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- Volume 22, Issue 3, 2008
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 22, Issue 3, 2008
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Volume 22, Issue 3, 2008
The transformation of higher education : context of the establishment of the Centre for Leadership and Management in Education at Stellenbosch University : editorialSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 473 –483 (2008)More Less
Higher Education in South Africa is currently engaged in a serious process of transforming the apartheid legacy in higher education, on the one hand, and striving for socially-relevant academic excellence, on the other. Striving for academic excellence is not restricted to higher education in South Africa, but is in actual fact a global phenomenon that is primarily manifested in the manner in which knowledge production is achieved. This article aims to shed light on the effect of the changing nature of knowledge production in higher education. In the last section of the article, the Centre for Education Leadership and Management of the University of Stellenbosch (Celemus) is presented as a higher education response to this reality.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 484 –497 (2008)More Less
This article emanates from a comparative study of the quality of a B.Ed. (Hons) programme in contact and distance contexts in a dual-mode institution, in terms of access, delivery and output. Both versions of the programme are guided by a similar underpinning philosophy that drives its ethos. Even though it appears that there may be no prominent discrepancies between the two modes of training delivery, institutions that decide to venture into rural areas are faced with challenges that have to be sorted out if the quality of a given distance education programme is to be enhanced. Also, there is the need for institutions to distinguish between academe that are interested in distance education and those that are not in order to improve on their research status. Finally, suggestions are proffered on how institutions in an African setting can improve the quality of their programmes.
Author A. AmorySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 498 –514 (2008)More Less
This article investigates the notions of race, gender and learning technology as a consequence of the commodification of educational administrative systems (part of new managerialism - neo-liberalism), in order to foster debate. It also asks if new managerialism is an appropriate model within an African arena. New managerialism can be defined as the re-masculinisation of management using business and private sector practices (devolution, staff appraisal, employee performance measurement, self- and peer-regulation, quality and bureaucratic control and creation of internal markets) at public-funded institutions to provide services to students (clients). It is argued that neo-liberal attitudes perpetuate 'whiteness' that is neither overt nor accidental and that past race inequalities are still very much part of the educational system. Also, neo-liberalisation of an educational system is about neo-conservative, positivist, hegemonic, white masculinities and gendered power relations that perpetuate into the future a romanticised pastoral fundamentalist past. In addition the design, development, integration and use of technology in the classroom is driven by individual and institutional ideologies that support current hegemonic constructions maintained through observation and control systems to prepare a future labour force. The exploitation of race, gender and technology is a direct consequence of the commodification of educational administrative systems and there is a need to explore other avenues, such as communities of practice, to renew democracy in education.
Shifting the paradigm : the need for assessment criteria for community-engaged research in the visual artsAuthor K. BermanSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 515 –537 (2008)More Less
The premise of this article is that the visual arts can provide a valuable tool for social transformation. The application of this role of the arts in community-engaged research has revealed specific challenges for developing broader assessment criteria for evaluation.
This article will explore a case study of a Fine Art Masters student's community-based research project that required an innovative and alternative methodology of research practice and supervision. I suggest evaluation criteria that accommodate the "public good". South African Universities are faced with the challenge of re-imagining its identity and engaging with societal challenges.
I argue that community-based research in the cultural disciplines is not only compatible with global ambition in the intellectual sphere, but an active contribution to it. This is a challenge for institutional transformation, which requires a new paradigm and a new approach in knowledge seeking.
