Journal of Educational Studies - Volume 13, Issue 2, 2014
Volume 13, Issue 2, 2014
Access and Quality of Early Childhood Education in Some Rural and Urban Areas of Manzini Region, SwazilandAuthor T.D. MushoriwaSource: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 1 –20 (2014)More Less
The study examined the degree of access and the quality of Early Childhood Education in some rural and urban areas of Manzini Region, Swaziland. The design of the study was survey. Participants were 120 teachers recruited from both rural (n=60) and urban (n=60) areas. Data were collected through a semi- structured questionnaire, follow-up interviews and observations. The study established that while access to ECE is reasonable in both rural and urban areas, the quality of that ECE in both rural and urban can be rated poor to mediocre, especially in rural areas. Many centres lack qualified teachers, materials, equipment, a unifying and relevant curriculum, adequate playgrounds and proper infrastructure. Recommendations were that the ECE programme needs more funding and commitment from the Government; the University of Swaziland should intensify the production of qualified teachers for the programme and that the Ministry of Education and Training should come up with an ECE national curriculum in order to unify efforts in the centres.
Author Satsope MaotoSource: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 21 –41 (2014)More Less
This paper uses a situative perspective to explore how to create a conducive environment for mathematics teacher learning. It uses parts of data from action research of the collaboration between a university mathematics educator and two teachers, conducted over a period of three years. Data were obtained from there flective writings of the two teachers in their journals and through notes by one participant observer. Data analysis was in two stages: narrative analysis and analysis of narratives (Polkinghorne, 1995). Three key interrelated factors contributed to the creation of a conducive environment for mathematics teacher learning: teachers' interactions with relevant and provocative literature, observation of good practice in professional and classroom settings, and experimentation inpursuit of learners' mathematical thinking. The teachers' learning in these contexts was possible through critical reflections and continued support.
Promoting inclusivity within multidimensional classroom settings : the prior-knowledge and experiences of practising university student teachers enrolled for the Advanced Certificate in Inclusive EducationSource: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 42 –83 (2014)More Less
The South African Constitution guarantees the right to basic education for all learners, including learners with physical disabilities and any other learning barriers. In view of this constitutional imperative, schools are mandated to promote and provide quality education in multidimensional classroom settings. The delivery of such education requires mainstream or special schools where quality education for all is promoted. This study employed a mixed data collection strategy to investigate the prior-knowledge and experiences of 98 practicing university student teachers enrolled for the Advanced Certificate in Inclusive Education in one university. Data were collected between 2010 and 2013 using a pre-interview questionnaire and focus group interviews as a follow up to the questionnaire. The mixed data gathering method generated complementary quantifiable and qualitative data. The study revealed that there was inadequate and unsystematic collaboration by school structures and stakeholders to lubricate teachers' efforts in implementing inclusive classrooms. The study results point to the need for both pre and in-service teacher development on strategies for promoting and implementing inclusive learning environments. The Advanced Certificate in Inclusive Education offered by the university where the study was conducted was found to be relevant for enhancing teacher attitudes, knowledge and skills to implement inclusive education.
Source: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 84 –111 (2014)More Less
This study investigates the effects of code switching in the learning of mathematics word problems in Grade 10. The research used Cummins' language acquisition theory to inform the study. Ethnographic qualitative research design was employed whereby classroom observations and semi-structured interviews were used as data collection techniques. The use of multiple data collection techniques was to ensure credibility and dependability of the study. The sample consisted of 60 learners and 2 mathematics teachers. The sample was purposively drawn from a population of 1 235 learners and 49 teachers. The findings revealed that even though code switching could be beneficial in the learning and teaching of mathematics, it was difficult for learners and teachers to use it in a way that enhanced the learning of mathematics word problems because of the barriers in the use of mathematical language. It is recommended that teachers should exercise care when using code switching, especially when dealing with topics that involve mathematics word problems, as such topics are more aligned to particular forms of mathematical language that could not [easily] be translated to IsiXhosa.
Source: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 112 –138 (2014)More Less
Test anxiety amongst Science access students is often not given the due attention that it deserves and this can be a potentially leading factor of success or failure amongst Science access students as they prepare for entrance to read for a degree. The current study focuses on cognitive test anxiety which refers to the worry filled thoughts a student encounters during or after an assessment with regards to their performance on that assessment. Data was collected using the Cognitive Test Anxiety (CTA) questionnaire ( and analyzed using an index based on the median that classified the students as high or low anxiety groups. Current literature suggests that there are a number of different variables associated with cognitive test anxiety. Via a logistic regression model, a relationship between student's cognitive test anxiety and five variables (gender, matric points, matric mathematics mark, lecture group and number of modules passed by students in their mid-year university examinations) was investigated. With respect to the CTA of Science access students, the variables matric mathematics mark and matric points were found to be the influential variables.
Teaching mathematics to learners with perceived attention-deficit hyperactive disorder at foundation phase : a case study of five grade three South African learners.Source: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 139 –165 (2014)More Less
The study investigated the teaching of Mathematics to foundation phase learners with perceived attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). The aim was to find out how teachers coped with the teaching of learners with ADHD without any formal training on how to handle such learners in mathematics. Behavioural patterns of 5grade 3 learners with ADHD were observed and recorded during mathematics classes and their progress records in the subject first analysed. To explore teacher effectiveness in handling learners with ADHD, focus group interviews were conducted with 5 teachers who taught mathematics to the 5 sampled learners at apredominantly rural primary school in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province, South Africa. The study revealed that the teachers were able to identify learners with ADHD. Although the teachers without formal training on handling ADHD learners improvised some workable strategies to assist the learners, findings from this study indicate the need for formal training for the teachers on basic strategies to assist ADHD learners.
