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Volume 22, Issue 1, 2016
Author Azeem BadroodienSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 3 –7 (2016)More Less
This special issue is organised around the theme of the 2015 South African Education Research Association (SAERA) conference, namely 'Strengthening Educational Research for Sustainable Futures', and focuses on how goals of economic development, environmental sustainability and social inclusivity are understood differently and integrated into quality education debates in the Southern African region, as well as in different institutional settings. The editors who oversaw the special issue were Prof. Sechaba Mahlomaholo, Dr Lynette Jacobs and Dr Milton Nkoane.
Creating sustainable teacher education ecologies : a people's education for people's power reimaginedAuthor Sechaba MahlomaholoSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 9 –26 (2016)More Less
In this paper, I trace efforts embarked upon in South Africa since the advent of a democratic dispensation towards the creation of sustainable teacher education ecologies (STEEs). I use the principles of People's Education for People's Power (PEPP), as explained in the African National Congress' Yellow Book (ANC 1994), to theoretically frame and provide a complementary ideal towards which South Africa's education system could have striven. I argue that 'the creation of STEEs that emphasised a systemic approach to collaborative endeavours' could have cultivated more quality in teacher education. Here I refer to the development of critical, humanising and conducive intra- and inter-personal enablers in teacher education that led to the economic development of all parties in environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive ways. PEPP is also re-theorised in the paper to recapture the experiences, fears and aspirations of a South African nation post-1994 and show why it was not realised. I argue that adding PEPP to teacher education ecologies after 1994 could have provided a better compass for the evolving teacher education system at the time, since it was generated in the lived experiences of the local people. PEPP suggested ways of dealing with dysfunctionality brought about by apartheid as well as contestations for power in and through education as the starting point of all quality enhancement.
Author Petronella Van NiekerkSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 27 –45 (2016)More Less
In this conceptual article I interrogate the infiltration of neoliberal discourses into higher education worldwide. Through a thorough investigation of international and local literature in higher education, I explore the origins of performativity as a reflection of neoliberalism, currently underpinning the entrepreneurial university - a predominant model for higher education globally and locally. By analysing the reasons for the importation of neoliberalism, from the developed world into the developing world, I expose the contextually inappropriate manifestations of performativity and neoliberal narratives in South African universities. I subsequently reveal some hidden assumptions emanating from neoliberal narratives to determine the underpinning reductionist and mechanistic thinking modes, which I argue are harmful because they impoverish discourses around living human beings, knowledge and education processes, thereby undermining the very essence of higher education. By drawing on the works of Barnett, amongst others, I conclude that the ecological university is imminent. The authenticity of the university, currently lost in reductionist and mechanistic thinking, could be regained by employing ecological thinking modes such as interconnectedness and networks of living human beings. The ecological university is fit to serve societies for a sustainable future, whereas the entrepreneurial university is recognised as a narcissistic enterprise that aims to position itself favourably for the global market.
Author Kehdinga George FomunyamSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 46 –63 (2016)More Less
Higher education in South Africa has several objectives, amongst which are transformation, poverty alleviation and national development. The Council on Higher Education develops and reviews quality guidelines to ensure that teaching and learning are directed towards these objectives. However, the employment rate, low student throughput and a failing basic education system raise questions as to whether universities are able to meet the quality challenge. This article explores students' constructions of quality education in a South African university. Using a qualitative case study approach, data was generated using questionnaires. The Second Cycle of Quality Assurance 2012-2017 was used as a framework to give meaning to the findings. It was found that the quality of education was poor, and most lecturers were under-qualified and used outdated teaching and learning approaches as well as assessment mechanisms. The article concludes that universities need to develop their staff, involve students in curriculum design and provide effective support for students in order to ensure fitness for purpose, value for money and transformation. This will require a shift from the ivory tower mentality to find practical solutions rather than merely addressing quality issues on paper.
Author Louise SchmidtSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 64 –80 (2016)More Less
Are our current educational approaches adequate to help us adapt to the fast-changing and complex world we live in? As humans, we evolved as a cooperative and collaborative species but, owing to various factors, we learned to tame and rule the world and in the process created a super-complex and unpredictable society. Our traditional education systems evolved to deal with a predictable world, but are no longer adequate, and we now have to adapt. In distance learning there are opportunities to create a learning environment that is more conducive to learning, especially if the contextual diversity of students is actively used as part of the learning ecology. What we need is the ability to adopt complex thinking and deeper levels of learning that are contextualised in our knowing, our lives, our communities and our planet. We need a new ethos that is built on openness and respect for conflicting opinions, where teachers enable deeper learning through networking, encouragement and openness. We need an education system that enables us to have a deep ecological connection in this world. Can we create a system of learning, or a learning ecology, that can sustain our human species on this planet?
