- A-Z Publications
- South African Journal of Higher Education
- Previous Issues
- Volume 24, Issue 3, 2010
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 24, Issue 3, 2010
Volumes & issues
Volume 24, Issue 3, 2010
Creating sustainable empowering learning environments through scholarship of engagement : initiating debateSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 281 –286 (2010)More Less
The assumption grounding this issue of SAJHE is that; a university or any institution of higher learning comes to its fullness through serious engagement with the community. All authors herein deconstruct the ivory tower notion of a university and attempt to look at it as an integral instance of civil society which has to contribute and learn from other institutions in the community. Thus the common idea bringing all the papers in this volume together is the concern for universities to learn from the community at the same time that as they are providing service thereto. Together the papers demonstrate that for learning to be sustainable and empowering for all, this reciprocal relationship of mutual benefit and respect needs to be put in place (Keene and Colligan 2004; Welch and Billig 2004). Furthermore this issue is informative and exciting because ofthe new and multiple voices it represents. Most of these voices are couched within social justice paradigm advocating for universities to be inclusive and directly engaged in resolving problems of poverty, oppression and marginalisation as these impede optimal learning especially among rural and immigrant communities in South Africa, Canada and the world over. The primary focus of all papers herein therefore is on the creation of sustainable empowering learning environments through engaged scholarship spearheaded by the university.
Towards sustainable empowering learning environments : unmasking apartheid legacies through scholarship of engagementAuthor S.M.G. MahlomaholoSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 287 –301 (2010)More Less
This article reports, from the insider's perspective, on a research project comprising fifteen academics in the Faculty of Education Sciences at the North-West University and fifteen senior officials from one of the four Education Districts in the North West Province. This project has as its research theme, hence aim; 'the creation of sustainable empowering learning environments' at any site where learning occurs. Through this article I describe how this research project was established and operationalised couched within Boyer's scholarship of engagement, as the theoretical framework. Information on the project in its quest to unmask factors that hinder the creation of sustainable and empowering learning are also highlighted in the context of the apartheid legacies of the North West Province's practice of education. Although the study does not generalize its 'findings' beyond the researched, it is however believed that important lessons can be learnt from this instance of engaged scholarship.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 302 –316 (2010)More Less
Our article arises out of our involvement in an undergraduate module (Drama Education 310) at UKZN Faculty of Education, where we used workshop theatre to explore how students construct knowledge and develop socio-cultural understandings of critical events in society such as Xenophobia. The project reflects how young black students constitute foreignness and xenophobia against the context of a still emerging South African identity. We had two aims, first for students to engage with the processes of workshop theatre and through experience understand its strengths and challenges, and second, to explore how the tensions around xenophobia impact on themselves. The article will describe the data gathering process, the challenges faced by students, and finally show how they constructed two short plays that raised possibilities for cultural negotiation and identity forming. Finally we explore the implications of this approach for drama teachers and teacher educators in terms of drama as critical pedagogy.
Author M.M. NkoaneSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 317 –341 (2010)More Less
This article explores the praxis that informs higher education, and how students with special educational needs make sense of their experiences concerning higher education. The discourse that this article challenges is oppression, inequalities, exclusion and marginalization of students with SEN. This article also creates a forum of amplification for voices of the voiceless. The article operationalises the theory of discourse analysis.
A theoretical framework adopted in this article views marginalization or exclusion, as a serious threat to any academic industrial complex in the world. The methodological disposition that broadly informs this study is post-structural theories and further employs deconstruction as a strategy for interpreting and analyzing data. Deconstruction is a strategy for revealing the under-layers of meanings in a text that were suppressed. Findings in this study could empower SEN students. I have come to realize that empowerment is not a gift of the powerful, but something that the excluded and dominated collectively provide for themselves.
Community development as an approach to community engagement in rural-based higher education institutions in South AfricaAuthor V.O. NetshandamaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 342 –356 (2010)More Less
The premise of this article is that the 'jury is still out' to describe what effective Community Engagement entails in South African higher education institutions. The current discussions about community engagement and service learning do not cover the primary objective of adding value to the community, particularly of the rural-based universities whose service learning is almost often synonymous with community development (Bender 2008, 1154). The intention is to contribute to the discussions about placing community development at the forefront of a higher education institution community engagement mandate, with particular focus on a rural-based university. In addition, whilst there is general consensus regarding the benefits and advantages of service learning programmes for the student, there is a lack of studies and reports that focus on the impact it has on the community and the institution (Eyler 2002, 518). In this regard, I argue that community development as an approach, a process and an outcome should be central to the regeneration of CE knowledge and its application, at least to the extent that contextual relevance is realised in rural-based universities. My experience in the role of coordinating CE activities at a rural-based university influences the tone of this article.
