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- Volume 19, Issue sed-1, 2005
South African Journal of Higher Education - Special Edition 1, January 2005
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Special Edition 1, January 2005
Author L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1444 –1455 (2005)More Less
In terms of its role as knowledge producer, the university is necessarily involved in the evolution of what is called a knowledge society. Integral to this evolution are changes to the way(s) in which knowledge is produced, disseminated and validated. The middle to late 20th century witnessed new ways of validating knowledge in the social sciences, following the demise of the hegemony of positivism. For example, reflexivity gained prominence as a strategy for enhancing the credibility of research as opposed to more traditional validities. However, Bourdieu (with reference to the social sciences and in particular sociology) expresses a concern about the temptation of indulging in a type of reflexivity that might be called narcissistic. Such a propensity might be the consequence of the individualistic manner in which much work is performed in the social sciences. However, Gibbons and his colleagues point out that in an emerging knowledge society we are observing an irreversible shift from disciplinary knowledge production (Mode 1 knowledge) to transdisciplinary knowledge-generation (Mode 2 knowledge) which, could counteract the tendency towards narcissistic forms of reflexivity. In this article, I wish to explore alternative reflexivities that Mode 2 knowledge production processes could open up for research in the humanities and social sciences.
Author M.W. MailaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1456 –1463 (2005)More Less
Malcolm Gillis, President of Rice University, in Higher education in developing countries: <I>Peril</I> and <I>promise</I> (2000, 15) had this to say about higher education's priority to create knowledge, `Today, more than ever before in human history, the wealth - or poverty - of nations depends on the quality of higher education'. Not only does the wealth or poverty of nations depends on the quality of education, but it also rest upon the capability of the knowledge produced to enable nations to forge ahead in their advancement programmes. This priority for higher education echoed by various scholars and researchers worldwide is the focus of this article. Using the capability approach as an enabling framework within which knowledge can be produced with a deliberate, purposive vision to empower participants, I critically explore the process of knowledge production. Noting the fact that the capability approach is deliberately incomplete, pluralistic in utility, encouraging freedom in achieving valuable functionings (Alkire 2002), I use this as strength for unlocking enabling processes of knowledge production in higher education for human advancement.
Relative effects of a history, philosophy and sociology of science course on teachers' understanding of the nature of science and instructional practiceAuthor M.B. OgunniyiSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1464 –1472 (2005)More Less
The impact of globalization resulting from Scientific and Technological (S & T) activities during the last half of the twentieth century has motivated most countries to emphasize the teaching of science right from the primary school level. In the pursuit of this goal, increased pressure has been put upon higher education to train science teachers who are capable of equipping their learners with necessary understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS). However, research has shown that most science teachers hold and convey invalid notions of the NOS to their learners (McComas 2000). The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a university NOS Course (NOSC) in enhancing science teachers' understanding of the NOS and instructional practices. The findings showed that that the teachers who undertook the course were more inclined to present in their classrooms a science that is dynamic, tentative, revisionary and falsifiable rather than one that is infallible or indubitable (e.g. see Schwab 1962; Popper 1968). They also claimed that the NOSC enhanced their instructional practices, though this awaits empirical confirmation.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1473 –1485 (2005)More Less
Huge amounts of new information often result in students approaching their studies with the exclusive objective to pass assessments and obtain a qualification. Consequently, the potential enjoyment of the learning process, deeper learning, integration of concepts, and retention of knowledge are lost. Informal/ playful learning is usually associated with invigorating emotional awareness, which promotes academic achievement and the development of general/social skills. In order to address students' lackluster perception of medical microbiology in an innovative way, MedMicroFunWithFacts (MMFWF) was developed as a quiz-type board game, and evaluated by means of various qualitative methods as a potential learning tool. The original question-and-answer database was then converted into a multiple-choice-question format, web-based application (e-MMFWF), as an independent learning and self-assessment instrument in the Infections module of the Free State University undergraduate medical curriculum. This article reports the impact of MMFWF on students' perception of microbiology, skills development and academic achievement in the module.
Producing and sharing ICT-based knowledge through English and African languages at a South African universitySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1486 –1498 (2005)More Less
This article describes an intervention aimed at providing increased access to the study of information and communication technology (ICT) and computer literacy in Higher Education in South Africa. Our focus group is speakers of an African language from a previously disadvantaged background in the extended studies programme at Rhodes University. Preliminary investigation suggests that such students have difficulties becoming computer literate partly because of their lack of English proficiency. This might prevent them from furthering their studies of Computer Science (CS) up to the postgraduate level. Shifting away from the dominant approach to academic support in extended studies programmes in South Africa, in our research we focus primarily on the lexical rather than the discourse level. With the help of a web-based application, students collaboratively produce and share additional material in both English and the African languages. This allows them to integrate new concepts and knowledge about computers into their existing knowledge structures. With our intervention, we hope to improve the students' participation in the production and sharing of knowledge in the field of ICT.
The challenges of knowledge production by researchers in Public Administration, a South African perspectiveAuthor J.S. WesselsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 1499 –1515 (2005)More Less
This article reflects on the challenges of knowledge production by researchers in South African Public Administration. It tries to establish whether published Public Administration research findings indeed address the core knowledge needs of government by solving those problems which cannot be solved by competent public officials. An analysis is, <I>inter alia</I>, done of (a) articles published in a South African peer-reviewed journal for Public Administration, (b) the research focus areas of the National Research Foundation (NRF), (c) the Practices for Effective Local Government developed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and (d) of the address of the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the second joint sitting of the third democratic Parliament, Cape Town on 11 February 2005. This article concludes that South African scholars in Public Administration, on the one hand, and government, on the other hand, at least have a shared awareness of what needs to be known in the field.