Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0256-010020140001&lang=es vol. 34 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Early childhood pre-service teachers' concerns and solutions to overcome them (the case of Pamukkale University)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The purpose of this qualitative study is to determine early childhood pre-service teachers' concerns and solutions. One hundred early childhood pre-service teachers who were enrolled at Pamukkale University, Turkey, answered two open-ended questions by e-mail. In addition, six of these participants were interviewed for developing a deeper understanding of their concerns and solutions. Five main areas of concerns and solutions were identified as: (1) children, (2) parents, (3) school principals and colleagues, (4) environmental conditions, (5) self-orientation. This paper draws attention to the underlying reasons given by pre-service teachers about their concerns and elicits their ways of overcoming these concerns, in order to identify pre-service teachers' needs, in becoming effective teachers, and to integrate possible areas of concern in management and development of teacher education. <![CDATA[<b>The 'good', the 'bad' and the 'ugly'?</b> <b>Views on male teachers in foundation phase education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In the context of the foundation phase, where women tend to dominate, the increasing numbers of male students entering teaching programmes for this phase of schooling has generated considerable praise, as well as criticism. This paper explores the views of two first-year foundation phase (FP) student cohorts at a Johannesburg university about male teachers in the FP. Student responses to two open-ended questions formed the data for this study, with qualitative content analysis procedures used to make sense thereof. Findings indicate an uncomfortable tension between the 'good,' the 'bad', and the 'ugly' in student perspectives of male teachers in the FP, where the 'good' is reflected in recognition of the valuable role of males in countering the effects of absentee fathers; the 'bad' in the various reasons provided for male's unsuitability as teachers of young children; and the 'ugly' in the dominant association ofmales with the perception ofa threat ofsexual abuse and molestation, much of which is attributed to increased media coverage and public awareness of abuse in schools. The paper concludes with a discussion of the ramifications hereof for teacher education and for the profession. <![CDATA[<b>Introducing problem-based learning (PBL) into a foundation programme to develop self-directed learning skills</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article reports on the qualitative aspects of a study that examined whether introducing a Problem-based Learning (PBL) approach in a one-year foundation programme can create conditions for learners to develop and sustain self-directed learning skills. This interpretive-constructivist case study was located in evaluation research. Data were collected by means of classroom observations and interviews with 35 students and 14 former students. Findings indicated that introducing students to a PBL approach did promote more meaningful learning patterns, typified by processing the subject matter critically and self-regulating learning processes. The sustainability ofthe meaning-directed learning skills was questionable ifstudent beliefs in the approach did not support the activities employed. Introducing PBL into a foundation programme can develop self-directed learning skills in students and set in motion a process of growth towards lifelong learning. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of self reflections through electronic journals (e-journals) on the self efficacy of pre-service teachers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This study aims both to provide information about the self-reflections of pre-service teachers keeping self-reflective e-journals during the practicum period and to determine the relationship between their self-reflection and self-efficacy levels. Both quantitative and qualitative data were analysed in integration to gain deeper insight into the study. To accommodate the quantitative data, the English for foreign language (EFL) Teacher Efficacy Scale was administered to 40 pre-service English language teachers (ELT), both before and after the practicum period, to measure the differences in their self-efficacy levels. The qualitative data were examined to reveal the most frequently recurring problems among the e-journals and how the data overlapped with the statistical analysis. The results revealed that incorporating reflective e-journals into the field-based experience process helped pre-service teachers become active decision-makers, contributors and efficient, confident teachers. <![CDATA[<b>The habitus and technological practices of rural students: a case study</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This paper describes the habitus and technological practices of a South African rural student in his first year at university. This student is one of five self-declared rural students, from a group of 23 first-years in four South African universities, whose access to, and use of, technologies in their learning and everyday lives was investigated in 2011 using a 'digital ethnography' approach. Their digital practices, in the form of their activities in context, were collected through multiple strategies in order to provide a nuanced description of the role of technologies in their lives. The student reported on here came from a school and a community with very little