University-rural community partnership for people-centred development : experiences from Makhado Municipality, Limpopo ProvinceSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 345 –373 (2010)More Less
Children, youth, women, the elderly, men and their leaders are integral components of rural communities. It is important to ensure that their unique needs and perceptions shape development programming. However, despite having various policies and legal frameworks introduced to deepen democracy in South Africa, current rural development programming approaches rarely create effective platforms that amplify this true community voice. Also, although Universities must serve as catalysts of rural development through appropriate community engagement, most of them are still unclear about how to realise this. This article presents a step by step community engagement approach that the University of Venda's Centre for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation has followed since May 2006 to facilitate people-centred rural development processes in 47 villages of Makhado Municipality, Limpopo Province. About 60 students and nine academic staff members from various University departments are involved. Central to the work are more than 200 village-based 'Foot Soldiers'. To date, vibrant village-level community engagement platforms have been established. Also, Ward development plans have been crafted with active involvement of grassroots communities.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 374 –391 (2010)More Less
In view of the fact that diversity in higher education has increased, it has become critical to deal with the needs of non-traditional students, and especially the students underprepared for the demands of higher education. In an attempt to address this issue and answer the question, 'How can underprepared students be encouraged to become more effective learners?', the article explores engaged learning. The emphasis is on the identification of educational approaches that lessen the negative impact of underpreparedness on student learning. The investigation, based on an exploratory and descriptive approach, was intended to serve as a platform for higher education educators to share perspectives and experiences on teaching and learning practices that have produced positive results in general and, in particular, when dealing with the underprepared. The findings of the investigation, which include views from the literature, suggest that engaged learning might be an effective educational approach to scaffold the underprepared to learn more effectively.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 392 –406 (2010)More Less
In this article, we explore our experience of carving out space within an academic program where we were able to engage in learning and teaching that enhanced our capacity to understand foundational literature in the Socio / Cultural Field of Study and work towards our social justice goals. The doctoral course described provided the conditions (environmental and social) we needed to support our questioning of disciplinary and personal knowledge and experience and 'to see the limitations and lacunae in our understandings' (Burbules and Berk 1999, 61). Data collected during the course included: audio-taped class sessions, weekly written responses / reflections, and final papers.
University - government - international donor community cooperation in research, teaching and community engagementAuthor M. MwanikiSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 407 –431 (2010)More Less
World geo-economics of the last two decades have seriously impacted on governments' capability to finance university teaching, research and community engagement, especially in the developing world. Over the same period however, the demands and expectations exerted on universities by government and society have increased phenomenally. To meet these demands and expectations, universities have resorted to non-traditional strategies of financing their teaching, research and community engagement endeavour. One such strategy is the university - government - international donor community cooperation in teaching, research and community engagement, where government and / or international donor community finance university teaching, research and community engagement within clear predetermined outputs such as training and development of government personnel and local community members; exposure of students to community dynamics; and production of problem-solving databased research. The article relates these insights to the Multilingual, Informatics and Development Programme (MIDP) being actualised by the University of the Free State.
Breaking the back of economic and financial (il)literacy in South Africa : a critical reflection of the role of economic educationAuthor S.M. MaistrySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 432 –442 (2010)More Less
South African society is characterized by high levels of poverty and unemployment. South Africa has an embarrassingly uneven distribution of income as reflected by the Gini-coefficient. While much of the country's economic ailments can be attributed to poor and selective application of economic policies during the apartheid era, there is a growing concern that we are failing to deliver on the promise of economic prosperity in the post-apartheid era. In fact, substantive micro-level economic change is just not reaching those hanging on to the lowest rungs of the nation's economic ladder. This plight is compounded by the nation's low levels of economic and financial literacy that often manifest in poor and unfortunate economic decision making. This article explores the potential of a co-ordinated, systemic and sustainable approach to advancing the economic education agenda of the nation. It proposes a critical approach to economic education and argues that higher education in particular has a powerful role to play in stimulating a discourse of critical economic education.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 443 –455 (2010)More Less
The purpose of this study is to highlight the importance of reflection by a higher education institution on its engagement with the community. In this article the authors demonstrate how the Faculty of Education at the University of the Free State engaged with school educators in a module concerning teaching and learning styles. A quantitative research approach was employed to ascertain the extent to which school educators enrolled for a post graduate course (Learning styles and self-concept development) reflect on the implementation of Outcomes-based teaching styles in their schools. Findings revealed that the majority of these school educators are not engaging learners via the OBE teaching styles; and that they are still advocating 'traditional / rote learning' teaching styles. The study, therefore, recommends that in order for school educators to think creatively and critically, the institutions of higher learning must intervene by providing opportunities for them to reflect on their practice and for the lecturing staff at Higher Education Institutions to also reflect on their scholarship of teaching.
Creating sustainable learning environments in schools by means of strategic planning : the experience of engagement by a comparative education team at a universitySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 456 –470 (2010)More Less
Many schools in South Africa are dysfunctional, or at least do not function optimally. This statement could be substantiated by just citing statistics about failure rates, school dropout rates, school violence, matric pass rates, learner absenteeism, educator absenteeism or the incidence of discipline problems and the effect thereof on educators. This problem could, to a considerable extent, be addressed by means of proper strategic planning of the education system as such and of particular schools. Educational planning expertise in South Africa, however, is extremely thinly spread, concentrated virtually exclusively in academics at universities specializing in educational planning.
The authors who are academics at a university and who are specializing in Comparative Education and in Educational Planning, have for some time, as part of the application of research based developments and community service, been involved in facilitating strategic planning in schools. Based on their knowledge and experience in the field of Comparative Education, and having subjected it to the test of practical implementation, the authors have developed a model for strategic planning to be used specifically in schools. This article gives a theoretical foundation of the model, outlines the model, and describes the researchers' / developers' experience of employing it in strategic planning at five South African schools.
Why sticks and carrots are only for animals : an exploratory study on self-worth in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 24, pp 471 –486 (2010)More Less
The question that needs to be asked is what is motivating employees at higher education institution and why do people act in the way that they do? This article sought to test the following statement : There exists within the context of higher education an organizational culture based on the premise of self worth. Various theories of motivation have delved into the issues of what makes some workers more motivated than others and what underlying processes are responsible for people's feelings of self worth. This article draws on the works of Maslow, McClelland, Vroom, Hertzberg and other related literature, together with a quantitative study, using a site in a Higher Education institution to administer a survey to empirically test the above statement. The results from the survey allude to the interesting result that the culture of self worth based on the populations perception of feelings about themselves and achievement of something worthwhile was constant across a merger of the institution.