South African Journal of Education

Published by Education Association of South Africa
Online ISSN: 0256-0100
Publications
Traditional teaching plan according to Gray (in Rattanavich & Christie, 1993:99) 
The reversed model proposed by Gray (in Rattanavich & Christie, 1993:100) 
Scree plot for version 9 of the CIERTQ questionnaire obtained with 144 teachers of primary school reading 
identified component sectors and their items in the evolving versions of the IERTQ in Phases 2 and 3
Article
I explore the development and refinement, validation and implementation of a questionnaire to define teachers' perceived professional competencies in teaching reading skills and strategies in Grades 1-7 classes in developing countries. Using the Concentrated Language Encounter (CLE) programme, implemented and expanded annually between 2001 and 2005 in 4 900 new classrooms in schools in South Africa, I gathered and analysed theoretically coherent feedback data from more than 1 000 qualified, active reading teachers to establish a set of competencies describing teachers' professional understandings of their pedagogical reading tasks. The study was grounded in the social constructivist, sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic theories originating from the works of Piaget, Vygotsky, Cambourne, and Goodman. Their foundational principles, together with the South African Revised National Curriculum Statement were defined and applied to the derivation of all items in the questionnaire. The questionnaire evolved through three phases of validation. Throughout phases two and three, several cautious varimax normalized factor analyses and scree plots were engaged to refine and develop the questionnaire, within the context of teaching reading in South African schools. The emerging teaching reading themes can be fed back to teachers to improve aspects of their teaching reading.
 
Article
We report on experiences in the Advanced Certificate in Education (Environmental Education) courses of two South African universities, namely, Rhodes University and the University of South Africa. We focus specifically on the whole school approaches which were influenced by a project between these two universities and Manchester Metropolitan University. We illustrate how contextual profiling influenced the perspective or entry point from which the whole school message was approached in the ACE (EE) courses. Through illustrative examples from these two courses, we report on two different approaches to contextual profiling, starting by problematising an approach that relies solely on a priori contextual profiling. We then illustrate how this approach can be complemented by contextual profiling within courses and within context through situated learning processes.
 
Coding system and examples of participant responses 
z Values for nation and gender 
Article
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.
 
Article
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Research into bullying has brought with it an awareness of many aspects of this phenomenon. Firstly, it has shown a distinction between various types of bullying and also how these are further delineated by means of gender. Secondly, by mere omission, it has shown the lack of research on bullying amongst girls. Bullying amongst girls is rife, however the research in this area is limited. The aims of this research are to further explore the complex nature of bullying amongst girls and to gain understanding of its impact; to use the perspectives of the participants to drive intervention and preventative strategies; to dispel the myths which support the practice of bullying; and to raise awareness of an invisible problem, thereby rendering it visible. This interpretive study explores bullying amongst girls by using the perspectives of Grade 5 girls in a parochial school in the Western Cape. The process of inquiry is embedded in the ecosystemic approach and constructivism, which emphasises the importance of context and the belief that knowledge is not passively received, but actively constructed on the basis of the experiences of an individual. Data was collected through the use of semi-structured recorded interviews with focus groups, which were then transcribed verbatim and categorised into themes. The themes which emerged include the varied and complex nature of bullying techniques and the effects of bullying. The main finding was that some girls have innate characteristics which help maintain bullying while others have characteristics which protect them from bullying. The environment also plays a large part in either maintaining bullying or protecting girls from bullying. The implication was that intervention and preventative strategies need to be based on these personal and contextual factors in order to effect change. AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Navorsing oor afknouery (bullying) het 'n nuwe bewustheid van vele aspekte van hierdie fenomeen na vore gebring. Eerstens het dit 'n onderskeid tussen verskillende soorte geniepsigheid getoon en ook hoe geniepsigheid verder deur middel van geslag bepaal word. Tweedens het dit ook die gebrek aan navorsing oor geniepsigheid tussen meisies onder die aandag gebring, bloot deurdat dit feitlik nie genoem word nie. Geniepsige gedrag tussen meisies is algemeen, maar navorsing binne hierdie veld is beperk. Die doelstellings van hierdie navorsing is om die komplekse aard van geniepsigheid tussen meisies verder te verken en om 'n begrip van die impak daarvan te verwerf; om die perspektiewe van die deelnemers te gebruik om tussentrede en voorkomingstrategieë te bewerkstellig; om mites wat die praktyk van afknouery ondersteun, te verdryf; en om bewustheid van 'n onsigbare probleem te bemiddel en dit daardeur sigbaar te maak. Hierdie interpretatiewe studie verken geniepsigheid tussen meisies met behulp van die perspektiewe van Graad 5-meisies in 'n kerkskool in die Weskaap. Die ondersoekproses wat gevolg is, is op die ekosistemiese benadering en konstruktiwisme gegrond, wat die belangrikheid van konteks en die oortuiging beklemtoon dat kennnis nie op passiewe wyse bekom word nie, maar aktief op die grondslag van die ervarings van indiwidue gekonstrueer word. Data is met gebruik van semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude met fokusgroepe wat op band opgeneem is, ingesamel, waarna dit woordeliks vanaf opnames getranskribeer en volgens temas gekategoriseer is. Die temas wat na vore gekom het, omvat die wisselende en komplekse aard van afknoutegnieke en die uitwerking van geniepsigheid. Daar is gevind dat sommige meisies ingebore trekke het wat help om geniepsige gedrag te onderhou terwyl ander meisies trekke het wat hulle teen geniepsigheid beskerm. Die omgewing speel ook 'n aansienlike rol in die ondersteuning van geniepsige gedrag of die beskerming van meisies daarteen. Die impliseer dat tussentrede en voorkomende strategieë op hierdie persoonlike en kontekstuele faktore gebaseer moet word om verandering te bewerkstellig. 122 Leaves printed on single pages, preliminary pages and numbered pages 1-113. Includes bibliography, list of abbreviations, list of definitions, list of tables and figures and list of appendices. Pdf format (OCR). Thesis (MEd (Educational Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
 