Redesigning the school mentoring environment for beginning mentors and head teachers in the 1+1 Initial Primary Teacher Education model in MalawiSource: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 166 –192 (2014)More Less
Successful linking of theory and practice by student teachers during a practicum requires an environment conducive to mentors' and head teachers' full involvement. This study examined the factors of the school mentoring environment that facilitated or hindered beginning mentors and headteachers roles in the 1+1 Initial Primary Education model in Malawi. A total of 43 informants comprising 20 and 23 beginning mentors and headteachers respectively, who were attending a follow-up mentor training, participated in a cross-sectional mixed methods study. A census survey questionnaire was first administered and was followed by whole group discussion and a focus group discussion of 6 volunteers (3 mentors and 3 headteachers). Descriptive and content analysis were employed on quantitative and qualitative data respectively. The study found that the school mentoring environment had both enabling and constraining factors; however, there were more factors constraining than enabling. The main enabling factors were the Partnership Agreement between schools and Teacher Training College; active involvement of administration; monetary rewards and provision of initial and regular training to mentors and headteachers. The constraining factors included the lack of school culture (vision, mission, norms and standards); poor management and inadequate forms of recognition and rewards; low academic qualification of some of the mentors(5%) and headteachers (17%); use of one (mentor)-to-many (student teachers) mentoring model; heavy workload of mentors and headteachers as they had full time teaching responsibilities; ineffective mentor training; and poorly prepared student teachers for the mentoring programme. The study proposes a new school environment for mentors and headteachers,comprising a collegial school mentoring culture with a Many-to-Many mentoring model (MTMM); release time for the mentors; non-monetary reward systems; and well equipped mentors, headteachers and student teachers.
Author Israel KibirigeSource: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 193 –215 (2014)More Less
Although dialogic teaching improves teaching and learning of science, it is seldom used in schools. This study investigated educators' understanding and use of dialogic teaching, as well as factors that hindered Grade eight science educators from using dialogic teaching. A phenomenological research design was used to solicit lived educators' experiences. Six educators were purposively selected because they all taught science in Grade eight. Personal interviews and document analysis were used to collect data which were analysed thematically. Results show that educators' had partial understanding of dialogic teaching though their views differed from one educator to another. Only one (16.7%) educator used dialogic teaching and five (83.7%) did not. Reasons for not using dialogic teaching were: inadequate knowledge and skills amongst educators, overcrowded classrooms and low motivation amongst learners. Analysis of educators' portfolios shows that activities given to learners did not encourage dialogic teaching. The study recommends in-service workshops, for educators, on how to use dialogic teaching in the science classroom in order to improve learners' performance.
In search of a model for best practice in student teaching practice : a comparative study of South Africa and ZimbabweAuthor Chiwimbiso KwendaSource: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 216 –237 (2014)More Less
South Africa has embarked on an ambitious programme aimed at improving the teaching practice component of teacher education programmes within the country.This programme is two pronged: first, there is research being undertaken at the University of Johannesburg focusing on strengthening the university-school relationship regarding teaching practice. This initiative is aimed at finding a workable model for the establishment of Teaching Schools (TS) in South Africa. Second, a parallel initiative being led by the University of Stellenbosch is looking at coming up with a national model of Professional Practice Schools (PPS) in the country. Both initiatives are in response to the general dissatisfaction with the quality of school education in South Africa, which is largely blamed on the poor quality of teaching and, by extension, poor quality of teacher education in the country. Part of the data collected for the PPS research is used here to compare the models of teaching practice (TP) in use in South Africa and in Zimbabwe at the time of writing (2014). The aim is to establish similarities and differences in the two systems and see whether there could be some useful insights to inform the current efforts to improve the teaching practice component of teacher education in South Africa. The study, though largely descriptive and informative, provides some pointers to the direction future policy on teacher education in South Africa in general, and policy on teaching practice in particular, might take.
Teacher education institutions and schools as partners : towards a model which strengthens the partnership relationshipSource: Journal of Educational Studies 13, pp 238 –263 (2014)More Less
This paper explores ways in which the relationship between teacher education institutions and schools may be developed into partnership relationships, with a view to enhance of the professional development of teachers. Teaching practice is the essential component which links the schools, the teacher educator and the preservice teacher as an organic whole. Because of the different institutional contexts it is imperative that a common understanding about their respective roles is developed. This will contribute significantly towards nurturing and strengthening partnership relationships. A model as framework for the partnership relationship is proposed. This model was developed as a result of findings that emerged from research on literature about partnership relationships, with emphasis on different international models. The theoretical framework underpinning this model encompasses an understanding of the meaning of 'a community of practice'. The research is thus theoretical in nature and does not draw on fieldwork. It is recommended that an analysis of the collaboration between the different role players through meaningful dialogue, the development of a common understanding of the respective roles of the partners, and critique by all stakeholders, be undertaken in order to address the challenges posed by a partnership relationship.