Change is the intended outcome of community-based action research. It provides ways of moving from reflection and theorising to action. These moves must be made explicit so that the institutional imperatives of the universities and bureaucracies do not inhibit the potential of the research process.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 538 –555 (2008)More Less
The aim of this research is to identify an inventory of topics pertaining to the Internet-driven marketing principles that have emerged from the Internet's implication to and application in marketing that bear relevance to the study field of mainstream marketing. Empirical research was conducted to measure South African marketing educators' and practitioners' views on which of the topics identified are deemed relevant for inclusion within mainstream undergraduate marketing curricula. The findings of the study indicate that both educators and practitioners view 27 of the 29 topics identified as being relevant. Moreover, there was no statistically significant difference between the views of the two samples. The inventory of topics presented in this article serves as a platform for guiding the structured integration of Internet-driven marketing principles into mainstream undergraduate marketing curricula and the textbooks prescribed therein.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 556 –574 (2008)More Less
The idea of a diagnostic process to identify students likely to benefit from additional support originated from two separate investigations relating to the performance of entry-level mathematics students at the University of South Africa (UNISA). One project explored the relationship between reading skill and mathematical performance. This resulted in a reading intervention programme for students of mathematics. The other project considered an alternative method of assessment. This article explains why and how diagnostic assessment was developed for students who enrolled for the UNISA Mathematics Access Module. The article gives some initial the results, and an analysis of examination performance related to the risk categories identified by the diagnostic assessment.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 575 –587 (2008)More Less
This article argues that there has been a clear shift in leadership approaches from those where the leader is in control and commanding i.e., power-based leadership to one where there is empowerment. Here the power comes from the followers and is shared. Burns concepts of transactional and transformational leadership are used interchangeably with the concepts of power and empowerment respectively. Under power-based leadership are included great man and trait, behaviourist and contingency theories. The article argues how these theories fit under the power based paradigm. Included under empowerment-based leadership are visionary, moral, servant and cultural leadership approaches. The article argues why these theories fall under this paradigm by showing for example how power is shared through the development of followers into leaders themselves.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 588 –601 (2008)More Less
Accounting education must change and be relevant to add value to learners and the community. Regarding the ever-changing corporate world, a new generation of learners (generation Y) at university, learners lacking skills, educators' resisting calls for change in accounting education and the need for continuous improvement, the teaching methodology can make a difference. This research forms part of a bigger project where a literature study is done on the teaching-learning environment, teaching methodologies and the requirements of the content for professional accountants' training. A very creative and effective teaching methodology such as a board game was developed to improve learners' interest, knowledge and skills in financial accounting on introductory level where reality can be simulated and the link between theory and practice can be illustrated. This research contains an evaluation of the integration of a board game in introductory accounting, and conclusions and recommendations will be made. The methodology used was an exploratory approach to test the effectiveness of the board game and to reach the objectives of the study, experimental research was used to evaluate the board game and a survey was used for data collection. The main findings regarding the profile of the participants, the effect of the experiment and the evaluation of the game with positive and negative remarks are stipulated. Although the results of the pre-test / post-test comparison were inconclusive, it was concluded that the project contributed to the setting of a favourable learning environment, enhancing the learners' technical competencies and soft skills as well as broadening their view of the roles of the accountant. The project was also found to be an effective teaching methodology strengthening the link between theory and practice. Various further research possibilities exist - such as to incorporate the game into other subjects, to evaluate the game at multicultural universities, among learners without accounting knowledge and among previously disadvantaged learners.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 602 –614 (2008)More Less
Statistical reasoning, thinking and literacy have repeatedly been mentioned in the literature as important goals of statistics education. Many suggestions have been made on how to achieve these goals, with the focus on various aspects of the teaching and learning environment. In this article we propose an assessment model that targets student learning approaches as a means of achieving statistical reasoning, thinking and literacy. Our model is based on the paradigm that student learning is mostly driven by assessment.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 615 –628 (2008)More Less
Higher education is undergoing radical changes globally. Higher education institutions worldwide focus on new strategies for internationalisation and creating new opportunities for staff and students to profit from internationalisation processes in a cosmopolitan educational environment. The university selected for this research article, one of the leading research institutions in South Africa, also follows these global trends by developing and expanding internationalisation strategies.
This article introduces the theoretical debate on both internationalisation in higher education and internationalisation processes at the selected university. It further focuses specifically on the importance of internationalisation to the learning and teaching environment; student perspectives on internationalisation, philosophy and service delivery; as well as the management thereof. The purpose of this article is to present internationalisation processes and its impacts, with special regard to service delivery at the selected university. The selected university's future visions and strategies towards the internationalisation of the globalised learning environment are further outlined and strategic steps of internationalisation are presented.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 629 –643 (2008)More Less
A major challenge to the efficacy of student team learning projects occurs when some members of a group are unable to contribute effectively to the collaborative endeavour due to their academic deficits. A graded benchmark for the requisite academic maturity is the setting of admission requirements. Various research studies have shown a positive correlation between student achievement outcomes and prior learning activities. Very few viable solutions, however, have been offered to address the problem of deficient prior learning skills. This empiric study describes an intervention that was designed to furnish at-risk students with the requisite baseline skills to collaborate more effectively with team members who have already attained a higher skills level. The intervention is two-pronged: it involves a close scrutiny of the students' performance in those modules that they are repeating, as well as negotiation between lecturer and students about standards and support in the current module. The structured negotiations resulted in a mutually binding agreement. This article reports on the problems encountered when students lack adequate knowledge and skills upon entering a module. We investigated reasons for this phenomenon in this particular case and describe the process of the design and implementation of our intervention. The findings highlight its overall impact as well as how students experienced the intervention.
