n South African Journal of Higher Education - From mechanist to critical realist interrogations of academic literacy facilitation in extended degree programmes : part 1




The analysis in this article sought to critically interrogate those philosophical underpinnings that influence the curricular design of academic literacy instruction in extended degree programmes (EDPs). Contextual focus was given to the Introduction to Academic Discourse (IAD) course, a curriculum requirement of the Commerce Extended Studies Programme (CESP) at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. The methodology of the study included a comparative analysis of and an analogical-application of mechanist, idealist and realist ontologies of inquiry towards understanding beliefs and ideologies that contribute to the choices of current, emergent models of academic literacy facilitation within EDPs. The results of the investigation highlighted that each ontological lens proved effective as a theoretical framework for analysing foundational structures engaged in the facility of academic literacy practices. The study concluded by approaching academic-literacy implementation in the foundational domain within a social realist framework.


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