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Volume 34, Issue 2, 2016
Source: Mousaion 34, pp 1 –14 (2016)More Less
Two studies were conducted to investigate gender differences in a sample of young South African readers from poor communities. In the first study, the self-reported reading preferences of 2 775 readers on a mobile phone platform supplied by the FunDza Literacy Trust were surveyed. Both male and female readers indicated that they liked four genres in particular: romance, drama, nonfiction, and stories with specific South African content. There were nevertheless some differences, such as that a higher percentage of males liked stories involving sport. The second study examined the unique FunDza site visits made by readers, as a proxy measure of what they actually were reading. Four genres stood out: romance, drama, biography, and action/adventure. Again the similarity between male and female readers was noticeable, although many more females than males read content on the site.
Source: Mousaion 34, pp 15 –30 (2016)More Less
The attraction of the internet continues to grow, mobilising the attention of many users, and impressing especially adolescents globally. Whilst the internet has provided adolescents with many benefits, such as academic support; crosscultural interactions; social support; and exposure to the world at large, there are serious risks associated with the internet. The parents’ role in this regard becomes pivotal in ensuring the safety of their children. The mechanisms used by parents in controlling their children’s use and access to the internet were the focus of this study. For this reason, the study aimed to determine the role parents play in regulating their adolescent children’s use of and access to the internet and how issues of control, censorship and cyberbullying are addressed. The study was based on Baumrind’s (in Grobman 2008) parenting styles which formed the theoretical framework. A quantitative approach was used to gauge the responses of parents who have adolescent children. Through convenience sampling, the respondents were selected to answer a questionnaire made up of closed-ended questions. The key findings that emerged from the study revealed that parents applied the permissive style of parenting when it came to male adolescents, whilst they applied the authoritative style of parenting to female adolescents.
Moving from a discourse of access to reading instructional materials to the management and utilisation thereof : progress in international reading literacy study at Grade 4 in South AfricaSource: Mousaion 34, pp 31 –53 (2016)More Less
Two cycles of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) were completed in South Africa in 2006 and 2011. In this article, we investigate the qualities of high-performing reading literacy schools for optimal resource management and utilisation strategies for possible application to low-performing schools. We do this against the background of reports on reading resource shortages and inadequacies in the context of reading literacy learning from both of the PIRLS main studies. This is done by comparing six case study schools with varying contexts and performance levels. The findings from a secondary analysis using the PIRLS 2006 data together with six case studies using international reading benchmarks from PIRLS 2006 to depict performance levels, confirmed that learners in low-performing schools from the study had inadequate access to reading instruction resources. This appeared partly attributable to inadequate funding and government provisioning; ineffective resource management at school level and non-resourcefulness of teachers at classroom level exacerbating reading resource inadequacies; as well as ineffective utilisation of materials at these low-performing schools. The resource management and utilisation strategies of high-performing case study schools were found to be potential models for schools with inadequate strategies.
Author Godwin MakaudzeSource: Mousaion 34, pp 54 –66 (2016)More Less
Contemporary Shona society in Zimbabwe has witnessed the mushrooming of organisations meant to protect the disabled and the vulnerable. In addition, empowering legislative measures have been put in place. In most cases, however, such efforts bear limited fruits, especially because they are not in sync with Shona practice. They are pursued as if the Shona people had never known the existence and observance of human rights and privileges. Using the Afrocentricity theory and drawing examples from the Shona ngano (folktale) genre, this article posits that Shona oral traditions are laden with the indigenous people’s philosophy and approach to various kinds of impairments and disadvantages which can be adopted and adapted by contemporary societies.
Author Andries WesselsSource: Mousaion 34, pp 67 –82 (2016)More Less
Frances Hodgson Burnett was the product of two cultures, British and American. An interest in the relations between these two cultures pervades her work and forms a significant thematic thread. This article investigates the articulation of such tensions in Burnett’s three most famous children’s books. The cultural polarities at issue in Little Lord Fauntleroy ( 1899), the earliest of the three novels under consideration, are closest to the tensions in Burnett’s own life as a British American. In this novel, Burnett manages to reconcile the American egalitarianism of the protagonist’s early childhood values with an almost feudal concept of noblesse oblige, and it is suggested that this conceptualisation remains imperative also in her later works. In A little princess ( 2008) and The secret garden ( 1968), imperial India is set against England as the primary polarity. Burnett’s exposition is shown to conform to Edward Said’s notions of Orientalism, showing India to constitute an almost archetypal image of the Other, yet the novels are critical of imperialism as causing the distortion of the imperialist as would later be defined by Orwell in Shooting an elephant and other essays (1950). It is suggested that in spite of an ostensible classlessness, the novels express a profoundly conservative and hierarchical vision.
Author Elwyn JenkinsSource: Mousaion 34, pp 83 –97 (2016)More Less
Roy Campbell’s The mamba’s precipice (1953), a novel for children, is his only prose work of fiction. This article examines three aspects of the book, namely its autobigraphical elements; its echoes of Campbell’s friendship with the writers Laurie Lee and Laurens van der Post; and its parallels with other English children’s literature. Campbell based the story on the holidays his family spent on the then Natal South Coast, and he writes evocative descriptions of the sea and the bush. The accounts of feats achieved by the boy protagonist recall Campbell’s self-mythologising memoirs. There are similarities and differences between The mamba’s precipice and the way Van der Post wrote about Natal in The hunter and the whale (1967). Campbell’s novel in some respects resembles nineteenth-century children’s adventure stories set in South Africa, and it also has elements of the humour typical of school stories of the ‘Billy Bunter’ era and the cosy, mundane activities and dialogue common to other mid-century South African and English children’s books.
Native American history, culture and spirituality in Mary Pope Osborne’s children’s book, Buffalo before breakfastAuthor Li-Ping ChangSource: Mousaion 34, pp 98 –112 (2016)More Less
Mary Pope Osborne is a prominent contemporary children’s book author, best-known for her Magic tree house series. She creates an imaginary world in which the books in the magic tree house literally transport her child protagonists, Jack and Annie, to other times and places. Osborne’s books are written simply so that young readers can follow a story that engages them, as they learn about diverse cultures, history and science. In Buffalo before breakfast (1999), the eighteenth book in the Magic tree house series, Jack and Annie travel to a Lakota camp on the Great Plains of North America in the 1800s, before the arrival of white prospectors, settlers and soldiers. By recreating the life of a traditional Lakota camp, Osborne gives readers a version of Native American history that has been silenced and marginalised. This article will examine her representation of Lakota history, culture and spirituality in Osborne’s Buffalo before breakfast, and cite research to support the story she tells.
Author Fawzia Gilani-WilliamsSource: Mousaion 34, pp 113 –126 (2016)More Less
This article discusses the emergence of Islamic children’s literature and identifies a paradigm shift giving rise to religious and cultural hybridity. It reflects on the initial avoidance of Muslim publishing houses to produce Islamic fiction. The article further outlines the reasons why Islamic children’s literature is now slowly gaining momentum. Definitions of Islamic children’s fiction have been included to allow an understanding of how this genre may differ from other forms of children’s literature. Additionally, the article seeks to highlight the obscure position of Islamic children’s literature with the hope that stakeholders within the international community will begin to provide an academic space for its study.