Article
Psychological methods of assessing intelligence have been criticised because of their limited diagnostic-remedial nature and especially their lack of potential for initiating effective and pragmatic intervention programmes. Similarly, the means through which the results of such methods are communicated in order to make them useful and constructive can be debated . In this research we aimed to establish the value of psycho-educational assessment reports in terms of the understanding and interpretation of the reports by the irrecipients, specifically remedial teachers, who participated in focus group discussions and offered their opinion on the utility of psycho-educational assessment reports. The outcomes of these focus group discussions pointed to the fact that psycho-educational assessment reports were problematic in the sense that they failed to provide useful, specific, and pragmatic information for learning support programmes to be developed from. The research revealed insights which may be of interest to psychologists writing assessment reports. Suggestions for multi-disciplinary collaboration are addressed.
 
Article
In many programmes, tutorials have proved to be an effective way of providing both academic and personal support. The tutor's role in these involves different aspects of teaching and learning. In this article I explore the value of tutoring as a means of supporting the holistic curriculum development process. I reflect on the reason for introducing a system of tutoring for students in curriculum studies and the results of its implementation on students' academic performance, in order to contribute to a better understanding of this kind of intervention. A summary of empirical data on the implementation of the tutor system and feedback on the system and tutors' reflections on the process are provided. Finally, the outcomes of the implementation of tutoring on the students' performance at the end of the academic year are discussed.
 
Article
I track the influence, presence and pivotal role of changes in the understanding of metaphor, which accompanied the paradigm shift from objectivism to pluralism and relativism in education. These shifts are also reflected in the choice of teaching methodology. I argue that metaphors are constitutive of educational activities, events and processes and that they inter alia mediate foundational world view assumptions of these events and activities. Metaphor carries epistemic and ideological freight, functions as a vehicle of a world view and provides access to a discipline's assumptions about the way the world and humankind are structured.
 
Article
There is great interest in educational leadership in the early part of the 21st century because of the widespread belief that the quality of leadership makes a significant difference to school and student outcomes. There is also increasing recognition that schools require effective leaders and managers if they are to provide the best po ssible education for their learners. Schools need trained and committed teachers but they, in turn, need the leadership of highly effective principals and support from other senior and middle managers. While the need for eff ective lead ers is widely acknowledged, there is much less certainty about which leadership behaviours are most likely to produce favourable outcomes. I examine the theoretic al underpinnings for the fie ld of educational leadership and management, assess different leadership models, and discuss the evidence of their relative effectiveness in developing successfu l schools.
 
