- A-Z Publications
- South African Journal of Higher Education
- Previous Issues
- Volume 22, Issue 4, 2008
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 22, Issue 4, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 22, Issue 4, 2008
Author Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 745 –748 (2008)More Less
Debates in and about higher education (like some of the articles which appear in this issue) still involve issues of transformation which include, gender analyses, critical reviews, postgraduate student completion, teacher education, quality assurance, literacy, online learning, equity, and so on. In this essay, I restate some of the thoughts of Paulo Freire in relation to transformation in (higher) education, focusing on some of the the implications of his Pedagogy of Hope for teaching and learning. For him, transformation in higher education should be considered as a reliving of Pedagogy of the Oppressed which is constituted by three constitutive features: conscientisation, humanisation and praxis.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 749 –772 (2008)More Less
Transitions in an era of globalisation and universal change impact on postgraduate training of students at higher education institutions. This study aimed to determine completion rates for postgraduate programmes in Education at one higher education institution, to identify the students' needs and to investigate their experiences of postgraduate studies. Questionnaires were administered to students who had graduated and who suspended their studies between 2000 and 2006 (n=78). In this cohort, more Ph.D. students completed their studies and in a shorter time than M.Phil. students. The research component was regarded as the most difficult aspect of postgraduate studies. The need for supervision support in research skills was noted by more M.Phil. students than Ph.D. students. Academic input of assessing progress and evaluating quality were regarded as the most important supervision need for students. Personal attributes, support from supervisors and institutional support are noted as factors contributing to success. Addressing the postgraduate students' needs is essential in an era characterised by transition to ensure accountability and quality within higher education.
Author J. BeckmannSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 773 –788 (2008)More Less
Badat (2004, 4) refers to the triple challenge facing higher education: to promote equity and growth within a democratic framework and to consolidate a fledgling democracy. In higher education there is inherent tension between growth (access to education) and equity. The article argues that the vagueness in which the term "equity" is generally used as a synonym for "equality" contributes to an over-simplification of relevant issues. It also argues that the common practice of describing equity almost exclusively in quantitative terms (such as enrolment figures) detracts from important issues like the quality of the educational process, accountability and even outcomes. It explores other possibilities of conceptualising and reporting on equity.
Judgments of widely held beliefs about psychological phenomena among South African postgraduate psychology studentsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 789 –798 (2008)More Less
Lay understandings of human cognition, affect, and behaviour often diverge from the findings of scientific investigations. The present study examined South African fourth year psychology students' judgments about the factual correctness of statements of psychological phenomena that have been demonstrated to be incorrect by empirical research. Students enrolled in the psychology Honours programmes at two large residential universities in the Western Cape and Gauteng were asked to respond to a questionnaire that required them to decide on the validity of a list of empirically untrue statements. The results show that a large proportion of students at both universities believed many incorrect statements to be true. Significant differences between the samples emerged that may have been due to curricular differences between the two academic programmes. These results are discussed with reference to the teaching of critical thinking skills in psychology courses and the influence of popular culture on beliefs about human behaviour. Recommendations are also made about the teaching of scientific and critical reasoning skills in academic psychology programmes.
A critical review of the educational philosophies underpinning Science and Engineering foundation programmesSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 799 –816 (2008)More Less
More than a decade prior to the official dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, a number of universities launched foundation programmes to assist disadvantaged students. This article focuses on science and engineering foundation programmes, locating them within their political and institutional context and then tracing the evolution of their educational philosophy. But foundation programmes only represent one strategy for dealing with educational disadvantage. It is therefore compared to an alternative model explored in the early 1990s which emphasised the 'infusion' of academic development principles into the mainstream. This provides a backdrop for considering the educational effectiveness of the foundation programmes that have recently proliferated as a result of the Department of Education's latest funding strategy.
Author L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 817 –826 (2008)More Less
In their article Ogunniyi and Ogawa explore the prospects and challenges of training South African and Japanese educators to enact an indigenized science curriculum. They discuss the nature of science and the nature of indigenous knowledge (IK) and also that IK is acknowledged alongside Western science as a legitimate way of knowing in the new curricula of both countries. Ogunniyi and Ogawa argue that although indigenous knowledge is recognized in the science curricula of the two countries, successful implementation will require specific teacher training. I wish to address three areas of their work that afford an opportunity for further discussion. First, I argue that a focus on the performative side of science provides a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between Western science and indigenous knowledge. Second, I discuss the role of indigenous knowledge in a global knowledge economy, an area that Ogunniyi and Ogawa do not give much attention. Third, I elaborate on the challenges that an indigenized science curriculum has for teacher education, another area which I feel Ogunniyi and Ogawa do not do justice to.
Internal quality assurance reviews : challenges and processes - Walter Sisulu University's Business, Management Sciences and Law FacultySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 827 –842 (2008)More Less
The Council for Higher Educations' (CHE) Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) requires internal quality evaluations to be performed on the various programmes offered by the Faculty before visitation by the HEQC. This article examines some of the challenges and processes followed by six of the departments of Walter Sisulu University's Faculty of Business, Management Sciences and Law utilising a case study approach. Challenges are identified and highlighted across the Faculty. Furthermore, examination of the processes followed and challenges encountered by the Department of Public Relations Management and Communication is utilised, whilst conducting an internal quality evaluation on the National Diploma: Public Relations Management. The article recommends a number of strategies that may be followed to smooth the process.
