n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die beroepsingesteldheid van vierdejaaronderwysstudente - : navorsings- en oorsigartikel

Volume 52, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


Die navorsing het ontstaan uit die aanname dat die onderwysproblematiek in Suid-Afrika (voortdurende kurrikulumwysigings, gebrekkige indiensopleiding, dissiplineprobleme, lae beroepsmotivering onder onderwysers en gebrekkige aansien van die onderwysberoep) 'n negatiewe uitwerking op die beroepsinstelling van onderwysstudente het. Vanuit die teoretiese raamwerk wat gebruik is, naamlik Bronfenbrenner (1990) se ekosistemiese samelewingsmodel, is die negatiewe kragte wat op die onderwys inwerk, nader toegelig. In die lig van die intensiteit van hierdie kragte het die volgende as navorsingsvraag gedien: In welke mate het die huidige onderwysstudent 'n positiewe beroepsingesteldheid? In 'n vraelysopname onder 403 finalejaar onderwysstudente, is die aanvanklike aanname verkeerd bewys. Die vraelysrespondente was nie alleen positief ingestel teenoor hul toekomstige loopbaan in die onderwys nie, maar hulle was ook uitgesproke oor hul taak daarin as morele rolmodelle. Die positiewe aard van ons voorlopige bevindings onderstreep alreeds die absolute noodsaaklikheid van onderwysbestuursmaatreëls om die volhoubaarheid van beginneronderwysers se positiewe beroepsingesteldheid te verseker. 'n Elektroniese advies- en motiveringsdiens vir beginneronderwysers kan heel moontlik as eerste en uitvoerbare projek hiertoe dien.

The research was prompted by the assumption that the many problems in South African education (e.g. continuous curiculum changes, insufficient in-service training and support, classroom overcrowding, discipline problems,administrative paperwork, low teacher morale, high teacher attrition rate, low societal status of the teaching profession) must have an adverse effect on the career orientation of teacher training students. Our research was embedded in the theoretical framework of eco-systemic theory (Bronfenbrenner 1990), through which we indicated how the teacher is surrounded and influenced by various societal systems in four levels of proximity: the micro, meso, exo and macro levels. From these systems we established the conceptual framework, in which we discussed negative forces on the teacher as these are eminent in societal expectations about the teacher, the professional identity of the teacher and the retention rate in the teaching profession. The discussion of these negative forces and their impact affirmed our initial assumption and led to our research question: To what extent are teaching training students positively inclined towards a career in teaching? This question implied attention to a) the career motivation, and b) the moral values of the modern South African teaching training student.
The empirical study was conceptualised as a pilot project. We involved the full number of final year teaching training students at one of the largest education faculties in South Africa, namely at the University of Pretoria. The students (n = 403) were asked to complete a questionnaire which focused inter alia on respondents' exposure to daily news, reasons for choosing the education career path, attitudes towards the teaching profession and medium to long term prospects in the profession. Moral inclinations were also probed, e.g. with items on religion, discipline, language of instruction, multicultural teaching and being a role model. The questionnaire findings were verified in a focus group interview with five purposively selected respondents in the questionnaire survey.
Our findings nullified our initial assumptions. Not only were the students strongly committed to their chosen career, notwithstanding the questionable societal status of the teaching profession and the formidable teaching challenges (of which they were apparently keenly aware), but they also conveyed a strong message about moral values and the teacher's role in modelling those in and beyond the school. Our findings are prospective and certainly need verification on a broader scale. We are also planning a follow-up study with the same respondents, once they have completed two years of full time teaching.
The findings could serve as impetus for education management measures to ensure that aspiring teachers' level of commitment is sustainable. One of these measures could be an online advice and counselling service for beginner teachers.

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