Science educators' responses to questions on their selection of textbooks
Educators' responses to questions regarding the presentation of the topic of heat in their textbooks
Article
Due to the central role of textbooks in the teaching and learning of science, it is imperative that textbooks provide correct content and instructional support. We investigated how 16 South African Grade 7 natural science educators selected their textbooks and how they evaluated these textbooks. The results were analysed according to the constructivist paradigm, as implemented in the Revised National Curriculum Statement, as well as selection criteria found in the literature. The selection criteria that the educators listed in interviews were isolated ideas that were not embedded in a constructivist framework. The educators also lacked the necessary scientific and pedagogical content-knowledge to effectively evaluate the textbooks. Recommendations are made for improvements in educator training, departmental guidance, and textbook writing. Experience in textbook evaluation during their training courses could boost educators' competence in selecting the books and detecting and compensating for their deficiencies. This would contribute to filling South African educators' need of hands-on examples that can be applied immediately in their classrooms.
 
Article
After more than a decade of democracy, based on rule of law and human rights in South Africa, some parts of the education system are still lagging far behind others. Following reports that the provincial departments of education are neglecting schools, especially in the far-flung rural areas of the country, a survey was undertaken on the core pedagogical function of educators. The survey focused on their perceptions of the need for creating and improving their relationships with their learners and the availability of support services to help them improve these relationships. A questionnaire was submitted to a sample of relatively experienced school managers and educators in Limpopo province. Most respondents felt the need to establish and improve such relationships, but a relatively large percentage also perceived such support services to be either non-existent or unavailable to them.
 
Percentage of respondents in high and low performance groups who answered items in the MV(P) correctly  
Percentage of respondents who answered items correctly, missing data, and discrimination value per item
Pattern matrix of the factor analysis and the initial communalities of items
Reliabilities when individual items are left out, correlations with total scores and Cronbach á values
Tucker's n coefficients for the MV(P)
Article
Teachers and psychologists need an instrument to assess learners' language proficiency in mathematics to enable them to plan and evaluate interventions and to facilitate best practice in mathematics classrooms. We describe the development of a mathematics vocabulary questionnaire to measure learners' language proficiency in mathematics in the intermediate phase. It covers all the steps from designing the preliminary questionnaire to standardising the final instrument. A sample of 1 103 Grades 4 to 7 Afrikaans-, English- and Tswana-speaking learners in North West Province completed the Mathematics Vocabulary questionnaire (Primary) (MV(P)), consisting of 12 items. We analysed the data by calculating discrimination values, performing a factor analysis, determining reliability coefficients, and investigating item bias by language, gender, and grade. We concluded that there was strong evidence of validity and reliability for the MV(P).
 
Article
Very little information is available on the impact of leadership practices, in South African primary schools, on the development of preadolescent learners. Leadership in primary schools focuses mainly on the roles, tasks, features, identification and development of "leadership". Leadership practices, as currently applied in most primary schools in South Africa, challenge preadolescent development, with serious consequences. Our purpose in this study was to reflect critically on the appropriateness of existing leadership models for the preadolescent from a well-being perspective. A qualitative research method, which follows an inductive, exploratory approach, was selected because this method acknowledges the complexity of the phenomenon. Data were collected by means of focus groups and written assignments. The six components of psychological well-being, namely: self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life, positive relations with others, environmental mastery, and autonomy are used in discussion of the findings. The findings confirmed that the current social phenomenon of preadolescent leadership contributes to negative evaluations of the self and personal experiences, early identity foreclosure, disrupted peer group interactions, distorted relationships with adults, and a limited environment for the development of self-determination.
 
Article
The notion of school management through teams (team management), though not a new phenomenon in South Africa, was formalized after the advent of democracy in 1994 and the subsequent reorganization of the education system. The concept was subsequently fleshed out in official documentation where the composition and roles of school management teams (SMTs) were elaborated upon. The notion of team management is rooted in theories that stress participation, notably site-based (school-based) management, teamwork, and distributed leadership. We report on a study in which the perceptions of secondary school principals, in Grahamstown, South Africa, of team management were explored. The study was interpretive in orientation, and utilized qualitative data gathering techniques in all (ten) of the state-aided secondary schools in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province. We found that, while team management was generally welcomed and even celebrated by principals, there were fundamental tensions surrounding principals' understanding of their leadership roles in a team context. We consider the implications of these findings for leadership development in the context of team management.
 
