Journal of Educational Studies - Special issue 1, January 2011
Special issue 1, January 2011
Source: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 3 –7 (2011)More Less
Ever since the promulgation of the South African Constitution in 1996, commentators on the South African education system have sought to interrogate the performance of government against the benchmarks of the rights entrenched in that Constitution. Analyses of the track record of the state in meeting the imprimatur of the Constitution point to a raft of weaknesses both in the political and administrative functioning of the relevant Ministries and their bureaucracies. These refer, invariably, to a lack of will and political commitment, weaknesses at the level of bureaucratic capability including for the conceptualization of the legislative mandate, and the many challenges of implementation at the level of the educational institution itself. These latter concern the vexed problem of 'delivery' and include questions about basic infrastructure, learning material, well prepared teachers and school principals, a meaningful curriculum, appropriate pedagogical strategies, orientations to language and other issues affecting the provision of schooling and the forms of exclusion prevalent in the South African education system.
Contestations of educational transformation : a critical analysis of how the norms and standards for funding are intended to achieve social justice and equitySource: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 9 –29 (2011)More Less
The aim of this inquiry is to understand, explain and critique the implementation of the policy for National Norms and Standards for School Funding (NNSSF) in this country. In investigating the problem articulated above, the authors made use of third-generation activity theory also known as the cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) to help understand, explain and critique the NNSSF policy and standards. This article focus on the contestations that have emerged in the funding of education over a specific historical period since 1994 and innovative strategies at the school level that have emerged over time to try and change the implementation of this policy. Methodologically, the authors utilized a hermeneutic approach because of their concern with the interpretation of human activities regarding the implementation of the NNSSF policy. Investigating and understating this central problem required the researchers to understand its implementation from the perspectives of the Department of Education (DoE) officials, governing bodies, principals, parents and the communities at large. One of the major findings of this study is that regardless of more funding being allocated to historically disadvantaged schools, learner performance and educational outcomes in these schools has not increased significantly.
Author Veerle DieltiensSource: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 30 –44 (2011)More Less
There has been debate on the effectiveness of school governance in advancing the aims of democracy and social justice in schools. Blame has been directed firstly at the way policy has been articulated and implemented and, secondly, on governors themselves. In this paper, I make the case that both arguments hold an element of truth and that is because the model of school governance current in South Africa tries to bridge both the imperatives of centralized policy making with participatory democracy. Furthermore, it will be argued that a key mediator between these opposing pulls on decision-making in schools is the school principal, since she represents both the interests of the Department of Education (DoE) and the School Governing Body (SGB). An important element in the success of school governance, therefore, is in understanding the changing role of the principal, as a facilitator rather than a manager.
The role of the university in rural development : the case of teacher development in the Eastern CapeSource: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 45 –70 (2011)More Less
We come to this paper as researchers, as classroom teachers, as community and political activists, and as University based teacher trainers. In this paper we problemetise the relationship between the current boundaries and rituals of the University and the challenges borne by the working class and rural poor. We begin the paper by briefly discussing the core notions of university, rurality and sustainable development to provide a larger analytic frame for this paper. We then use the specific experience of teacher development to explore, both theoretically and empirically, the incongruence between normalised University practice and the requirements of poor and rural communities. Poor and rural communities in South Africa are bedevilled by a slate of historical and contextual realities, in which the characteristics of the rurality constructed by apartheid's political and social neglect are pre-eminent. These disabling realities are accentuated, in our view, by the fact that with the exception of a few university based individuals and groups, the rituals of the university as a system have not been rooted in an understanding or engagement with the materially and epistemologically disenfranchised sections of the population. Our argument implies that it is necessary to rethink the patterns (content, pedagogy, structure) of university engagement with its communities against the context and requirements of the urban and rural poor.
Author Thidziambi Tshivhase-PhendlaSource: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 71 –83 (2011)More Less
This article uses black feminist theory to explore the lives of principals in South Africa. It takes as a foundation the metaphor of "luselo", a Tshivenda word which describes an interwoven African tray, related to the multilayered and multiplied burdens of oppression experienced by women in South Africa. The study uses biographical narrative and phenomenological methods to collect data from six principals identified by their colleagues and communities as individuals working for social justice. The women leaders have a multiple burden that is evident in the interactions between their personal and professional lives and the social and cultural frameworks within which they work. The foundation of power for the women is perceived to be grounded on the ability to form relationships and networks and thus work for social justice and to create new definitions for educational leadership as they strive to own their voices.
