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- Volume 27, Issue 3, 2013
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 27, Issue 3, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 27, Issue 3, 2013
Author Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 479 –488 (2013)More Less
Today, 'human rights' are more egalitarian, less individualistic, and more internationally oriented than 18th century rights in the following ways: firstly, equality before the law involves ensuring the protection of people against discrimination; procuring equality for women in all areas of life; ensuring that political dissenters have rights to a fair trial and freedom from arbitrary arrest, torture and cruel punishments; restraining governments from perpetrating socio-economic abuses such as poverty, disproportionate illiteracy amongst women and girls; and affording people a lack of economic opportunities, social security and education; secondly, rights are considered to be less individualistic to ensure the protection of women, minorities and indigenous people against genocide; and thirdly, international inquiries and interventions are considered as justifiable to prevent large-scale violations of human rights (Nickel 2007, 12-13). Despite the fact that Africa has a 'human rights' system in place, produced by the African Union (AU) in 1981 and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, established in 1986, Africa has been confronted with enormous 'human rights' problems, exacerbated by the reluctance of several sovereign nation states to cooperate about 'human rights' violations. One of the reasons why I think a 'human rights' agenda has not been implemented successfully on the African continent is because several African leaders have scant regard for the imposition of legal sanctions (as has been the case in Zimbabwe under the leadership of Robert Mugabe) and that encouragement, consciousness raising, persuasion, and even shaming have not actually worked. For many, the 'human rights' system on the African continent seems to remain ineffectual and hypocritical, as it rarely coerces recalcitrant violators to change their practices (ibid., 20). This article offers a defence of cosmopolitan justice with reference to the seminal thoughts of Judith Butler and Kwame Anthony Appiah in order to countenance 'human rights' violations on the African continent - in particular what the response of higher education ought to be.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 489 –500 (2013)More Less
This article looks at how an approach like role-playing could be employed in higher education settings in order to give students an opportunity to practise and to apply knowledge they have learnt about Learners with Special Educational Needs (LSEN). The main objective of the research was to explore the feasibility of using role-play as a strategy to integrate experiential learning activities in the classroom in order to develop skills for identifying LSEN by students. The secondary objectives were to report students' role-playing experiences, together with the advantages and difficulties of using this form of teaching mode within the tertiary environment, and finally to find out how roleplay could be enhanced. To this end qualitative research was employed to bring this investigation to realisation and a questionnaire was administered to undergraduate students in the Faculty of Education at the University of Zululand. The results suggest that although students experienced the role-play activity as pleasant and saw value in using it, there were however disadvantages associated with it.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 501 –521 (2013)More Less
The objective of this study was to determine significant predictors of career uncertainty by comparing university students with low and high career uncertainty. A non-probability quota sample (N = 782) and cross-sectional design was used. Participants were categorised as either certain (n = 644) or uncertain (n = 135). These two groups were enclosed as a dependent variable in a logistic regression analysis. In the final step of the logistic regression, significant predictors of career uncertainty were found to be: lack of information about the decision-making process; lack of information about occupations; inconsistent information due to internal conflict; exhaustion (p ≤ 0.01); lack of information about ways of obtaining information; inconsistent information due to external conflict; cynicism; and lack of dedication (p ≤ 0.05).
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 522 –533 (2013)More Less
The plethora of technological advancements in different communities across the world has created a scenario in which higher education institutions (HEIs) have decided to enhance their global appeal by making their programmes available to transnational students. Globalisation and the resultant growth of multinational corporations that demand skilled labour have also fuelled the emergence of transnational education (TNE) and its associated transnational institutions (TNIs). This global phenomenon has compelled TNIs to revisit their curricula design processes. The marketisation of education, driven by issues of globalisation has motivated some traditionally single mode face-to-face HEIs to reconsider their teaching and learning strategies in order to remain relevant. This rethinking of strategy has obviously impacted on curriculum reform in response to TNE demands. This article endeavours to explore how TNIs take cognisance of the perspectives of multiracial and multicultural societies in crafting curricula that appeal to divergent student populations. It is argued that the rich and powerful capitalist (Western) forces will remain dominant in the creation of knowledge systems, while keeping the less privileged cultural influences on the periphery. The study used critical ontology (Foucault 1983) to assess the relationship between knowledge and power and their impact on the crafting of curricula for transnational students.