The time-concept of groups with a high self-concept 
Article
The need to satisfy the demand for higher scholastic achievement in the senior secondary phase should be a priority for educators. Factors that play a role in scholastic achievement are the self-concept and the time-concept of learners. Previous research by th is author has shown that there are differences in the time-concept and self-concept of high achievers and low achievers. The aim of this research was to investigate the time-concept in terms of a high and a low self-concept of Grade 11 learners and that of their parents. The results showed that the time-concept of a person with a high self-concept differs from the time-concept of a person with a low self-concept. Furtherm ore, with a given self-concept (high or low), it was fou nd th at there were m inute differences in the time-concept of learners and the time-concept of their parents.
 
Article
Post-apartheid schooling in South Africa is challenged with the task of contributing towards social justice, as has been evident from the emergence of a plethora of education policies following the promulgation of the South African Schools Act in 1996. One of the most significant ways in which social justice can be cultivated in schools, especially where exclusion and marginalisation have been in ascendancy for decades, is through improved pedagogical activities, which receive focus in this article. The article focuses on investigating how the learning goals for Grade 11 Economics with the aid of an educational technology, in particular Facebook, engender opportunities for socially just relations in the classroom. The researcher is concerned with how these learning goals are related to three underlying aspects of Economics education, namely sustainable development, equity (including equality) and economic development, and how they may or may not engender opportunities for social justice. Critical discourse analysis is the research approach used to analyse learners’ comments on Facebook in relation to their understandings of three films. It was found that it is possible to teach and learn education for social justice in the classroom. Learners treated one another equally; enacted their pedagogical relations equitably; and learnt to become economically aware of their society’s developmental needs. Thus, it is recommended that education for social justice be cultivated in school classrooms through the use of Facebook.
 
Article
With the promulgation of the South African Schools Act, public education in South Africa was decentralised and communities were made responsible for the governance of public schools. White Paper 1 on Education and Training confirmed the inability of the state to meet the financial requirements of public education. Despite the fact that school governing bodies are responsible for raising substantial funding, their ability to appropriate school funds is limited by legislation, irrespective of the origin of the funds or assets in question. These restrictions have a substantial impact on the way financing is structured and managed by public schools. In 2020 schools were closed for more than 2 months due to the Covid-19 lockdown, and many parents were left questioning why they should pay for services not rendered. Using a qualitative research approach, we aimed to determine the impact of Covid-19 on the management of school fees and resources in public schools. The findings reveal that Covid-19 has had an impact on school budgets, teaching posts and fundraising activities, as well as on the day-to-day running of schools.
 
Article
This article considers the nature and trajectory of the African National Congress’s (ANC) education policy discourses from its founding in 1912, until its repatriation from exile by 1992. The broad issue that this article considers is how to explain why the ANC was inadequately prepared to address the educational challenges of a democratic South Africa. The article considers the relationship between its political struggles against segregation and apartheid and the particular educational focus that it favoured during this period. From its inception, the ANC was actively involved in the political arena, with the purpose of opposing racist rule. The article suggests that its involvement in the education arena was subordinate to its political focus, with consequences for the type of educational change and curriculum orientation that it favoured. Employing a historical-sociological perspective, we divide ANC involvement in politics and education into two broad and distinct periods. The first period from 1912 to 1960 examines ANC involvement within South Africa. The second period from 1960 to 1992 examines the ANC in exile. We end the article with some discussion of the ANC’s education reform trajectory from 1992 to 1995, in other words, its educational orientations during the context of political negotiations, and the first years of a democratic South Africa. It will be argued that during both periods, the ANC focused on struggle politics that relegated education to a position ancillary to its political struggle, which resulted in discursive continuities in its educational orientations. Despite some contestation, these continuities were characterised by their remarkably consistent support for a traditional liberal education across the existence of the organisation. © 2015, Foundation for Education Science and Technology. All right reserved
 
count relating to gender representation in three selected Grade 10 school History textbooks: images, sections on women, and authorship
Article
History curriculum revisions post 1994 were followed by a range of new History textbooks intended to meet the needs of teachers seeking to implement the revised curriculum. I sought to establish whether or not a sample of these textbooks had built upon the gender equality initiatives introduced after 1994. A qualitative intrinsic case study was conducted to determine the extent of the representation of women in three South African school History textbooks. The results demonstrated that, despite the introduction of gender equality initiatives, in the sample selected the role of men in history continued to receive emphasis. In South African history men have indeed been more prominent than women, and have been viewed as the decision-makers, yet there is room in standard South African History textbooks for the inclusion of the ordinary daily events in which women participated or through which they exercised an influence on decisionmaking by men. Shepherd's media literacy curriculum model, incorporating the Department of Education's approaches to critical media education, is proposed as a tool to empower in-service History teachers to teach learners to deconstruct patriarchal or hegemonic power relations in school History textbooks.
 
