis on research and the production of new knowledge is supported by research awards at higher education institutions. Research funds are also available for conferences, resources and financial incentives for peer-reviewed publications and other research outputs. <br>However, reward systems for quality teaching are not as well-developed. A question that arises is how to measure quality teaching in a manner comparable to the way in which research is measured. This is complicated by the diversity of class sizes, teaching levels and availability of teaching resources over which the lecturer does not always have control. The need for the recognition of quality teaching is pointed out in national consultative documents as one of the factors for motivating lecturers, thus highlighting the importance of quality teaching and of increasing the throughput rate. In 2004 a project was launched to determine the criteria and process that need to be established to introduce a system for the reward of good and innovative teaching practices. Based on the results of this project, a conceptual model is proposed for the award, recognition and management of quality teaching.
Author R.E. GerberSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1395 –1404 (2005)More Less
Up to now the traditional approach to knowledge production through research in education in South Africa has been driven by a `You'-perspective. The `You'- perspective implies the observation by a person of the reaction of other people, phenomena or contexts to some kind of manipulation. This results in describing practice and formulating theory. Reflection on own practice and ways of changing own practice to enhance teaching and learning was explored, but seldom if ever, followed up with reflective research. <br>This article aims to illustrate the relevance of an `I'-perspective in educational research in the South African situation. In order to achieve this, the presenter will put current South African educational research practice and the knowledge needed in teaching practice into context. The presenter will further argue for and substantiate the shift from a `You'-perspective to an `I'-perspective in the research approach to teaching and learning and therefore teaching practice.
Author S.N. ImendaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1405 –1418 (2005)More Less
This article looks at knowledge production in South African higher education (HE) from the point of view of how a given HE institution sees itself within the broader context of `the idea of a university'. Within the context of the transformation agenda of HE in South Africa, three institutional types have emerged: the `unqualified' university; the comprehensive university; and the university of technology. However, at this point, it appears as if each of these institutional types seeks to do what every other one is trying to do. It is against the apparent absence of clarity in the philosophical underpinnings of these institutional types that this article reflects on what could conceptually be the academic and professional focus of each - and whether or not this is, in fact, possible. In this regard, it is hoped and envisaged that this article will contribute towards clarifying the singular and collective contributions, in knowledge production, of the HE institutions in the country. Accordingly, the article posits that each institutional type should determine the kind of knowledge production that society can expect from it.
Author H. IsraelSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1419 –1426 (2005)More Less
Evaluation and assessment are integral to curriculum development. The search for improved evaluation methods in educational institutions necessitates study of educator assessment skills. In this South African study, the implementation of CA was reviewed against the backdrop of a changing society - a developing democracy, new education laws, cultural diversity, violence, demoralised teachers and inadequate resources to implement change. Common issues confronting educators emerged. Central to these issues was the need for innovation in the teaching/learning process through transformation of the curriculum. CA had to become a tool driving curriculum development towards meeting the needs of a new, technologically advanced, knowledge society. This article argues that it is the strategies required to process such issues that need attention, given student needs, as well as society in its local and larger context.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1427 –1443 (2005)More Less
The essence of education is the enhancement of behavioural change through the acquisition of new knowledge, skills and attitudes by the learner, which invariably translates to individual and national progress. This article, therefore, sheds light on the development and utilisation of local people's knowledge systems/technologies with possible adaptation for teaching in Colleges and Universities in the South for the realisation of sustainable development. It specifically addresses contextual issues and processes involved in knowledge production through indigenous experimentation and innovation; emphasizes both <I>in situ</I> and <I>ex situ</I> preservation of knowledge; identifies social actors in (indigenous) knowledge production; proposes a model for incorporating IKS in the formal education system; and suggests that the knowledge generated by grassroots people should be documented, preserved and made available in international centres for accessibility by all stakeholders for possible adaptation. The article poses a challenge to the twenty first century knowledge producers and policy-makers on the importance of mainstreaming indigenous knowledge systems for the purpose of teaching in higher institutions to enhance sustainable human development.