The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning - latest Issue
Volume 11, Issue 1, 2016
Author Dolina DowlingSource: The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning 11, pp 4 –5 (2016)More Less
The White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (2013) stresses the importance of the need to have a seamless education system. Whilst this is explicitly referring to post-secondary education, the same principle is applicable for basic education. We want our children to have a wide variety of learning experiences within a holistic system that caters for their needs at each of the different stages in the system so that each person has the opportunity to maximise their potential. Unfortunately in South Africa we still fall short in this regard but this does not mean that we should not continue with our endeavours.
Source: The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning 11, pp 6 –16 (2016)More Less
There is an ongoing debate about whether teaching is better understood as 'facilitation' or 'mediation'. The debate can be framed in relation to three different theoretical accounts of these concepts: (i) teaching as facilitation, as rooted in the genetic epistemology of Jean Piaget; (ii) teaching as mediation, as rooted in the cultural historical psychology of Lev Vygotsky; and (iii) teaching as the seamless incorporation of both facilitation and mediation in the deliberative practice of teachers. The first two frames, as formal theories of cognitive development and learning, suggest a clear analytic distinction between facilitation and mediation as teaching strategies. The last frame foregrounds the pragmatic sense that teachers have of facilitation and mediation as shifting moments in pedagogy. In debating the various framings, it becomes clear that both formal and pragmatic theories make sense of teachers' classroom pedagogy.
Using the capabilities approach for strengthening the sense of professionalism of teachers deeming themselves surveilled through a PanopticonSource: The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning 11, pp 17 –29 (2016)More Less
According to some teachers practising their profession in some of the most advanced and privileged schools in widely different parts of South Africa, they are not allowed by their superiors to work (optimally) as professionals. As a first step towards searching for a solution to this problem, we consider whether Jeremy Bentham's and Foucault's Panopticon metaphor might not explain the problem in greater depth. Based on our conclusion that the metaphor, having been developed initially as a solution to the problem of improving supervision and surveillance in penitentiaries, does not seem to typify fully the situation that some teachers are experiencing in their schools, we attempt to address the problem by suggesting to school managements to draw on the capabilities theory of Nussbaum, Sen and others for strengthening teachers' sense of professionalism.
Author Corene De WetSource: The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning 11, pp 30 –42 (2016)More Less
This paper reports on findings from a qualitative implementation evaluation study on the Advanced Certificate in Education: School Management and Leadership (ACE:SML) 2013-2014 programme presented by the School of Open Learning (SOL) of the University of the Free State for serving and aspiring school leaders in Mpumalanga Province (MP). Utilising Patton's (2002) research guidelines for qualitative implementation evaluation studies, the aim of the study was to investigate how students experience the programme under investigation; the services provided to the students; as well as how the programme was organised. Based on thematic data analysis and evaluative studies on the preparation for principalship in South Africa, findings from this study shed light on factors influencing principals and aspiring principals' decision whether to enrol for the ACE:SML programme. The study found that students' experience of the ACE:SML programme was mostly positive. Their negative experiences may be attributed to factors both inside and outside the direct influence sphere of SOL. The SOL provided well-organised academic, administrative, mentorship and ICT services, as well as network opportunities to all the students.
Source: The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning 11, pp 43 –55 (2016)More Less
The teaching and facilitation of academic literacy skills in English second language for in-service teachers presents a challenge in the light of the increased enrolment of un- and under-qualified teachers on the National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE). The course aimed to up-skill teachers to meet the minimum standards as required for the profession. Fundamental Literacy, a core module on the NPDE course, was designed to support and equip in-service teachers as students, with sufficient academic literacy skills to complete the teaching qualification successfully. This qualitative study explored the academic experiences of part-time in-service teachers in the fundamental literacy module. The collected data was analysed thematically to understand in-service teachers' experiences of the module and the support needed to ensure academic success. Findings suggest that adult learners experience anxiety upon entering the higher education environment. Factors outside the educational sphere (i.e. home and work) presented major obstacles to their success as students. In-service teachers are oriented to more social ways of learning as opposed to an individualised and autonomous method of studying. Teamwork and scaffolding techniques accommodated the unique linguistic and cultural needs of this mature learner cohort. It is recommended that a more innovative and collaborative approach to learning is considered with in-service teachers.
