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- Volume 25, Issue 6, 2011
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 25, Issue 6, 2011
Volumes & issues
Volume 25, Issue 6, 2011
Author L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1039 –1046 (2011)More Less
In this article I initiate a debate into the (de)merits of human capital theory and human capability theory and discuss implications of the debate for higher education. Human capital theory holds that economic growth depends on investment in education and that economic growth is the basis for improving the quality of human life. Human capable theory shifts the focus away from economic growth, which it views as too crude a measure for how the quality of life of a nation is improving. Instead what people are able to do (and be) and the real opportunities available to them (their capabilities) are seen as more important.
Author N. BakSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1047 –1061 (2011)More Less
In this article, I examine three claims that in some senses can hinder the supervisory process rather than facilitate it. These are the claims that the relationship between supervisor and student should be a friendship; that students writing their theses should demonstrate 'own voice'; and that students should choose supervisors on the authority of their academic lineage. I shall argue that although these claims are fruitful, we need to be aware of their inherent risks and of the appropriate limits of the key concepts.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1062 –1076 (2011)More Less
Students tend to learn in the way they know, or think, they will be assessed. Therefore, to ensure deep, meaningful learning, assessments must be geared to promote cognitive processing that requires complex, contextualised thinking to construct meaning and create knowledge. Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive levels is used worldwide to assist in preparing assessment materials. The taxonomy entails the classification of cognitive actions into six, increasingly complex, levels.
Knowing, acting and being : epistemological and ontological access in a Science Extended Studies courseAuthor K. EllerySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1077 –1090 (2011)More Less
Gross participation and throughput rates in higher education institutions in South Africa indicate an inequitable and poorly functioning system. This interpretive study argues for an approach that enhances epistemological and ontological access and examines how an intervention that includes an overt approach in dealing with the nature of science, coupled with student involvement in an independent research project in a Science Extended Studies course, can enhance such access to higher education study. Analysis of project outcomes and student critical reflections indicated access to scientific and academic Discourses was enhanced through: developing improved procedural and conceptual scientific knowledge; meaningful engagement with the language, norms and conventions of the Discourse; integrating everyday knowledge into more abstract scientific knowledge; awareness of the process of validation of scientific knowledge, of the limitations of science, and of the impact of science on society; and transforming personally by developing scientific discursive identity and a sense of belonging. In conclusion, it is argued that curriculum interventions that focus on epistemological and ontological aspects of learning could appropriately be used throughout the higher education science sector.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1091 –1102 (2011)More Less
The article focuses on the transfer of knowledge learnt by students in the classroom to their experiential learning contexts. It is argued that transfer is not a simple process of application but rather one of recontextualisation of previously learnt knowledge. In order for students to perform this recontextualisation, some form of reflection on experience and previous learning is necessary. Michael Barnett's theorisation of the structure of the vocational curriculum, involving different types of recontextualisation, is used as a theoretical frame to examine knowledge transfer between university and work.
The (re)construction of a philosophical and pedagogical position for the Foundation Programme at UKZN with particular reference to the Biology moduleSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1103 –1124 (2011)More Less
The Centre for Science Access Foundation Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal provides alternative access to tertiary science studies to educationally disadvantaged students. The philosophical basis for this Programme is that of constructivism, as adopted by the original Science Foundation Programme (SFP) which was initiated in 1991 on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of Natal. Philosophical perspectives have obvious implications for pedagogy and curriculum development. Within the context of the Foundation Biology modules in particular, this constructivist position is revisited, drawing from current theoretical perspectives, and the pedagogical implications are presented.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1125 –1139 (2011)More Less
One hundred and fifty-nine Grade 11 prospective disadvantaged students in the natural sciences at the University of Pretoria completed the Study Orientation Questionnaire in Mathematics and the Senior Aptitude Test (Advanced). Fifty-nine male students (M age = 16.05; SD = .57) and 100 females (M age = 16.02; SD = .512) scored significantly differently on three subtests, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Calculations, Spatial Visualization and in Grade 11 mathematics. Stepwise linear regression showed a combination of subtests of the Study Orientation Questionnaire in Mathematics and the Senior Aptitude Test (Advanced) contributed significantly (R2 = 15.7% and 20.8% respectively) towards predicting the Grade 11 mathematics and physical sciences marks of prospective students.
A comparative study of pre-service teachers' self-efficacy beliefs before and after work-integrated learningSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1140 –1154 (2011)More Less
The purpose of the study was to compare the teaching efficacy beliefs of pre-service teachers before and after work-integrated learning (WIL) in a South African University of Technology. The comparison groups were formed based on the criterion of WIL. Pre-service teachers in their third year of the B.Ed. (FET) programme participated in the study and were followed through to their fourth year of study after completing six months of WIL. The long version of the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) was used to collect data from the participants. The data obtained before and after work-integrated learning were compared. There was a decline in the teaching efficacy beliefs of the students after work-integrated learning in all three categories of the scale, namely, student engagement, instructional strategies and classroom management. Based on the findings some recommendations are made about the importance of supporting pre-service teachers at practising schools.