Author M.N. DavidsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 534 –549 (2013)More Less
Corporal punishment at schools in South Africa often causes consternation and public outcry despite its abolition almost two decades ago. The Department of Education (DoE 2000) published a booklet entitled 'Alternatives to corporal punishment in the classroom' which has proved largely ineffective, especially at schools in poor communities. This article reports on a study conducted by student teachers in KwaZulu-Natal, a province where corporal punishment is still rife. The article addresses the following questions: 'What were respondents' common memories of corporal punishment?' and 'How beneficial were student teachers' experiences and memories of corporal punishment in assisting them to develop a pedagogical perspective for future practice?' Data were collected by using interview questionnaires (N = 70) and five reflective student teachers' reports. Adults' schooling memories were captured by conducting an interview questionnaire in which 'corporal punishment' emerged as a major memory theme. Five student teachers were purposely selected to write a reflective report in response to a set of questions relating to their experiences of corporal punishment. The article concludes that by employing memory as a reflective discursive background, negative memories can be destabilised and disrupted to initiate new pedagogical practices. Valuable lessons were learnt to navigate the challenging terrain of corporal punishment which epitomises the persistent violation of children's rights at many schools in South Africa.
Universality plus difference : a commentary on Nuraan Davids's article, 'A reformed Islamic education : Grounds for revisitingcosmopolitanism'Author G. CaduriSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 550 –560 (2013)More Less
In Nuraan Davids' (2012) article, 'A reformed Islamic education: Grounds for revisiting cosmopolitanism', she articulates a 'renewed' cosmopolitanism to guide democratic citizenship in the Islamic education. She first articulates a theoretical view regarding what it means to be a citizen of the world. By celebrating individualism in terms of acknowledging the individual's right not only to be recognised as belonging to the collective, but also to eschew participating 'in the community of commonality' (ibid., 400), and by substituting the problematic (to her view) concept of 'tolerance' with the idea of attaching more value to the other (because of its role in the individual's identity construction), she offers a new vision of cosmopolitanism that will 'create deeper moments of engagement and meaning, and greater level of co-existence' (ibid., 398). After laying the theoretical blocks for a new cosmopolitanism, she makes a well-argued case for the cosmopolitan nature of Muslim identity. In making this argument she joins Muslim thinkers such as Mahmud Muhammad Taha, Tariq Ramadan, Khaled Abou El-Fadl and Yusef Waghid who challenge the fundamentalist view of Islam. Following this analysis she suggests how the presuppositions that underlie Islamic education should be reformed in light of the cosmopolitan nature of Islam and the connection between Islamic education and democratic citizenship education. Davids concludes by considering the implications of the suggested pedagogy to teachers and students in madrassah (Muslim schools) and Muslim-based schools.
In recognition of our universal human condition : a response to Galit Caduri's article 'Universality plus difference'Author N. DavidsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 561 –570 (2013)More Less
In her commentary on my article, 'A reformed Islamic education: Grounds for revisiting cosmopolitanism' (Davids 2012), Caduri (2013) highlights three difficulties. The first one she describes as a conceptual ambiguity with regard to my use of the term 'identity', which leads to me contradicting myself. Her second difficulty relates to my argument for attaching more value to the other - which she interprets as an attempt to avoid a relationship of power, and then diagnoses as suffering from self-refutation. And her third difficulty lies with my claim to articulate a new cosmopolitanism which does not separate individuals from their culture, which Caduri dismisses as a resonance rather than an innovative theory. In responding to Caduri's afore-mentioned difficulties, I will commence with what I consider to be her most problematic commentary - her concluding verdict that, 'Davids swims against the current by challenging her roots as well as the widespread fundamentalist view of Islam in a very convincing way, allowing her personal voice to emerge. Thus, reading her article might change not just what people know, but also who they are.'