Ethical crossroads : a study of factors impeding professional growth in initial teacher education in ZimbabweSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 843 –860 (2008)More Less
Research on current discourses on educational change in general and teacher education in particular have identified reasons why some teacher education courses fail to connect with trainees. This study sought to investigate factors that underlie pre-service teachers' resistance to an innovative religious and moral education course. A descriptive survey methodology was used to collect relevant data in this study. Oser's (1991) concept of moral dilemmas was utilized as a theoretical framework for investigating and interpreting the results. The sample comprised of 200 out of 700 teacher trainees randomly selected from two primary teacher's colleges. A questionnaire was used to collect data from participants. The study found that the socio-affective, factors, namely the dominant social values and expectations, religious beliefs and doctrines, and an inadequate professional support infrastructure constituted the major impediments to the adoption of professional behaviors commensurate with teaching Religious and Moral Education by prospective teachers. This study recommends the adoption of inclusive policy interventions at national, college and school levels.
Preparedness for tertiary chemistry : issues of placement and performance of academic development programmesSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 861 –876 (2008)More Less
The introduction of an outcomes-based curriculum in South Africa together with a new syllabus for physical sciences for grades 10-12, prompted the development of an instrument to monitor conceptual understanding in chemistry at the secondary-tertiary interface. This instrument was used to evaluate placement within different programmes at tertiary institutions as well as improvement in the conceptual understanding of chemistry during the first year of instruction. Comparison of preparedness revealed distinct profiles for proficiencies of mainstream and academic development cohorts, respectively, at the Universities of Cape Town, UCT, and Pretoria, UP, but not at the University of Limpopo, UL, which raises doubts about the placement of students at that institution. Unnecessary duplication of offerings for under-prepared students was found at UP. The academic development programmes at UCT and UP were effective in raising the level of conceptual understanding of students while students in the UL programme showed very little improvement.
Author P. RyanSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 877 –888 (2008)More Less
What constitutes successful practice for supervision of postgraduate students at an Open and Distance learning institution? In this article I describe a limited experiment in online teaching using a group of postgraduate students at the University of South Africa (Unisa). While the experiment has obvious limitations including the short time in which it has been running, the small size of the group and the experience of only one facilitator, it may have large ramifications in terms of potential online learning opportunities in the near future. The aim of this article is to indicate the relative importance of technology itself in relation to student interaction online, as is suggested by Brand (1997): 'Evaluating the role of technology itself on learning has merit, but technology does not operate independently to create a learning environment. Student interaction online, like student interaction in face-to-face classrooms, is a critical component of the learning context.' I hope to show that crucial moments in communication, interaction, reaction and non-reaction amongst the six students, myself and observers, have significant consequences for online teaching and learning amongst larger groups of students.
As increasing numbers of college-level courses are developed for delivery via the World Wide Web, pressure grows to identify components of online learning environments that contribute to or support learning. Much of the research focus in online education has been on technical characteristics such as platforms, download speed, engaging links, streaming audio and streaming video. Evaluating the role of technology itself on learning has merit, but technology does not operate independently to create a learning environment. Student interaction online, like student interaction in face-to-face classrooms, is a critical component of the learning context. This appears to be especially true for one of the largest groups served by online classes, non-traditional or adult students, whose expectations are likely to include dynamic interaction with others and learning constructed through discussion (Brandt 1997).
Author G.M. SteynSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 889 –905 (2008)More Less
The Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) is responsible for the accreditation of public and private institutions and their learning programmes in South Africa. This body has identified a number of criteria in order to determine the effectiveness of school leadership preparation programmes. One of them focuses on the influence of the programme on school practice. The article attempts to identify possible areas of investigation in order to evaluate the influence of preparation programmes for school managers. Three major focus areas are identified that can be used to in assessing the influence of preparation programmes for school managers: setting a course, developing people and developing the organisation.
Financing higher education in South Africa : public funding, non-government revenue and tuition feesSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 906 –919 (2008)More Less
The funding of public higher education is currently a moot issue in South Africa. Public funding has been declining and opportunities for winning non-government revenue remain limited. The frequent raising of tuition fees, which is one of the main strategies public universities have resorted to mitigate declining state funding is not without controversy. The article discusses these funding challenges. It argues that the current higher education funding conundrum will hamstring the achievement of the important higher education policy goals articulated in the National Plan on Higher Education. The article finally argues for a shift towards a redistributive funding model by changing the current formula for allocating funding for student aid to universities so that resources are redistributed in favour of the genuinely poor. By so doing, it is anticipated that higher education will be affordable for the poor who are generally sensitive to tuition fee increases, and also the rich, who can afford the current (high) tuition fee charges.
Motivating for a gendered analysis of trends within South African medical schools and the professionAuthor A.C. WildschutSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 22, pp 920 –932 (2008)More Less
In South Africa, in the prestigious profession of medicine, women are still in the minority. Men continue to form nearly three quarters of the number of registered practitioners, although social and institutional exclusionary structures have been abolished. It is important to investigate the reasons underlying this state of affairs, which exists despite equality in access to educational opportunities, training and advancement in the profession, and the drastically increased number of female medical student enrolments and graduations during the last decade. What is importantly emerging as a new area for research, especially in the South African case where such studies are lacking, is an investigation into the factors specifically influencing women doctors' participation and experiences during education and in the profession, in an effort to more comprehensively explain current gender trends.