Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> vol. 42 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Differentiating between experience and expertise in mentoring student teachers</b>]]> Mentoring is intended to guide student teachers towards pedagogical decision-making within the complexity of the classroom. In this article we focus on the mathematics mentoring practices of 1 primary school teacher at a university-affiliated teaching school in Johannesburg. The teacher had many years of experience and had undergone some development as a mentor over a period of 5 years. With the research reported on here, we aimed at gaining insight into how the teacher conceptualised her mentoring encounters with student teachers and how this aligned with her mentoring practices and processes. Using a qualitative case study design and multiple methods of data collection, the findings point to the mentor teacher making substantial progress towards functioning as an expert teacher. However, the data confirmed a fluctuation in enactment of mentoring between experienced and expert teacher, in both generalised and subject-specific contexts. The implications of the findings are relevant for the thousands of school teachers who mentor student teachers and novice teachers, particularly in primary schools where teachers are often generalists and not subject specialists. The findings could also inform guidelines and policy briefs for training by higher education institutions, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the South African Council of Educators in order to support the development of expert mentor teachers. <![CDATA[<b>Learners' perspectives on school safety in Johannesburg</b>]]> In this article we report on a South African study conducted with 1,779 learners aged 11 to 18 years from 8 schools in urban areas in and around Johannesburg. These learners' perspectives on school safety confirm that South African learners experience their schools as unsafe. Their primary concerns related to coercion and violence against learners by peers or teachers on school grounds, although they regarded the physical school environment and domestic and community conditions as impacting school safety. To address safety concerns, learners desired the punishment of offenders and greater involvement and accountability of adults. We recommend an urgent whole-school intervention using a critical gender lens. <![CDATA[<b>Teaching and learning Physics using interactive simulation: A guided inquiry practice</b>]]> The research reported here examined the outcome of using interactive simulation technology (1ST) as a guided-inquiry approach to enhance learners' conceptual knowledge of electrostatics in physics. Participants were Grade 11 physical sciences learners (n = 60) and a teacher from a rural school in South Africa. Learners were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 30) that took part in the intervention lesson using the integration of 1ST in the science classroom, and a control group (n = 30) that continued with the conventional teaching method. We adopted a mixed-method approach for this research. Data were collected through a pre-post achievement instrument, classroom observations, and focus group interviews. Data were analysed using the Mann-Whitney {/-test, the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and content analysis. It was found that the mean rank rating of the pre-test results for learners in both groups was not significantly different. However, the Mann-Whitney /-test indicated that learners' conceptual understanding measured in the post-test result was greater for the experimental group (mean rank gain score = 38.83) compared to the control group (mean rank gain score = 22.17), U = 200.0, p = 0.000185. This finding indicates that integrating 1ST into inquiry-based activities can be used efficiently to improve learners' in-depth knowledge of science concepts. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring the factors affecting pre-service science teachers' actual use of technology during teaching practice</b>]]> The primary objective of the research reported on here was to decide whether a combined framework of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK) could be a valid and reliable model to predict Indonesian pre-service science teachers' (PSTs') actual use of technology (AUT) during teaching practice. A survey instrument consisting of attitudes (ATs), subjective norms (SN), perceived behavioural control (PBC), technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK), technological content knowledge (TCK), technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK), and AUT was adapted from previous studies and validated through face and content validity. Thereafter, the instrument was piloted to 135 PSTs and validated through exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The sample (n = 457) completed the instrument during the main data collection. The data analysis was done through the steps of partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM), f-test, and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Through the measurement model phase, the combined framework was reported to be reliable and valid. SN was the strongest predictor (P = .445) of AUT, followed by PBC (P = .281). Meanwhile, AT, TPK, TCK, and TPCK were reported to be insignificant. Additionally, significant differences regarding AUT were reported based on gender and institution. An insignificant relationship emerged based on information and communication technology (ICT) -based courses. <![CDATA[<b>The relationship between mobbing, alienation and burnout among teachers in Mersin, Turkey</b>]]> The relationship between mobbing behaviour, alienation