Author Shireen MotalaSource: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 84 –103 (2011)More Less
Access to education is a central pillar in development strategies linked to the Millennium Development Goals and the Dakar Framework for Action associated with Education For All. The framework of post-apartheid legislation embodies South Africa's commitment to the principles in the Education for All declaration and the right to basic education is enshrined in the South African Constitution. In terms of access, the South African case differs fundamentally from a number of developing countries, with near-universal access up to the end of the primary phase of schooling. This paper argues that while substantial physical and structural access to schooling has been achieved in South Africa, this does not guarantee that learners have equal opportunities or experience equal access to quality education. Emphasis has to be placed not only on expanded access but also on meaningful access. Initial structural change has little meaning unless it is shaped by regular attendance and progression through grades at appropriate ages, as well as meaningful and useful learning, achievement and completion.
Source: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 104 –120 (2011)More Less
The purpose of this qualitative study was to ascertain, firstly, how different participants in schools understood and interpreted the different values in the Manifesto on Values, Education and Democracy and secondly whether the values in the Manifesto were being implemented at their schools. Data was collected from a variety of participants through questionnaires, individual and focus group interviews. The results indicate that there are discrepancies and inconsistencies in the understanding and interpretation of the different values as well as in the implementation of the Manifesto. As such we argue that currently the Manifesto is more likely a myth rather than a manifesto in reality. On the basis of the findings several recommendations are made for the successful implementation of the Manifesto to become a reality in schools.
Students' reflections on the benefits of community engagement programmes in a rural-based university, a pursuit for social justiceSource: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 121 –137 (2011)More Less
A qualitative design was used to explore the ways in which students benefitted from their involvement in community engagement programmes in a rural-based university. A focused reflective discussion group departed from the question, "How has your involvement in community engagement activities benefitted you over the years?" Findings show that students acquire a sense of identity, self-worth, awareness and belonging, more insights into their studies through out-of-classroom opportunities that breach the theory-practice divide, and a platform to redefine personal goals and purpose as students in pursuit for social justice.
The provision of rural education in three provinces of South Africa since 1994 : implications for school improvementAuthor Johannes SerotoSource: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 138 –152 (2011)More Less
Since the establishment of a single racially integrated education system and nine provincial departments of education with delegated powers regarding administration and financing of schools in 1994, issues of quality and inequality, especially regarding the education provision to black learners in rural areas, have been repeatedly raised. The most pressing issues relate to education financing, large backlogs in adequate school infrastructure and the effectiveness of equity instruments used to address the apartheid legacy that plagues rural education. Based on a review of policy, legislation, relevant statistics and local studies of the status of rural education, this article discusses demographic factors shaping education provision in the predominantly rural provinces of Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. It describes the state of rural schooling and critiques the limited outcomes of initiatives implemented to uplift rural education. Finally, recommendations are made on ways in which the government can improve the life chances of predominantly black learners in rural areas.
Exploring socio-cultural variables to social justice in education : South African educators' conceptualisation of a multicultural educational settingSource: Journal of Educational Studies 2011, pp 153 –168 (2011)More Less
Knowledge is an important ingredient for eradicating prejudice and implementing inclusivity in desegregated classrooms. Using the quantitative research methodology, this study evaluated 125 South African educators' understanding of concepts that inform multicultural education using a modified Multicultural Counselling Awareness, Knowledge and Skills Survey (MAKSS) questionnaire. Gathered data from the sample which was drawn from one South African province, were analysed using the Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) to calculate and infer on the educators' knowledge of multicultural education that was influenced by their racial background and educational qualifications. Results of the study indicated that there was a relationship between educational qualifications and educators' conceptualisation of multicultural education. However, there was no evidence of any significant difference between white and black educators' knowledge of multicultural education. From the results of the study, pre- and in-service training on multicultural issues is recommended for educators.