Article
In this article we report on qualitative research in which we probed the opinions and views of a purposive sample of high-profile and influential role players in education about aspects of education litigation in South Africa since 1994. This year marked the transition to a democratic government in South Africa, and resulted in a new education system, which has led to a great deal of litigation, as was to be expected. Our participants were personally involved in litigation in various capacities. Their responses to our questions reflected hope, but also concern, and even despair. In their opinions almost all of the disputes were between the state and its citizens, and that the state lost virtually all cases. State officials often ignored legal advice and acted on "imagined powers", causing embarrassment to the state where they seemed insensitive to the needs of the people, and sometimes deliberately transgressed prescripts and provisions, abandoning its mandate to children and the country more broadly. There is extreme concern about the tendency of officials to ignore court orders. No lessons seem to have been learned from judgments and infractions of the same kind occur repeatedly - even if litigation seems to have consumed between 4-6% of the education budget. There was surprise that cases dealt almost exclusively with disputes about stake-holders' powers, and that few human rights and social issues have been litigated. Furthermore, individual officials that seemed to suffer no consequences from their unlawful actions and showed an apparent lack of professionalism to acquaint themselves with the legal prescripts that govern their professional work, caused concern for our respondents, as did the destructive role that unions and politicians seemed to play in education. However, litigation has nonetheless led to the clarification of some issues.
 
Article
There is a direct correlation between (teacher) morale and (learner) discipline at school. Since the scrapping of corporal punishment, a sense of despair seems to have taken over amongst teachers in South Africa. The findings of this study indicated that more than 65% of teachers, out of a sample population of 80 respondents from schools located in Bloemfontein in the Free State, claimed that discipline at schools had deteriorated, and that their passion for teaching and the joy they had once found in their work had been adversely affected since the decision had come into effect Amongst the many reasons for low morale, cited by the teachers, lack of discipline was clearly the most prevalent and common concern, and generally seemed to be attributed to the abolition of corporal punishment. I explore this concern and its impact on overall teacher morale.
 
Article
Poor literacy and numeracy levels in schools have raised questions in South Africa, as they have internationally, on the quality and appropriateness of initial teacher education for preparing teachers for the complexities faced in schools generally and for the mediation of literacy and numeracy in the early years in particular. This paper profiles empirical research relating to initial teacher education over two decades of South African democracy, derived from a systematic review of journal articles, with the aim of proposing an agenda for research into foundation phase initial teacher education. It concludes that in the period between the birth of South Africa’s democracy and the present, there is little evidence of sustained research on initial teacher education in general, and a dearth of research focused on teacher preparation for the foundation phase in particular. The paper argues for the development of a research agenda that better takes account of the iterative relationship between researching classrooms and researching initial teacher education, especially as it relates to the foundation phase, where research is patchy and unsystematic. Evidence from such research might not only provide a base for policy and curriculum decisions but also lead to more responsive and contextually relevant teacher preparation. © 2016, Foundation for Education Science and Technology. All rights reserved.
 
Article
The South African 2006 and 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) findings continue to highlight major concerns about the quality of reading literacy teaching in primary schools. Of specific concern is the lack of representation of the sampled South African learners at the PIRLS international benchmarks, revealing a distinct lack of their development of thinking and reasoning abilities for reading comprehension. To shed light on potential reasons for learners' reading comprehension difficulties, this article presents selected findings on teachers' reading comprehension development practices emanating from the investigation of one KwaZulu-Natal and five Gauteng province case study schools from the national South African PIRLS 2006 Grade 4 sample. These cases represented a range of educational contexts across the South African PIRLS 2006 performance continuum and were sampled according to class average achievement aligned to the PIRLS international benchmarks and further South African benchmarks lower on the achievement scale. The findings juxtaposing teaching practices for reading comprehension development from case study schools with achievement profiles at the PIRLS international benchmarks against those of case study schools with less than optimal achievement at benchmarks lower on the achievement scale speak to key teaching and learning areas, which still need attention in terms of curriculum policy and teachers' implementation thereof.
 
