oa Alternation - School Performance in Rural South Africa - The Role of Verbal Reasoning

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



School success is directly related to adequate language, thinking skills and problem solving ability (Blachowicz 1994; Cummins 1985; Verzoni & Swan 1995; Westby 1994; Zachman, Jorgenson, Huisingh & Barret 1984). The importance of these skills is endorsed in The White Paper on Education and Training, which states that education, including curriculum. teaching methods and text books, should 'encourage independent and critical thought, the capacity to question, enquire, reason, weigh evidence and form judgements, achieve understanding ... and communicate clearly' (White Paper WPJ/1995: chap 4). In a recent study of the Joint International UNESCO-UNICEF Monitoring Learning .Achievement (MLA) Project in African countries, South African grade 4 pupils (9 years) were found to perform on the lowest levels of the spectrum for numeracy and slightly better for literacy and life skills (Strauss & Burger 1999).

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