access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). While the adjustment to first year can be challenging for all students, the findings show that this can be especially acute for students from rural backgrounds. The study provides an analysis of one student's negotiation of a range of technologies six to nine months into his first year at university. Earlier theoretical concepts provide a lens for describing his practices through a consideration of his habitus, and access to and use of various forms of capitals in relation to the fields - especially that of higher education - in which he was situated. <![CDATA[<b>The effects of problem-based learning on pre-service teachers' critical thinking dispositions and perceptions of problem-solving ability</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The aim of this study was two-fold. The first aim was to determine the levels of critical thinking disposition and perception ofproblem-solving ability ofpre-service teachers. The second aim was to compare the effects of problem-based learning and traditional teaching methods on the critical thinking dispositions andperceptions of problem-solving ability of pre-service teachers, when implemented in the teaching of the acid-base topic. Participants for the study consisted of 49 pre-service teachers. A pre-test-post-test control group design was used. Data were obtained using the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory and Problem-Solving Inventory. It was generally determined that pre-service teachers exhibit low levels of critical thinking disposition and medium levels of perception of problem-solving ability. Also, while problem-based learning and traditional teaching methods did not have different effects on the critical thinking dispositions ofpre-service teachers, they had different effects on their perceptions of problem-solving ability. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring South African high school teachers' conceptions of the nature of scientific inquiry: a case study</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The paper explores conceptions of the nature ofscientific inquiry (NOSI) held by five teachers who were purposively and conveniently sampled. Teachers' conceptions of the NOSI were determined using a Probes questionnaire. To confirm teachers' responses, a semi-structured interview was conducted with each teacher. The Probes questionnaire was based on six tenets of the nature of scientific inquiry but only three tenets are presented in this paper, namely: (1) scientists use a variety of methods to conduct scientific investigations; (2) scientific knowledge is socially and culturally embedded; and (3) scientific knowledge is partly the product of human creativity and imagination. The study found that the teachers held mixed NOSI conceptions. These conceptions werefluid and lacked coherence, ranging from static, empiricist-aligned to dynamic, constructivist-oriented conceptions. Although all participants expressed some views that were consistent with current, acceptable conceptions of NOSI, some held inadequate (naïve) views on the crucial three NOSI tenets. The significance of this study rests in recommending explicit teaching of NOSI duringpre-service and in-service training which enables teachers to possess informed conceptions about NOSI. With these informed conceptions, teachers may internalise the instructional importance of the NOSI which, in turn, may help avoid the lack of attention to NOSI currently evidenced in teachers' instructional decisions. This might result in teachers' orientations shifting towards an explicit inquiry-based approach from that of an implicit science process and discovery approach. <![CDATA[<b>Teachers' experience of the implementation of values in education in schools: "Mind the gap"</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In many societies violence, crime and intolerance have become an everyday reality. In this context teachers are responsible for facilitating values in education. The study aimed to investigate teachers' experiences of the implementation of values in education in classroom praxis. Constructivism was used as conceptual framework. Data were collected by means of interviews with 14 participants. The findings revealed that there was a gap between policy makers' intentions and teachers' perspectives. This gap related to the teachers' poor understanding of the concept 'values in education', exacerbated by a lack of reflexivity about the issue; a failure to address the influence of teacher identity on values in education; a need for suitable training; a lack of knowledge on how to address practical challenges with values in education or how to consider the hidden curriculum, and how to use different strategies effectively to facilitate values in education. Our main conclusion is that education initiatives so far have had little impact on the implementation of values in education in selected schools. Recommendations for improvement are made. <![CDATA[<b>Teacher beliefs and practices of grammar teaching: focusing on meaning, form, or forms?