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 571 –589 (2013)More Less
This article addresses the linguistic identities of high-achieving women who are participants in a prestigious scholarship programme at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). We examined how these high-achieving women negotiate and construct their linguistic identities within the context of the university's Anglicised institutional culture and against the backdrop of South Africa's multilingual society. Individual and focus group interviews were examined by employing an experience-centred and culturally orientated approach to narrative (Squire 2008). Our examination revealed that language is both an academic and social intermediary of experience at the university, and that language functions as both an identity marker and an ideology that permeates the university and wider society. How participants transgress and maintain their linguistic identities, as well as how they subvert, and align with, the dominant university ideology is discussed.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 590 –606 (2013)More Less
The proliferation of Web 2.0 applications in general and in higher education institutions (HEIs) in particular was the impetus for this survey-based research into practices that online users (students) currently employ when using Web 2.0 sites. As part of the study, the popularity of Web 2.0 technologies and sites among online users at two universities was investigated in order to determine the extent of access and use as well as the potential threat to users of Web 2.0. The results of the study indicated that the use of Web 2.0 sites is very popular among both on-campus (full-time) and distance learning (part-time) students, but that modes of study and the site of access differ significantly between the groups. The respondents indicated that they regularly visit Web 2.0 sites, and that all of them (100%) post personal information on these sites. Both types of users are acutely aware of the risks associated with the technology and posting of information on these sites, and are alert to the possibility of internet theft and phishing attacks. Given the distinctive characteristics of the two groups of students, significant differences were observed between the full-time and part-time users in terms of their mode of study; the influence of online technologies on their studies; and their ranking of potential risks, all of which pose unique academic challenges for students, educators and HEIs in South Africa.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 607 –626 (2013)More Less
The dormitories of historically white higher education institutions (HEIs) are becoming increasingly diverse in South Africa. We were interested in finding out how white students cope with this increased diversity. We consider diversity and multiculturalism as acculturation issues and were interested in how acculturation conditions impact on the psychological acculturation outcomes of white students. We proposed a dual process model of diversity (DPMD), consisting of facilitating acculturation resources that lead to satisfaction with life and restricting acculturation demands that lead to ill-health symptoms. Scales of acculturation conditions and outcomes were administered to a convenience sample of 227 Afrikaans-speaking students. The hypothesised DPMD was confirmed in a path analysis. Acculturation resources were associated with life satisfaction and acculturation demands with ill-health and a reduction in life satisfaction. The results showed that white, Afrikaans-speaking, female students cope better with diversity compared to their male counterparts. Very negative diversity conditions can erode the benefits of positive acculturation conditions or resources.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 627 –644 (2013)More Less
The Department of Education, South Africa (now known as the Department of Higher Education and Training or DHET), published a White Paper on the Transformation of the Higher Education (HE) Sector in 1997, to ensure that the sector would meet the criteria for the HE agenda of the country. Governance of the (HE) sector in South Africa is defined in an Act of parliament governing the sector, the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997 (DoE 1997a), as amended, and the Act defines the governance organs required. Whilst the corporate governance requirements are well defined and practised, there is no formally espoused requirement for the governance of information technology (IT). This article investigates, firstly, the issue of IT governance practices in current literature; and secondly, the maturity levels of IT governance processes in public higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa, using the Control Objectives in Information Technology (COBIT) 4.1 framework developed by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). Ten of the 23 public HEIs in South Africa participated in a survey requiring 34 responses. The results of this survey on the level of IT governance process maturity will be presented and discussed in order to better understand the factors contributing to IT governance process maturity levels in the public (HE) sector in South Africa. This will provide data leading to a better understanding on how to achieve higher levels of IT governance process maturity and the benefits that are associated with these improved levels.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 662 –681 (2013)More Less
Previous studies have shown that despite the widespread adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) in higher education institutions (HEIs) since the mid-1990s, this has failed to produce the fundamental changes in learning and teaching that university management expected, and that it is unclear which factors contribute to ICT acceptance by learners. Consequently, the aim of this study was to answer the question as to which environmental, technological, organisational and individual factors are most likely to influence choice behaviour to use ICT in student learning. Path analysis statistical techniques in Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) were used. The findings showed that environmental, technological, organisational and individual factors play a significant role in ICT diffusion and infusion. It was further observed that the effects of some factors including availability of ICT, access to ICT, and the institution's chief executive officer's (CEO) characteristics play a pivotal role in ICT diffusion in a developing country context. The study produced useful insights into the factors that influence technology acceptance decisions by students and provided new ideas in the management of ICT diffusion and infusion.