Source: The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning 11, pp 56 –68 (2016)More Less
Does programming alone depict the real world scenario? It is often said, 'In programming, One is the loneliest number'. Addressed in this paper is a strategy referred to as 'peer-to-peer programming', and the focus is within an object-oriented programming (OOP) paradigm. The paper explores options available to students at secondary and university levels who are engaged in individualised programming, and potential opportunities associated with peer-to-peer programming which resemble programming in the real-world scenario. Most programmers learn to program as individuals and then are faced with the real world, programming in a team. This research was based on confirmed observation, analysis and assessment against published data and information extracted on peer-to-peer programming and its influence on contemporary instruction and comprehension of computer science programming concepts. The research was conducted within the parameters of the programming information technology curriculum at three secondary and two university-level academic institutions. Gaining the perceptions of peer-to-peer programming was arrived at through using threshold concepts in Computer Science and an interpretive paradigm. Two critical questions were posed:
- What are learners' experiences of programming alone and programming with a partner?
- How does peer-to-peer programming enhance programming in an OOP paradigm?
Lessons learnt in applying automated code plagiarism detection in an introductory programming moduleSource: The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning 11, pp 69 –81 (2016)More Less
This paper investigates automated code plagiarism detection in the context of an introductory programming module. Three methods for detecting plagiarism are compared to determine whether these systems yield differing results. These methods are the use of MD5 hashes and the application of two plagiarism detection systems, namely MOSS and NED. The same set of solutions to the same problem was evaluated, using each of the three methods. This set was selected as a representative sample as it was characteristic of most other data sets submitted by students in the introductory programming module over the course of four years. The discrepancies in the results obtained by these detection techniques were used to devise guidelines for effectively detecting code plagiarism.
Changing mental models and developing global mind-sets of business students through international study modulesSource: The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning 11, pp 82 –96 (2016)More Less
The fast-changing interdependent global context and the accompanying need to teach capabilities required in the global marketplace led to the implementation of international global modules for business management students. The study explored students' perceptions about their learning experiences on international modules to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries abroad. The findings suggest that a module abroad encouraged a broader vision outside of their own mental representations and contributed to the development of students' mental models and global mind-sets. The module exposed them to foreign ways of thinking and behaving in diverse contexts and in so-doing disturbed current thinking. The global educational experience enhanced experiential learning, stimulated reflection, and contributed to the development and transfer of deep knowledge. This article provides insight into the experienced value of international global modules, and it proposes a reflection framework on improving the learning outcomes of such modules abroad.
An analysis of secondary school heads' perception of their supervisory role in Nyanga District : Zimbabwe : practitioners' cornerAuthor Daniel ChiguduSource: The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning 11, pp 97 –112 (2016)More Less
The main focus of this paper is an analysis of heads' perception of their supervisory roles in the context of rural day secondary schools. A survey research design was used to describe the variables. Heads are seen as head teachers, heads of departments, deputy head teachers and senior teachers who are involved in supervision. The paper argues that supervisors in day secondary schools are usually relatively young and overburdened with work. There is role conflict between teaching and supervision and as a result there is a low pass rate. There is a need for establishing other causes of ineffective supervision which are crippling the supervisory system. The investigation seeks to provide solutions to facilitate supervision and improve pass rates. The paper views the concept of supervision from a more recent perspective - the human resources approach. The study reveals that most supervisors are overburdened with administrative work. Nevertheless, they have a positive perception of their roles despite the confounding constraints at a rural day secondary school.