Carroll's Model of School Learning (1963) 
Reliability coefficients for items used in the analysis
Factor extraction with Variables for Aptitude, Opportunity and Quality of Instructional Events
Model Results for aspects of Aptitude, Opportunity and Quality of Instructional Events with Variance Components
Article
This study aims to identify factors that predict reading literacy achievement among Grade 4 learners in South Africa by utilising aspects of Carroll's model of school learning. The study draws on the preProgress in International Reading Literacy Study (prePIRLS) 2011 data, which places South African Grade 4 learners' results substantially below the international centre point of 500 at 461 (SE = 3.7). Selected items from the prePIRLS 2011 learner, parent and teacher questionnaires were used in a two-level model to determine the effect of learner aptitude, opportunity to learn and quality of instructional events on reading literacy achievement. The results point to the statistical significance of engaged reading and cultivating motivation for reading among learners from an early age, specifically through parental involvement in introducing early literacy activities as foundation of reading literacy by school-going age. Other results provide evidence for the importance of the value of reading across the curriculum not confined to formal reading lessons only. The teaching of reading comprehension skills and strategies is identified as a significant predictor of reading literacy achievement, instruction of which should form an integral part of teaching reading in the classroom.
 
Mean mathematics score difference by school type Note. Source: Authors' own calculations using TIMSS 2011 data.
Article
Teachers play an important role in the provision of quality education. The variety of classroom practices they use in interacting with learners play a critical role in the understanding of mathematical concepts and overall performance in Mathematics. Following the work done by Hattie (2009, 2012) in relation to classroom practices this study investigated the association between learner achievement and selected teacher classroom practices. The Mathematics teacher questionnaire, administered as part of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011, comprised questions pertaining to the classroom practices of Teacher Clarity, Classroom Discussion, Feedback, Formative Assessment, Problem Solving and Metacognitive Strategies, and Collaboration. The results showed a positive association between teachers’ high endorsement of the selected classroom practices and learner performance. The study also investigated how collaboration between Mathematics teachers affected learner performance. The analysis shows that teachers observing each other’s lessons affected the learners’ performance positively, although most teachers were not keen on collaboration with their peers. This study showed that various teacher classroom practices affect learner performance in Mathematics significantly and that these practices should be identified and mechanisms put in place to support teachers in terms of these practices. © 2017, South African Journal Of Education. All rights reserved.
 
Article
The South African Department of Education has attributed the poor pass rates in Grade 12 Physical Sciences to the learners' lack of practical work and the inability of learners to solve problems by integrating their knowledge from different topics in Physical Sciences. A possible reason for this could be a disjointed alignment between the curriculum and the examinations. The study reported on in this article focused on the alignment between the curriculum and the examination by analysing the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) document, the Examinations Guidelines documents, and the final and supplementary examinations of Paper 1 (P1) for Grade 12 Physical Sciences. We used the Surveys of Enacted Curriculum method, which incorporates a document analysis of CAPS and P1 using Bloom's taxonomy as a classification tool for the 4 physics topics and the 4 levels of cognitive demand. We found a balance of representation of 67%; a cognitive complexity of 80%; and an average Porter's alignment index of 0.76 between the CAPS and P1, all of which indicates a disjointed CAPS-P1 alignment. We recommend that the CAPS-P1 alignment be reconsidered.
 
Article
The impromptu launch of the 2015 to 2022 Zimbabwean social studies curriculum invited vilifications and public outcries from parents, teachers and other key stakeholders professing numerous challenges. In this article, we report on the teachers’ representation of the mitigation strategies to abate the aforesaid challenges. This interpretive case study engrained in the qualitative approach, was drawn from interviews and focus group discussion (FGD) to establish the teachers’ representation of the mitigation strategies that could be employed to curtail challenges faced in implementing that curriculum. In the study, informed by the ubuntu philosophy, we used 12 purposively sampled teachers from Zimbabwean primary schools located in different contexts to generate data. The findings show that implementers of policies are too often not consulted during the policy development process leading to challenges which could be mollified by listening to the advice from the implementers, adopting the bottom-up approach and promoting good relations among educators. Considering these findings it was concluded that, for effective policy development, there must be wide consultation and involvement of all stakeholders in the planning, designing and articulation of policies before proper implementation can take place.
 