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Despite the worldwide curriculum innovations to teach English through meaning-focused communicative approaches over the years, studies report that most language teachers still follow transmission-based grammar-oriented approaches. It is known that the success of any curriculum innovation is dependent on teachers. Therefore, given that teaching grammar has always been a central, but problematic domain for language teachers, what teachers believe and do regarding grammar instruction is an important issue that needs to be investigated. However, studies that research teachers and their grammar teaching are rare, and almost non-existent at the elementary-level English teaching contexts. Therefore, through a questionnaire given to 108 teachers and afocus-group interview, the present study investigated Turkish primary-level English language teachers' beliefs and practice patterns of teaching grammar, and the reasons behind these patterns. The results revealed that teachers predominantly prefer the traditional focus-on-formS approach, which indicates a serious clash with teachers and curriculum goals, on the one hand, and theoretical suggestions on the other. The paper ends with discussions and suggestions for teacher education and language policy-making. <![CDATA[<b>Teachers' perceptions of the integrated quality management system: lessons from Mpumalanga, South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article examines the attitudes and perceptions of teachers regarding the implementation of the Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS). In doing so, it aims to contribute to the global discourse of change management in education. The system is intended to develop educators by enhancing their capabilities to inculcate a culture of teaching and learning. Using a qualitative research design, in which open-ended interviews were conducted, the study canvassed the views ofstakeholders resultingfrom their personal experiences of IQMS. Having reflected on the current implementation model, the major contribution of the study is to posit an alternative model. The alternative implementation model proposes a bottom-up approach; continuous development; sustained (rather than once-off training conducted by credible teams of eminent persons and strong leadership. Furthermore, the model should be well-resourced and be anchored on partnerships; concurrency of thrust; staggered changes and based on the following principles adapted from development discourse: participation, empowerment, ownership, learning, adaptability, and simplicity. There is consensus among stakeholders that the IQMS was implemented too rapidly. They recommended a longer, continuous trainingperi-od that focuses on teacher development, thus delinking money issues from the IQMS, as well as engaging dedicated teams in order to ensure impartiality. <![CDATA[<b>Performance management: the neglected imperative of accountability systems in education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The first aim of this paper is to clarify the concept "performance management" as an aspect of the Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS). The second is to report on an exploration into the experiences and perceptions of management teams in the implementation of performance management. As part of the qualitative research design, the individual interview was selectedfor use in this research. Fifteen participants drawn randomlyfrom 24 schools were interviewed. The findings revealed the weakness of integrating development with appraisal since it leads to the neglect of development in favour of appraisal which is linked to incentives. A lack of knowledge and expertise on the IQMS processes such as mentoring, coaching, and monitoring was found to hamper the zeal to implement performance management. Teachers, as co-developers of education policy on the ground, act as a driving force behind the actualisation of transformation in education. The development of teachers is therefore crucial in an education system that is in the grips of transformation. <![CDATA[<b>Disciplinary practices in schools and principles of alternatives to corporal punishment strategies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The aim of the study was to determine the consistency prevailing between the disciplinary practices in the schools and the principles of the Alternatives-to-Corporal Punishment strategy. The three main research questions that guided the study were to determine (1) How much variance of offences can be explained by disciplinary measures of alternative corporal punishment? (2) How well do the different measures of alternative corporal punishment predict offences? (3) Which is the best predictor of offences given a set of alternative measures? Twenty-nine schools participated in the survey andfive schools participated in the case study, so the achieved sample was 34 schools. From the 29 survey schools, one principal and one Life Orientation (LO) teacher participated. All in all 58 people participated. The results revealed that 66.60% of the variation in the offence of vandalism was explained by the predictors. When vandalism was predicted it was found that School identification (p = .693, p < .05), gender (p = -.180, p < .05), coordination of disciplinary committee (DC) meetings (p = .116, p < .05), communication with parents (p = 1.070, p < .05) and monitoring compliance to DC (p = .852, p < .05) were significant predictors. Responsibility, school location, experience as a principal, availability of policy, capacitation on discipline, counselling, recording of sanctions and monitoring implementation of sanctions were not significant predictors (varying p andp &gt; .05). The results reveal that there was no established consistency between the disciplinary practices in the schools and the principles of the alternatives-to-corporal punishment strategy. <![CDATA[<b>Educators' understanding of workplace bullying</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article looks at educators' understanding of workplace bullying through the lens o a two-dimensional model of bullying. Educators, who were furthering their studies at the University of the Free State, were invited to take part in a study on different types