The evolution of resources provision in basic education in South Africa : a projectile with diminishing returnsAuthor Jonas Seabata KabiSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 81 –97 (2016)More Less
The provision of national education in South Africa has gone through many periods characterised by social injustices. At the heart of these injustices, prior to the democratic government, was discrimination based on race. The race theories perpetuated by the state gave rise to disparities and marginalisation, which were effected through the preferential resourcing of schools. The quality of education provided and learner outcomes also mirrored social injustices. The discontent associated with these practices mobilised local and international protests in person as well as through the media. Political pressures especially from within the country ultimately brought about the demise of apartheid, the engine behind social injustices.
The advent of the democratic government became a vehicle for redressing the imbalances of the past. This has not been a smooth journey. This paper evaluates the strides made through a continuum starting with the dying stages of apartheid through the advent of democracy to the present. It further evaluates the gains in relation to funding and the outcome of the redress process by unpacking the relationships and interrogating how they reciprocate.
Author Mathabo KhauSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 98 –114 (2016)More Less
In pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards zero HIV infections, global initiatives have been put in place to curb the spread of the virus, with education one of the key strategies. However, research evidence has shown that the use of education as a vaccine against HIV has not been successful in curbing new infections among young people. Lesotho, a country with one of the highest rates of HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa, also employed educational initiatives to protect its youth against HIV. Studies have shown that such initiatives have also not been very successful in reducing the levels of HIV among Basotho youth. This paper therefore presents, through a genealogical analysis, the historical and contextual underpinnings of sexuality, HIV and AIDS education in Lesotho. This is aimed at highlighting the contestations within the sexuality education curriculum and how these have shaped the structuring and delivery of sexuality education in Lesotho schools. It also aims at providing a context in which the challenges faced by Lesotho in the implementation of education as a vaccine against HIV can be understood.
Resilience in the continuum of support, juxtaposing inclusive education and special education systemsAuthor Ruth MampaneSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 115 –133 (2016)More Less
This article reports on the trajectory of educational support within the inclusive and special education system. Reviewed literature on the trajectory of inclusive education confirms that inclusive education is envisaged as a vehicle to achieve and access quality education for all. The 1994 World Conference in Salamanca, Spain, representing international governments from 92 countries and education ministries, endorsed inclusive education as a philosophy for implementing education for all and promulgated for inclusive primary education. Conversely, since the 1930s, with the adoption of the specialised education system in America, education for all was realised. South Africa implemented an inclusive education policy in 2001 and one of the objectives is to strengthen special school access for all children. The 2013 education statistics evaluating access to education indicate a significant milestone and increase (99,3%) in achieving EFA in primary school attendance (7-13 years). The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast using Lévi-Strauss's model of binary oppositional relationships the dichotomous and oppositions in the phenomena of inclusive mainstream and special education school systems. This article found firstly that the inclusive education system is made of binary oppositional relationships between inclusive mainstream and special education school systems; secondly that both school systems provide a continuum of education support and contribute towards achieving EFA; thirdly that the presumed binary oppositional relationship between the two education systems is contrary to an inclusive education policy; and finally that progress with the implementation of an inclusive education system in South Africa is slow in strengthening inclusive mainstream schools and less focused on strengthening the well-established and flourishing special education system.
Author Moeketsi Simon MosiaSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 134 –151 (2016)More Less
This study describes a construction of bricolage for mathematics teacher knowledge using eight historical moments of qualitative research as epistemic periodisation. The historical development of teacher knowledge captures a search for a kind of knowledge needed to create spaces for learning to take place. However, the challenges of teaching and therefore learning are embedded within a cornucopia of epistemological and social variables. The multiplicity of variables within different spaces of learning thus makes it difficult to unravel the multi-layers of the challenges of learning and developing the required pedagogies for teaching within such a complex context. In an effort to operationalise the aim of this study, I trace the historical development of both ways of knowing in qualitative research and their applications in search of teacher knowledge for teaching mathematics. For this purpose, the study employed eight historical moments of qualitative research as analytical epistemic tools to periodise different ways of knowing. Mounted on these historical moments, I constructed and argued for bricolage as an appropriate theoretical lens for producing the required knowledge for teaching mathematics, which is multi-layered, multi-methodological, multi-perspectival and multitheoretical.
Gender, Experience, and Knowledge in Adult Learning: Alisoun's Daughters, Elana Michelson : book reviewAuthor Judy HarrisSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 22, pp 152 –158 (2016)More Less
This book by Elana Michelson is much more than a study of gender, experience and knowledge in adult learning! It is a tour de force weaving together ideas and concepts from, in the author's own words, 'the scholarship of multiple fields - from literary theory to critical anthropology to the history of seventeenth-century science ... (pp. 11-12). Indeed, in pursuit of social justice in education and beyond, the philosophical and theoretical reaches of the book embrace feminist theory, the politics of knowledge, post-colonialist and critical race theory, socio-materialism, post-structuralism, queer theory and more. Drawing upon and extending Michelson's work over the past 20 or so years, this volume crystallises in very precise yet complex ways the author's longstanding commitment to the deconstruction and critique of contemporary discourses and 'troubling assumptions' of 'experiential learning' and the 'experiential learner', which, she argues, frequently re-inscribe unexamined ideological, philosophical and epistemological principles, appearing more 'progressive' than they actually are.