and burnout experienced by teachers in the elementary schools in central districts of Mersin was investigated in the study reported on here. The sample of this study consisted of a group of 455 randomly selected teachers selected by the simple random sampling method. The mobbing scale, alienation scale and Maslach Burnout Inventory were used in the study, and data were analysed by using the correlation and regression techniques. As a result, there is a positive and significant relationship between mobbing behaviour experienced by the teachers and their alienation. Also, mobbing behaviour of school administrators were found to be positively associated with teachers' burnout. Furthermore, mobbing behaviour significantly predict all other dimensions of alienation, except for school alienation dimension, and all dimensions of burnout. <![CDATA[<b>School-based factors affecting Grade 12 accounting learners' performance in the General Certificate Secondary Examination (GCSE) in Eswatini</b>]]> In the sequential explanatory mixed methods study reported on here we examined school-based factors contributing to the poor performance of Grade 12 accounting learners' the GCSE in the Lubombo and Manzini regions of Eswatini. The random sample for the quantitative phase comprised 400 accounting learners and 80 accounting teachers from 10 schools performing well, achieving good results, and 10 schools performing poorly, achieving low quality results. Purposive sampling was used for the qualitative phase to select 6 learners and 4 teachers from schools that performed well, and 6 learners and 4 teachers from schools that performed poorly. The data collection instruments were questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), while thematic analysis was used for the qualitative data. Incongruities existed between learners' and teachers' perceptions of the school-based factors affecting Grade 12 accounting learners' performance in the GCSE in Eswatini. The quantitative results indicate the variables contributing to poor learner performance in accounting as lower period allocation; checking of learners' work; setting a minimum on the number of tests per term; timely delivery of textbooks; provision of study time; discussion of results, and motivation of teachers and learners. Teachers, on the other hand, felt that the variables affecting learners' performance were setting a minimum on the number of tests per term; awarding pupils for good performance; placing emphasis on science subjects; the provision of reference material; motivation of teachers and learners; checking of learners' work; subject combinations; lower period allocation; discussion of results, and timely delivery of textbooks. The qualitative results reveal that learners identified common school variables contributing to their poor performance as not receiving textbooks on time, their work not being checked, and a lack of parental involvement. Teachers identified delivery of textbooks, emphasis on science subjects, and teachers' poor motivation and administration as school variables contributing to learners' poor performance in accounting. The relationships between school variables and demographic variables were found to be low. This study offers insight into what secondary school accounting teachers in emerging economies may experience as variables that affect learners' performance in accounting, and the need to pursue pedagogical practices that can respond to these variables. <![CDATA[<b>Identity formation of non-native English-speaking teachers and prospective teachers through perceptions towards native-speakerism: the Turkish Cypriot story</b>]]> In this article we report on a study in which we used native-speakerism as a lens to investigate the identity formation of non-native English-speaking teachers and prospective teachers in Northern Cyprus. A qualitative method through narratives was used to access the thoughts and experiences of the participants. In the study the participants' identity formation was revealed by 3 concepts: self-image, self-efficacy, and beliefs about teaching and learning. The findings reveal that the participants had positive and high self-efficacy and self-image with regard to teaching English. Weaknesses often create self-doubt; the participants recognised their weaknesses which propelled them to invest more in themselves. Wheatley (2002) states that teachers' learning and professional growth can be instigated through a level of self-doubt and weaknesses about their abilities. Similarly, their beliefs, a core reflection of their identity, were catalysts to being English language teachers. <![CDATA[<b>An investigation of secondary school teachers' flipped classroom readiness</b>]]> In the descriptive study reported on here we used A Scale for Flipped Classroom Readiness of Secondary School Learners developed by Hao and adapted by Durak to evaluate teachers' readiness. The scale was administered to 233 teachers working at 5 randomly selected secondary schools in the city of Elazig, Turkey. Five key aspects of their readiness to conduct flipped classroom education were investigated: "self-efficacy in controlling learners, technological self-efficacy, self-efficacy for planning classroom time, readiness for preparatory work and being open-minded." In general, overall readiness was found to be positive for young teachers who had recently joined the profession. Teachers who owned computers and perceived themselves as being competent users of information and communications technology were more likely to have favourable opinions of their ability to implement flipped classroom pedagogy. <![CDATA[<b>Vulnerable young adults' retrospective perceptions of school-based psychosocial support</b>]]> In this article we