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- Volume 25, Issue 8, 2011
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 25, Issue 8, 2011
Volumes & issues
Volume 25, Issue 8, 2011
Author Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1477 –1482 (2011)More Less
Since the demise of apartheid education, the development of policy in relation to teacher education in South Africa has undergone major adjustments. By far the most poignant conceptual and pragmatic change that teacher education has been subjected to points towards the cultivation of teachers who can enact their professions as democratic citizens. This implies that teachers ought to engender in learners a spirit of democratic citizenry that can imbue in them the virtues of dialogical engagement, connecting caringly with the other, and performing their tasks in a responsible manner. In this article I want to explore what it means to be a teacher who does not practise disgust and shame and their implications for humane learning. If universities intend to contribute seriously to teacher education, their programmes have to be aligned with what it means to cultivate humanity.
Author L. CherianSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1483 –1496 (2011)More Less
The purpose of teacher training programmes is to instil a humanistic ideology into the school curriculum. Unfortunately however, this is not always able to change the culture of a school. The Pupil Control Ideology (PCI) scale was designed to measure the pupil control orientation of the respondents (teachers) on a humanistic-custodial continuum. This continuum has 'custodialism' at one extreme and 'humanism' at the other. A random sample of 154 teachers was chosen from 400 South African teachers and 95 teachers from 300 Indian teachers from India. Each teacher was given the 20 item pupil control ideology scale. Analysis indicates that there is no significant mean difference between the results of the two groups except for certain items. The results indicate that power and control flow downward, there is strict control over pupils and impersonal teacher-pupil relationships (reflecting pessimism), and there is a prevalence of watchful mistrust.
Socio and socio-mathematical norms : traits of interaction in a first year undergraduate mathematics talking classroomAuthor K.M. ChueneSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1497 –1512 (2011)More Less
The classroom is a micro-culture where socio and socio-mathematical norms of interactions are fostered by an instructor who represents the mathematics community. Informed by the 'emergent approach' developed by Cobb and Yackel (1996) that explains how mathematical growth takes place in the social context of classrooms, I explored the enactment of these norms in small groups' interactions that were not directly influenced by an instructor. I used audio recorded and later transcriptions of groups of undergraduate mathematics students' discussions on class tasks that were analysed using Polkinghorne's (1995) narrative analysis. Using excerpts from the discussions I argue that with a broadened view on socio-mathematical norms, and interpretations of interactions that focus on 'learning in the moment', enactments of norms are seen in students' (a) contributions to discussions through initiating discussions, (b) taking responsibility for raising and offering answers, (c) acceptance of arguments that are efficient to the self.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1513 –1525 (2011)More Less
The purpose of this study is to determine the attitude of in-service science teachers towards information communication technology (ICT) in education. The study explores the relationship between in-service teachers and four independent variables: their attitudes toward computers their cultural perception of computers; their perceived computer competence; and their perceived access to computers. Attributes like gender, age, income, teaching experience and teaching methods are investigated. The results of the study show that 92 per cent of the respondents have a positive attitude towards computers. In-service teachers' attitudes are correlated with computer attributes, cultural perceptions and competence, but not with computer access. These findings suggest that computers in secondary and tertiary education improve the quality of teaching. In addition, infrastructure is identified as a constraining force in the implementation of ICT in the science classroom.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1526 –1540 (2011)More Less
Reading ability is fundamental to teaching and learning (AFT 2004). This study assessed the reading ability of 25 in-service science educators at the University of Limpopo for three science texts: Grades 7, 8 and 9, using a cloze test and exploring materials that educators read. The scores were categorised as being independent, instructional and frustrating. The results of One-way ANOVA reveal no significant differences in scores for Grades 7 and 8 texts, but significant differences in scores between Grades 7 and 8 compared to Grade 9 texts. A Tukey (HSD) post hoc test indicates that Grade 9 texts accounted for the main differences, suggesting that educators read Grade 9 texts at a frustration level. The reading ability of most of the educators was at the instructional level. Data from semi-structured interviews suggest that educators do read when preparing for classes. The implications are discussed in the light of improving reading ability of educators at higher education level.
Author L.T. MabasaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1541 –1552 (2011)More Less
Discipline in schools has become a serious issue in South Africa; as in other countries. Several attempts have been made to improve learner discipline as a foundation of the current education system. These included the formulation of the South African Schools Act which provides a framework within which discipline, values and human rights are supposed to be aligned. Thus, the question is how do teacher-education institutions prepare student teachers? This article, therefore, reports on a case study that was conducted at the University of Limpopo. Data was generated from semi-structured interviews with 10 student-teachers, two lecturers, the coordinator of the programme and documents consulted. The study found that the way in which the university prepares student teachers for disciplinary issues in schools is not adequate for them to be able to deal with disciplinary issues and recommendations are made to improve the situation.
