South African Journal of Education - Volume 27, Issue 4, 2007
Volume 27, Issue 4, 2007
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 565 –577 (2007)More Less
This exploratory-descriptive research focuses on whether children can connect school-based experiences to future jobs that interest them. A cross-national sample of 497 South African and 365 Australian upper primary school children participated in the study. The data from one item of the Revised Career Awareness Survey were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Differences between nation and gender were examined. The results revealed that the majority of children were able to make curricular, extra-curricular, or general school connections to future jobs that interested them. Males made fewer curricular and general school connections and more connections to extracurricular activities than females. The implications of the findings for career education in primary schools and for future research are discussed.
An industry-sponsored, school-focused model for continuing professional development of technology teachersSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 579 –595 (2007)More Less
Traditionally a divide has existed between faculties of education at higher education institutions (HEIs) and trade and industry, but the business sector is increasingly buying into community development with corporate social investment, especially regarding technology education. We report on a continuing professional teacher development (CPTD) model, which entails trade and industry sponsoring learning and teacher support material (LTSM) for technology education in under-resourced schools, paying for LTSM through their corporate social investment funds, and sponsoring CPTD of technology teachers where they are trained to use LTSM more efficiently. Trade and industry, together with HEIs and Departments of Education (DoE), could change the traditional concept that CPTD is the responsibility of DoEs into a new model where the business sector shares some of the responsibility for equipping teachers so that they can provide quality education. We argue that custom-made and sponsored LTSM and CPTD play an important role in the training and empowerment of technology teachers.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 597 –612 (2007)More Less
Teachers' views on practical work and their classroom practices were investigated to confirm or refute existing assumptions and literature claims. The teachers were from two primary schools in a rural area of the Hammarsdale Circuit in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Questionnaires in which teachers expressed their views on practical work and fraction teaching were administered to teachers. Lessons on the division of fractions were observed to determine teachers' practices in relation to the researcher's assumptions and claims by literature. Data yielded by these research instruments confirmed assumptions and literature claims. Although this was a small-scale, qualitative study, interesting observations were made that could have pedagogical implications.
Entrepreneurship education and training at the Further Education and Training (FET) level in South AfricaSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 613 –629 (2007)More Less
We assessed the levels of entrepreneurship education and training at the Further Education and Training (FET) level in a South African context. We are of the opinion that entrepreneurship education and training (of necessity) must fulfill a primary role in preparing our youth for their future. Evidence from elsewhere, in particular industrialised countries, indicates that entrepreneurship education and training at school level play important roles in the contribution to economic growth. Experts in the field of entrepreneurship believe that the contribution of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the growth of our country can be much higher if entrepreneurship education is implemented at school levels. Entrepreneurship is now one of the outcomes of Grades R - 12. However, our research clearly showed that various problems in schools hinder the effective implementation of entrepreneurship education, some of which are poorly trained educators and lack of adequate resources. Better entrepreneurship education could make a significant contribution to job creation and ultimately to poverty alleviation.
Student perceptions and attitudes about Community Service-Learning in the teacher training curriculumSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 631 –654 (2007)More Less
Much of the international research on Community Service-Learning has investigated the benefits, outcomes, and learning experiences of students already engaged in service-learning projects and programmes. As there is scant research on students' attitudes to and perceptions of Service-Learning, before this learning became integrated into an academic programme, our purpose was to determine teacher training students' attitudes to, and perceptions of, Community Service-Learning, before integration of such a module into their academic programmes. A quantitative survey, employing a questionnaire as instrument, was used for measuring the attitudes and perceptions of third-year teacher training students (n = +168) at a research university in South Africa. The Community Service-Learning Attitudes and Perception Scale (CSLAPS), developed specifically for this kind of investigation, was used in the analysis of the data. The findings indicated that students with prior knowledge of and / or participation in a community service project showed greater willingness to enrol for a course / module in Community Service-Learning, especially if it would add value to their career development, bear credits, and enhance their personal and social development. The findings provided information that would enable academic staff and institutions to design curricula for academic programmes that take account of these attitudes and perceptions and address them positively to enhance the learning experience.
Author Corinne MeierSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 655 –671 (2007)More Less
Intercultural understanding is a prerequisite for peaceful local and global citizenship, especially in South African society where prejudice and negative stereotypes were previously the order of the day because of official separatism. It is therefore crucial to teach intercultural understanding in South Africa. I report with commentary on a tripartite initiative, between SchoolNet South Africa, the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) and Unisa's School of Education, to implement an Internet-supported education programme entitled 'Intercultural understanding - e-learning application in education'. The project comprised an encounter in the form of electronic correspondence between learners from five previously disadvantaged South African schools and learners from seven schools in Finland. The objectives of the project included critical scrutiny by learners of the cultures of South Africa and Finland with a view to finding ways of fostering intercultural understanding. Learners in South African schools exchanged messages with their Finnish counterparts online and then published articles on their experiences in an eJournal. Analysis and interpretation of the content of these articles showed that the project obscured rather than improved intercultural understanding.
Author Corene De WetSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 673 –689 (2007)More Less
School violence is a subject of great public and media interest that has stimulated a comprehensive body of research. Academic consideration of the subject began in the USA and Scandinavia in the mid-1960s and early 1970s but little evidence could be found of publications on the subject in the small landlocked Kingdom of Lesotho. To address this hiatus in school violence literature, I report on an investigation into a group of Lesotho secondary school learners' perceptions, experiences, and observations of school violence. The research instrument was an adapted version of a violence and trauma questionnaire for adolescents. The first important result from this study was to confirm that verbal and physical abuse amongst learners was prevalent in some schools in Lesotho. Secondly, qualitative and quantitative data revealed that learners often suffered verbal and physical humiliation at the hands of their educators. Thirdly, the data indicated that two major violence risk factors, namely, use of drugs and weapon carrying, were relatively common amongst educators and learners in Lesotho. This study also showed that school violence in Lesotho was a manifestation of gender inequality and violence. Some comments and recommendations are made.
Source: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 691 –707 (2007)More Less
We identify current stressors in the professional lives of South African secondary school educators. The study was exploratory, using a questionnaire, which listed 19 possible causes of stress and was completed by 987 educators from all racial groups and provinces in the country. South African educators in general currently experience the following as stressors : uninvolved parents, poor learner discipline, lack of learner motivation, learners' negative attitudes towards themselves, numerous changes inside and outside the school, and lack of self-esteem. Male and female educators differed significantly in their perceptions of some stressors. Educators with six to 15 years of experience and who were between 36 and 45 years old differed significantly from others on some issues.
Author Sonja SchoemanSource: South African Journal of Education 27, pp 709 –727 (2007)More Less
Despite enormous growth in the study of learners' cognitive processes, relatively little is known about how learners reason about social phenomena and issues involved in disciplines, such as history. Yet, according to scholars the process could hardly be more important, and it demands redress and scientific explanation. To contribute to the understanding of learners' reasoning about historical issues, an empirical research project, on the cognitive processes of learners' while explaining the causes of an historical event, was undertaken. The data obtained showed that difference in age and expertise tended to lead to different types of historical explanation. A model to induce learners' understanding of an historical event is put forward.