Author T.J. McKaySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 682 –695 (2013)More Less
This article reports on an innovative teaching intervention model involving the integration of geographical content into academic literacy programmes and vice versa at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). This model involved the 'movement' of academic literacy support as an independent and isolated function of the Academic Development and Support (ADS) Unit to one fully integrated into an academic discipline. The process of collaboration was driven by the lecturer, who engaged actively with the ADS facilitators on a continuous basis. This sustained the intervention by directing the nature of the academic support required. In the end, the sharing of ADS and discipline specific duties, as staff 'boundary hopped' between disciplines, allowed both for the co-creation of curricula and for a true teaching partnership to evolve. Both ADS and the academic discipline were enriched, to the benefit of staff and students.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 696 –712 (2013)More Less
The Faculty of the Humanities at the University of the Free State (UFS) launched an Academic Facilitation Sessions (AFS) project to provide academic scaffolding to students in extended programmes. The aim of the AFS is to promote the integration of generic and language competencies with disciplinary content. The educational philosophy that guides the teaching-learning in this project incorporates the theories of experiential learning, social constructivism and cooperative learning. An action research approach with a mixed methods research design provides a research dimension to track the process and the impact of the project. Quantitative and qualitative data allude to the value of this project in facilitating access with success.
From attitudes and practices to policy : reflections on the results of a large-scale study at the University of the WitwatersrandSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 713 –734 (2013)More Less
The matter of language policy in South African higher education remains contentious. Intense debate followed the promulgation of the Language Policy in Higher Education (LPHE) in 2002 which directed that all higher education institutions (HEIs) needed to develop language policies that presented firm commitments to developing multilingual environments in which African languages are developed as academic or scientific languages. After a period of seeming quiescence, issues around African languages have again surfaced in public debate, primarily as a result of Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande's call that in future it would be a requirement that every university student in South Africa learns one African language as a condition for graduation. Whether the language policy succeeds or fails is a complex matter, but one of the important factors, we suggest, relates to language attitudes and practices in particular contexts. This article revisits research into language attitudes and practices undertaken at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) with a view to drawing further insights into the matter of language policy in higher education, and in particular, the place of African languages. The results of the study reveal strong support for English as language of learning and teaching (LOLT) as well as continued strong support for Zulu as the 'preferred' African language - where an African language is supported. However, the results of the study also suggest that while the ability either to understand or use an African language is considered valuable, the idea that a university should legislate in favour of an African language is not supported.
Educational technology and the enhancement of educational research for social justice : towards autonomous/rhizomatic learningAuthor F. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 735 –749 (2013)More Less
In this article, I argue that educational technology is an appropriate means to enhance educational research for social justice. Firstly, I offer a brief account of educational research for social justice. Secondly, I show how educational technology can engender transformative pedagogical practices (i.e. teaching and learning), thus paving the way to enhance educational research for social justice. Finally, I show how autonomous learning can be realised through educational technology as a condition of educational research for social justice with reference to the ideas of Deleuze and Guattari (1987).
Women academics' research productivity at one university campus : an analysis of dominant discoursesAuthor C. ZuluSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 27, pp 750 –767 (2013)More Less
Universities privilege research and publication for the career advancement and academic recognition of academics. Yet, women academics face obstacles which inhibit their research productivity. Some of these obstacles or discourses have become dominant in studies of women's research productivity. They include the demands of acquiring the doctorate and the professorate; heavy teaching loads; lack of time; family responsibilities; area of specialisation; and difficulty in entering supportive networks. A review of the literature, coupled with a qualitative study of a purposefully selected sample of predominantly black early career women academics at one university campus in South Africa, revealed the gendered nature of these discourses across cultures and across continents. Many of these discourses are beyond the control of women academics. Universities should therefore remove structural impediments to research productivity and develop programmes to target women academics for research growth and development at all levels of their careers.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 27 (2013)More Less
This article reports on the use of the Action-Process-Objects-Schema (APOS) theory as a theoretical framework to investigate first-year students' understanding of the chain rule at a University of Technology in South Africa. Instructional design as part of APOS, based on the genetic decomposition, was used to teach the first-year students differentiation involving the concept of the chain rule and its use. A questionnaire based on functions, the composition of functions, derivatives and the structure of the integrand was used to monitor the development of the chain rule schema. Later, worksheets based on the use and application of the chain rule were designed to foster collaborative learning. A sample of 30 students participated in the study. In this manner differentiation of each function in the composite function was accomplished. Students either operated in the Inter- or Trans-stage of the Triad. It was found that students who had inadequate understanding of the composition of functions, performed well in the application of the chain rule. The analysis led to a formulation of three techniques for using the chain rule, namely: (1) the straight form technique; (2) the link form technique; and (3) the Leibniz form technique.