describe the retrospective perceptions of vulnerable young adults on the psychosocial support they had been exposed to when they were in school. Qualitative data were collected through individual interviews, collages and a focus group discussion with 5 young adults (2 females and 3 males aged from 20 to 23) who resided at a foster home in Johannesburg. Thematic data analysis identified distinct psychological and social experiences which impacted on their ability to function independently as adults. The psychological experiences highlighted their sense of vulnerability, a lack of identity, emotional pain, and the need for career and guidance counselling. Their social experiences were characterised by social isolation and a lack of social skills. Adopting Erikson's theory of psychosocial development, we discuss what psychosocial support should be provided at schools so that vulnerable children could have a better life. <![CDATA[<b>The role of supervisors in the implementation of the Integrated Quality Management System in schools</b>]]> The aim of the study reported on here was to evaluate the roles of supervisors in the implementation of the Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) in South African schools. The supervisors are the School Management Teams (SMTs), namely principals, deputy principals, or heads of department (HoD), circuit managers, and district coordinators. We followed a qualitative approach to evaluate the implementation of the IQMS based on supervisors' perspectives. A case study research design was used with an interpretive paradigm to evaluate the day-to-day practices of the IQMS. The population in this study consisted of 38 supervisors (circuit managers, principals, deputy principals and HoDs). Purposive sampling was used to select 12 participants who have been supervisors in the past 10 years. Data were collected through individual semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Kolb's learning theory was used as a theoretical lens to evaluate how the IQMS was applied in the circuit under study. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The study revealed that there was no proper implementation of the IQMS in schools. Teachers conducted the IQMS for monetary reward instead of quality assurance. We conclude that the roles and responsibilities of supervisors are crucial during the implementation of the IQMS in schools, and that a huge discrepancy existed between the perceptions of supervisors and educators. We recommend that continuous training for both supervisors and educators is necessary for better implementation. <![CDATA[<b>Self-determination theory as a lens to explore motivational factors and leadership influences in sustainable school improvement: A South African case</b>]]> Many South African schools are underperforming academically and are labelled as trapped or yo-yo schools. The motivation and commitment of school leadership and educators play a critical role in realising improved academic results and sustainable improvement. In the study reported on here a 2-fold perspective was used to explore the problem of motivation: (a) motivational factors influencing sustainable improvement in performing, trapped and yo-yo schools and (b) how the self-determination theory (SDT) can cast light on the issue of motivation and sustainable improvement in schools. Following a qualitative, exploratory, descriptive design, purposive sampling was used to select 6 secondary schools. We conducted individual and focus group interviews with the 6 school principals and 36 educators and heads of department who participated in the study. The findings reveal external factors that operate as negative and positive influences on the participants' controlled motivation, amotivation and autonomous motivation. Reactions to the labelling of the schools and the motivation brought about by the school leadership styles enabled the participants to internalise the goals of the interventions of the Department of Basic Education for school improvement. One-size-fits-all interventions for school improvement are not effective in all trapped schools. Interventions should be based on individual analyses of root causes of problems and not on the symptoms. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring educators' experiences of the social functioning of learners in middle childhood</b>]]> In the research reported on here we explored educators' experiences of learners' social functioning in middle childhood in a South African context. Educators are important socialisation agents for learners in middle childhood, and we reasoned that they could offer valuable information to identify those key social skills and competencies that learners in this life phase need to function optimally. A qualitative exploratory design was used. Twenty-nine educators were purposefully selected as participants from 4 school districts in a demarcated area in the North-West province. Data were collected via 4 focus group interviews, with each focus group interview including the educators of 1 school per district. Thematic analysis of the data revealed the embeddedness of learners' social functioning in the complex blend of South Africa's unequal contexts and diverse cultures; the demonstration of inappropriate and appropriate behaviour as indicators of learners' quality of social functioning in the learning environment; and the imperative to intentionally develop and strengthen the social skills and emotional competencies of learners in middle childhood. We recommend that learners in middle childhood be supported to acquire higher levels of social competence, in particular skills of communication and listening, conflict management, and problem-solving to improve innate social functioning.