Mentorship as a strategy to improve research output at tertiary institutions : a case study of University of JohannesburgSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1155 –1177 (2011)More Less
The problem explored is the relatively low research output at a merged Higher Education Institution (HEI). The re-landscaping of how HEIs operate, has impacted on merged institutions, especially those of a comprehensive nature, that are facing the challenge of improving research output. This article is based on research conducted for a Master's study. In this article, the focus is on capacity building as a strategy to develop human resources in the field of research, using mentorship, with the aim of improving research output. The researchers explored a formal research mentorship programme (REMP) at tertiary institutions using a case study and adopting a mixed method approach. The case study was conducted at a merged HEI in Gauteng, viz. the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The study, via a survey and semi-structured interviews, obtained views and perceptions from academic staff members and deans, with regard to the implementation of a formal REMP. The results (from the interviews with the deans) reveal that an informal, spontaneous and collegial type of mentoring was preferred. However, these views differed with that of the findings of the survey (conducted among academic staff), which showed that a majority of the respondents favoured a formal REMP and they also believed that REMP guides young academics in terms of the research process and methodology. Based on some of these findings, a formal REMP is recommended.
Higher education in the wake of new ICT : reaping benefits or creating more problems through e-learning?Author J. Seke Mboungou MouyabiSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1178 –1189 (2011)More Less
This article deals with e-learning by focusing on the perceptible tension between ICT and Education. It calls for the implementation of a supple platform within higher education community in the new era of ICT. A personal experience and the analysis of different approaches are used in dealing with the issues.
The choice of Moodle as a case study in this article illustrates the model of platform that is needed for higher education, and I found that more benefits are being reaped from e-learning by institution of higher education than the few challenges that are listed.
Author P. SinghSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1190 –1204 (2011)More Less
As the government seeks to foster a degree of self-sufficiency in terms of income generation through output, universities are forced to rely on performativity from staff to become more entrepreneurial. Following on the articles by Waghid (2009), Le Grange (2009), Reddy, Le Grange and Fataar (2010), and Smeyers and Waghid (2009) among others, this article reports on a study that investigated the effects of performativity and the entrepreneurial university culture on academic staff at a university of technology. Using a qualitative, explorative design, this study found that the former technikons did not emphasize the importance of research and subsequently the qualifications of its staff as perhaps they should have. Some staff regarded the 'new' emphasis on research and improving qualifications as being a part of the 'university ethos' as if the technikons were exempt from it. Some of the questions raised from the findings were: how did knowledge exist without continual scholarly inquiry and research? Can we have good teaching and learning (albeit experiential) if staff is not constantly engaged in research?
Community Colleges in South Africa? Assessment of potential from comparative international perspectivesAuthor C.C. WolhuterSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1205 –1218 (2011)More Less
While South African higher education has, in many respects, achieved remarkable achievements since 1994, a series of serious problems continue to beset the system, and a low internal (high attrition rate) and external (alignment with the employment market) efficiency. There also exist the problems of large scale youth unemployment and the policy of dual education and training which is not delivering results. Internationally one unique higher education has evolved these very same problems the Community College. This article traces the international track record of the community college and comes to a positive assessment as to its fit to the South African context.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1219 –1232 (2011)More Less
In this article we respond to the perceived crisis in humanities education in South Africa which posits firstly that large numbers of students are leaving this field and that secondly, the value of a humanities education has declined. To do this we track the enrolments and graduation rates in humanities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels between 1999-2007. We disaggregate the data using the racial quantifiers identified in the HEMIS data base. We show that the small overall numeric decline of students in humanities education does not constitute a crisis in itself. Instead, it is disturbing that humanities education does not parallel the patterns of growth evident in higher education as a whole, particularly for historically disadvantaged groups. We use Waghid's ideas on the civic role and responsible citizenship roles of higher education to comment on the numeric trends we observe with respect to humanities education and argue that the second perceived crisis, namely that of the declining value of humanities education deserves national attention.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1233 –1244 (2011)More Less
The University of KwaZulu-Natal is now six years post merger - time to reflect as the institution is now well settled. Modules are offered on multiple campuses, at various levels, ranging from entry level modules through to Ph.D. studies. This article attempts to identify the factors that lead to the successful progression of students to higher level modules. Different academic faculties have different admission and exclusion criteria. Accordingly, the analysis of these factors will be done on a faculty by faculty basis. Among all the factors investigated, first attempt of the course is found to be a common factor leading to student's success across faculties, whilst accommodation (off campus vs. on campus) also plays a role. Good academic results from high school (both Mathematics and English) are further found to be useful in promoting success in some faculties.