of bullying. Deductive, directed content analysis was used to analyse 59 participants' descriptions of workplace bullying. The study found that the theoretical model provided a valuable framework for studying bullying in this context. The analysis of the educators' descriptions provided the following insights about the relational and organisational foundations of workplace bullying: (1) The relational powerless victims are subjected to public humiliation, disregard, isolation and discrimination. The bullying of educators results in escalating apathy and disempowerment, to the detriment of their professional and private wellbeing. (2) Bullying is likely to occur in schools where organisational chaos reigns. Such schools are characterised by incompetent, unprincipled, abusive leadership, lack of accountability, fairness and transparency. (3) There is interplay between relational powerlessness and organisational chaos, i.e. the absence of principled leadership, accountability and transparency gives rise to workplace bullying. <![CDATA[<b>Entrepreneurial leadership practices and school innovativeness</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Entrepreneurial leadership, as a distinctive type of leadership required for dealing with challenges and crises of current organizational settings, has increasingly been applied to improve school performance. However, there is limited research on the impact ofschool leaders' entrepreneurial leadership practices on school innovativeness. The main purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between principals' entrepreneurial leadership practices and school innovativeness through the teachers' perspectives. The participants included 294 Malaysian secondary school teachers in Selangor, Malaysia. A questionnaire containing 64 items (50 items on school principals' entrepreneurial leadership practices and 14 items on school innovativeness) was utilized. An analysis of the data indicates that teachers perceive entrepreneurial leadership as highly important for school principals. However, the principals practise it moderately. Furthermore, this study found a significant correlation between teachers' perceptions of school principals' entrepreneurial leadership practices and school in-novativeness. Implications of the findings for developing school principals' entrepreneurial leadership and school innovativeness are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Framing of school violence in the South African printed media - (mis)information to the public</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The way in which the media report on school violence influences public perceptions, gives rise to particular attitudes and can influence decisions by policy makers. The more frequently an issue is presented in a specific way, the more likely it is for readers to perceive the media's version as the truth. Although news is assumed to be reliable, comprehensive and unprejudiced, journalism can be questioned. This study explores how school violence is framed in the South African print media. A framing analysis was done of 92 articles that appeared in 21 different public newspapers during one year. I found that the way in which the public is informed encourages the perception of school violence as being an individual, rather than a societal, problem and encourages the acceptance of assumptions and stereotypes. Typical 'blood-and-guts' reporting is popular, while issues such as emotional and sexual violence in schools appear largely unnoticed by journalists. I argue that the main frames provided to readers in South African newspapers fail largely to elicit social responsibility, while at the same time promoting civic indifference. <![CDATA[<b>Emotionally intelligent learner leadership development: a case study</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100016&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es A case study was conducted with a student leadership body of a private multicultural international secondary school in North- West Province, South Africa, to indicate that the emotional intelligence leadership development challenges of student leaders can be identified through a questionnaire as a measuring instrument, which can then be utilized in promoting training and development of student leaders. The questionnaire results were used to construct emotional intelligence leadership profiles for the 12 participating student leaders, followed by semi-structured interviews with them to verify the results qualitatively. The results of the questionnaire and two of the interviews are reported. It was established that it was possible to develop a reliable instrument to measure the emotional intelligence leadership development challenges of student leaders, which can be used in promoting their training and development. <![CDATA[<b>Learners' experiences of learning support in selected Western Cape schools</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002014000100017&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The study explored Western Cape primary and secondary school learners' experiences regarding the provision and utilization of support services for improving learning. A qualitative interpretive approach was adopted and data gathered through focus group interviews involving 90 learners. Results revealed that learners received and utilized various forms of learning support from their schools, teachers, and peers. The learning support assisted in meeting learners' academic, social and emotional needs by addressing barriers to learning, creating conducive learning environments, enhancing learners' self-esteem and improving learners' academic performance.