Author T.N. MafumoSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1553 –1562 (2011)More Less
This article analyses the National Plan of Higher Education (NPHE) and argues that the NPHE mainly uses formal concepts of social justice in bringing redress and equity to the higher education. It further argues that the plan could meaningfully and better address issues of equity and redress by employing substantive forms of justice. Firstly, the article will focus on the constitutive meaning of social justice and the two notions of social justice known as the normative and the substantive notions. In doing this, preference will be accorded to the substantive understanding of justice that prioritises human capability development over and above the formalistic approach of social justice that mainly considers access as a priority. Secondly, the article will discuss Section 3 of the NPHE in relation to the ideals of social justice that it promotes and further reveals its formalistic limitations. The article further discusses the weakness of the institutions of higher learning in promoting substantive social justice, particularly in the case of South Africa, as a consequence of the conceptions of justice in use and concludes by examining how the implementation of (NPHE) can assist institutions of higher learning in promoting social justice.
Making sense of undergraduate students' reflections as they learn through writing an action research proposalAuthor S. MaotoSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1563 –1580 (2011)More Less
This article explores learning opportunities offered by students' written reflections as they learn through writing an action research proposal. From tapping into students' reported struggles, I analysed data using three stages of qualitative data analysis: data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing (Miles and Huberman 1994). It emerged that the inescapable psychosocial learning environment which was created influenced students' learning patterns. The more students realised that they could not escape the situation, the more they changed their conceptions of learning; developed a learning etiquette; and developed degrees of acceptance, fulfilment, empowerment and autonomy. It is in terms of these indications that I argue for the provision of different reflection avenues, process-oriented supervision and use of action research principles to encourage students' deep learning of content at hand.
Author N.T. MashabelaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1581 –1591 (2011)More Less
University governance remains a controversial issue in South African higher education as it was during the Apartheid era. Neave (1998) in Harry de Boer and Leo Goedegebuure (2001, 163) rightly say that 'governance within higher education is a most complicated and challenging issue. Of all issues currently under discussion, few are more controversial than those pertaining to the institutions of governance'. This article examines the extent to which governance of the University of Limpopo is democratic, pursuant to a foray of policy papers and legislation on the transformation of higher education. In other words, 'To what extent has the governance of the University of Limpopo transformed towards democratic practices since South Africa became a democratic country? If not, what are the constraints?' I argue that the University governance has not been sufficiently transformed if by transformation we mean a procedure in which collective decisions are arrived at through reasoned deliberations.
Initial experiences of first entering students at the University of Limpopo : implications for coping with academic work / studiesAuthor M.C. ModipaneSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1592 –1607 (2011)More Less
This study reports on the initial experiences of first entering students at the University of Limpopo registered for 2010 Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.). I argue the initial experiences of first entering students at universities have implications for how they cope with studies and could lead to some dropping out. I place my argument within the literature on student retention and draw from Tinto's interactionalist theory (Braxton 2000). A qualitative study was used and the study does not seek to generalise the findings but draws from them for the development of strategies to support systems for first entering students. Data were collected through open-ended questionnaires administered to 120 students and two focus group interviews of 810 students each. Analysis indicates that experiences were: personal and related to thoughts and feelings; related to the academic context; and related to social interactions, all of which may have far reaching effects in higher education.
Student teachers' perception on integration of traditional circumcision education into the school curriculumAuthor S.M. SeloanaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1608 –1625 (2011)More Less
The purpose of this article is to report on the research findings of the views of student-teachers on the integration of some aspects of a traditional circumcision curriculum into higher education. The main question is: Could a traditional circumcision curriculum be integrated into the higher education curriculum? Seventy five participants were sampled through a systematic random sampling strategy from a population of 120 male student teachers. The sample includes only those who have attended a circumcision school. Data were collected through a closed questionnaire, and presented as percentages. The preliminary results reveal that the majority of student-teachers are in favour of the integration of a circumcision curriculum into the higher education curriculum. These results may serve as a siren to alert us of the need to create space in the higher education system for the indigenous knowledge system (IKS), for example, the circumcision values and knowledge.
The role of staff development in the professional development of teachers : implications for in-service trainingAuthor S.K. SinghSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1626 –1638 (2011)More Less
The school environment is a very dynamic sphere. Changes continually take place in educational policy, curriculum and in a school's physical and social environment. A teacher who wants to be effective in such an environment has to adapt to these changes. Continuous professional development of teachers is essential to addressing the gaps in training that arise through time and change. This article addresses the professional development of teachers at school level by examining the types of staff development practices that are implemented in thirty randomly selected schools. It also examines the staff development programmes of two schools in particular. The implementation process of these programmes, feedback from the staff members during the review of the programmes, and the personal development of the teachers is also examined. The results indicate that staff development in the 30 schools takes place sporadically and in an unstructured manner. The topics addressed during staff development do not focus adequately on the professional needs of the teachers. In the two structured programmes, teachers benefitted tremendously and were eager to continue. Finally, this article proposes a model for staff development in schools and discusses the implications this has for in-service training of teachers.
Author M.J. ThemaneSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 25, pp 1639 –1651 (2011)More Less
How we conceive what a curriculum is or not determines how we theorise, practice and define it. There are two conceptions of a curriculum: the narrow view and the broad view. This article sets out to demonstrate how these two views are developed. This demonstration is drawn from the recent reviews by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme at the University of Limpopo. Data were constructed through semi-structured interviews with two lecturers from the PGCE committee, two heads of departments and the director of the school. These were corroborated through course outlines, learning guides, school policies, the HEQC's evaluation criteria and the school calendar. Although the review promotes the broad view of a curriculum in its design, the recommendations from HEQC borders the narrow view. This implies that if the broad view had been applied, the result would most likely be different.