Author S. SchulzeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 644 –661 (2008)More Less
The aim of the research was to critically analyse how a university context influences the quality of academics' research output. Wenger's social theory of learning was used as theoretical framework. The investigation involved an ethnographic case study of the research culture at one college at the institution. Data collection was mainly by means of participant observation, interviews and document analysis. In the light of Wenger's theory, the findings revealed that certain institutional practices facilitated high-quality research. These included financial incentives, some training programmes and travel opportunities to interact with other researchers. Practices that inhibited the delivery of quality research related to lack of job security, research support and uninterrupted time as well as excessive institutional control. Training that was disconnected from research practice did not stimulate quality research.
Author C. SoudienSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 662 –678 (2008)More Less
The purpose of this article is to make a contribution to the discussion on the sociological features of higher education and the significant ways in which it comes to produce a particular version of the racial experience. While work has appeared which has begun to comment on fragmentation of identity in South African higher education there is insufficient attention paid to the ways in which identity-making takes place. What this article will do is to focus on the racial as a resource which is brought into contact with the institution and to suggest what the outlines of this coming together are in the South African setting. It does not, indeed cannot, develop a deep discussion, as in the classic identity-formation literature, about subject formation - who, for example, is attributing what to whom and under what power conditions. What it seeks to do, in a limited way, is point to interesting new trends in how race is being experienced by South African students and particularly by black students. What does the racial experience look like for them? When students invoke race what is it that they are talking about?
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 679 –691 (2008)More Less
This article contributes to the debate regarding the preferred model for teacher education to provide for teacher shortages. The models commonly referred to are the consecutive model, the integrated model and the concurrent model for teacher training. The aim of this article is to determine if the integrated model for teacher education is an effective, attainable and sustainable model for teacher education. It was indicated that the integrated model for teacher education puts forward a single aim for the entire four-year period of study and secures a unity of purpose between the scientific basis of subject knowledge, teaching methodology, pedagogy and repeated practice in schools. The integrated model is in line with other professional teachers' qualifications as well as other professional qualifications and enables specialisation in school subjects. In terms of attainability and sustainability it was explained that the integrated model is regarded as the preferred model by students to such a level that sufficient numbers of enrolments are available to ensure a financially viable operation.
The attitudes, beliefs and anticipated actions of student teachers towards difference in South African classroomsAuthor S. VandeyarSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 692 –707 (2008)More Less
Recognizing that teacher commitments are consequential for classroom practice, this research seeks to understand the beliefs, perceptions and attitudes among student teachers towards diversity in their classroom. Using evocative case studies drawn from everyday classroom practice, this study draws out the existing understandings and commitments of this group of white South African student teachers on a subject (diversity in education) that continues to occupy center stage in policy reforms twelve years after the legal termination of apartheid. There are three major research findings emanating from this study : first, that students do not enter pre-service training as 'blank slates' with respect to diversity questions; second, that white student teachers are diverse in their attitudes, beliefs and strategies for dealing with diversity; and third, that teacher education program designs, correctly implemented, can challenge and change preexisting attitudes and beliefs of student teachers towards difference in South African classrooms.
Author D. WalwynSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 708 –724 (2008)More Less
The performance management of higher education institutions is a major challenge for many countries. Such institutions deliver mostly a social as opposed to an economic return, and cannot be evaluated using the same approach as is applicable to a business enterprise. Many countries have developed rather complex and elaborate approaches to this challenge and South Africa is no exception in this regard. The Department of Education, which has the responsibility for managing the country's higher education institutions, has recently revised its evaluation framework, the results of which are used to determine the annual core grants. Although the performance indicators are appropriate to the desired policy objectives, implementation of the framework has been distracted by other objectives of the department. In this article it is shown that funding allocations based on the new formula do not correlate with performance and it is therefore inevitable that the framework will lead to unexpected and undesirable outcomes. At a time when South African institutions are struggling to maintain their competitive position within the global community of universities, this reaction will be extremely unfortunate.
Author P. WatsonSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 725 –738 (2008)More Less
The need to improve the success rate of students in South African universities is widely regarded as a national priority. Measuring this success is, however, more difficult. Although the NPHE sets some benchmarks for system performance, there is currently no indicator set for longitudinal student performance. This article reports on a study done into postgraduate throughput performance at one institution. The article examines the terminology adopted in the study, and reports general trends found in the data. The question of the length of time to graduation that should be examined when studying throughput data is examined, and the throughput 'norms' per degree-type, for this institution during the time period studied are reported. It is hoped that publication of this case study will contribute to debates regarding the development of sector understandings of the topic.