Performance of Grade 9 science learners by gender across cognitive domains in the South African TIMSS data
Article
It is widely acknowledged that understanding of science is key to becoming global citizens and to embrace technological advancements. Although research suggests that girl’s performance in science has improved over the years, there are still concerns about the under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers in most African countries, including South Africa. Variability in science performance according to gender is still an unresolved issue. In this study we aimed to examine the relationship between gender and science item achievement of Grade 9 South African learners in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015. We used data collected by TIMSS 2015. The data were further analysed using International Database (IDB) analyser and t-test statistics. The results show that in general gender did not influence learner achievement in most of the test items. However, the findings indicate that girls performed better than boys in most of the questions in all 4 content domains and in the knowing and reasoning cognitive domains. The study highlighted that gender had a limited effect in the manner in which the girls and boys answered the different test items. The observed gender differences in the content domains could be related to socio-cultural environments and learning experiences.
 
Article
Globally, education systems have been affected by radical social, political and economic changes. Although school principals play a pivotal role in improving student learning and attaining educational outcomes, they work under strenuous conditions to deal with multifaceted transformational issues. Principals experience great difficulty in coping with numerous changes, partly because they are inadequately prepared for their leadership position, or simply lack the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to lead and manage schools effectively and efficiently. Fundamentally, principals should be empowered to effectively deal with challenges facing them in the 21st century. Using qualitative research, this study explored the importance of promoting a culture of professional development that will prepare principals to confront education challenges and obstacles facing them. Fifteen principals were selected to determine their perceptions and experiences of how they were prepared and professionally developed to lead and manage schools. Findings revealed that in South Africa, there is no formal preparation for aspiring or practicing principals taking on leadership and management positions, and very few in-service professional development programmes are available. There is a dire need for education authorities to introduce compulsory training and development programmes for aspiring and practicing school leaders to lead and manage their schools successfully. © 2017, South African Journal Of Education. All rights reserved.
 
Distribution of participants according to biographical variables (N = 108)
Respondents' views on the effectiveness of the 360-credit NPDE programme
The relationship between teaching experience and educators' views on the effectiveness of the 360-credit NPDE programme
relationship between teaching phase and educators' views on the effectiveness of the 360-credit NPDE programme
Article
We investigated the effectiveness of the 360-credit National Professional Diploma (NPDE) as a programme that is aimed at the upgrading of currently serving unqualified and under-qualified educators, with a view to improving the quality of teaching and learning in schools and Further Education and Training colleges. To this end, the National Professional Diploma in Education Effectiveness Scale (NPDEES) and Classroom Observation and Assessment Form (COAF) were used. The findings indicated that educators differed in the extent to which they regarded the 360-credit NPDE programme as effective. The findings also indicated that component 3 (competences relating to teaching and learning processes), component 1 (competences relating to fundamental learning) and component 4 (competences relating to the profession, the school and the community) were the best predictors of the effectiveness of the 360-credit NPDE programme. It was found that educators differed in the extent to which they performed during the classroom-based evaluation. Suggestions are made for measures to improve educators' performance in the classroom.
 
Article
The questionnaire responses of 38 secondary school mathematics teachers provided initial data for this study. About 26.3% (n=10) of this number was sampled for classroom observation and in-depth interviews in order to assess the consistency of the dispositions. Only 15.8% of the schools in the study adopted the calculator version of the 'O' Level curriculum, 4028. The teachers' dispositions showed competence to use scientific calculators during instruction but maintained teacher-centred instructional approaches in both classrooms where students possess calculators and logarithms. This finding raises fears that even when calculators are available, they may remain on the periphery of mathematics instruction when they continue to be narrowly used as computational devices. Implications of these results are explored with a goal of providing teachers with insight into how to use calculators effectively in the 'O' Level mathematics curriculum.
 
Article
Curriculum leadership is a complex and demanding practice, which goes beyond the research and disciplinary expertise of the curriculum leader. Engaging and leading educators in a process of curriculum change is not easy: it can be a difficult, and sometimes chaotic journey which is often characterised by philosophical debate, the calling into question of current practices, fear, and even openly acknowledged resistance. In order for change to succeed, leaders of curriculum change must facilitate a shared ownership of the change process. This will require the bringing together of individuals with different personal priorities and rallying them around a common goal, e.g. designing quality Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) programmes. Our curriculum renewal journey involved the use of problem-posing pedagogies and required us to employ transformative types of leadership strategies. In this paper, we reflect critically, on our roles, as members of the ‘Abakhwezeli’, in stoking the fires of curriculum change in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Faculty of Education. Furthermore, this paper will highlight particular defining moments during the curriculum renewal journey, where stakeholder consultation and the use of transformative methodologies assisted in prompting deep, critical reflection on the (re)designing of our B.Ed programmes. © 2016, Foundation for Education Science and Technology. All rights reserved.
 
Article
Schooling in North America and northern Europe embodies salvation themes. The themes are (re)visions of Enlightenments' projects about the cosmopolitan citizen and scientific progress. The emancipatory principles, however, were never merely about freedom and inclusion. A comparative system of reason was inscribed as gestures of hope and fear. The hope was of the child who would be the future cosmopolitan citizen; the fears were of the dangers and dangerous people to that future. The double gestures continue in contemporary school reform and its sciences. American progressive education sciences at the turn of the 20th century and contemporary school reform research are examined to understand their different cultural theses about cosmopolitan modes of life and the child cast out as different and abjected. Today's cosmopolitanism, different from that in the past, generates principles about the lifelong learner and its cosmopolitan hope of inclusion. The inclusionary impulse is expressed in the phrase "all children can learn". The child who stands outside of the unity of "all children" is disadvantaged and urban. School subject research in music at the turn of the 20th century and today's mathematics education are exemplars of the inscriptions of hope and fears in the sciences of education. The method of study is a history of the present. It is a strategy of resistance and counter praxis by making visible what is assumed as natural and inevitable in schooling.
 
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This article reflects on the experiences of 100 South African beginner teachers and contextualises their experiences of reality shock by applying the ‘ready, willing and able’ model of Shulman and Shulman (2004). A discourse analysis of critical reflection on experiences during their first year(s) of teaching provided insight into the challenges they faced and indicated a correlation between the results of this study and the aims of the ‘ready, willing and able’ model. In this qualitative study the question is asked as to whether tertiary institutions might have an extended responsibility to better equip beginner teachers for handling the academic and emotional realities they will face. This article contributes to the growing body of knowledge on beginner teachers and reality shock through advocating an attitude of critical analysis and self-reflection that can empower beginner teachers to handle unpredictable situations, adapt and learn from experience and manage their experience of reality shock and stress during their first year(s) of teaching. The solution might be a shared responsibility that is guided by a commitment towards interdependence and inter-activeness within the system and all the role-players. © 2018, South African Journal Of Education. All rights reserved.
 
Article
Learner absenteeism often occurs involuntarily due to learners’ social and economic circumstances. Notwithstanding this fact, there is a worldwide trend towards a more punitive and retributory management approach to address learner absenteeism. Because such an approach neglects to consider absentees’ specific circumstances, it fails to address learner absenteeism properly. In the first part of this article, the authors considered the suitability of the ecosystemic theory as basis for a management approach that will acknowledge the full range of contextual risk factors that may exist in absentee learners’ living environment. The authors argue in favour of a transnational and generic ecosystemic approach, with an inherent focus on contexts and interrelatedness, as a suitable approach to managing learner absenteeism. The second part of this article focuses on an analysis of South African law and policy regulating learner absenteeism, to determine whether it supports an ecosystemic approach to managing learner absenteeism. The authors found that, while South African law and policy regulating learner absenteeism mostly support an ecosystemic approach to managing learner absenteeism, some prescriptions of the Policy on Learner Attendance do not. After making some recommendations in this regard, the authors conclude with generic guidelines to managing learner absenteeism. © 2016, Foundation for Education Science and Technology. All rights reserved.
 
Article
The purpose of the study was to explore rural high school learners' experience of mathematics anxiety in academic settings. Mathematics anxiety has been found to have an adverse effect on confidence, motivation and achievement. This quantitative study is exploratory and descriptive in nature. The participants were 403 learners doing mathematics in 18 rural schools in the Free State province of South Africa. Participants completed a 20-item questionnaire and 373 (92.5%) questionnaires were found to contain valid responses and were analysed by a professional statistician at the University of the Free State using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), Version 17.0. The questionnaire was testedfor reliability using the Cronbach alpha coefficient and was found to have a reliability score of .841, indicating an acceptable reliability coefficient. Findings reveal that all learners sometimes, often, or always experience mathematics anxiety in academic settings. It is therefore important for teachers and authorities in education to observe its prevalence and to implement strategies toward the alleviation of the effects ofmathematics anxiety.
 
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Raj Mestry
  • University of Johannesburg
John W Creswell
  • University of Michigan
Johanna G Ferreira
  • University of South Africa
Andile Mji
  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Corene De Wet
  • University of the Free State