Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0256-010020080002&lang=en vol. 28 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Job satisfaction among urban secondary-school teachers in Namibia</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002008000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en An exploratory study on the role of extrinsic and intrinsic factors in determining job satisfaction amongst urban secondary-school teachers in Namibia was undertaken. Biographical variables pertaining to the teachers' gender, age, marital status, school resources, teaching experience, academic qualifications, and rank were investigated to determine whether these had any significant relevance, or made any notable contribution, to the level of job satisfaction experienced. Also, the correlation between burnout and job satisfaction was investigated to determine the extent to which these two factors are related. A sample of 337 secondary-school teachers randomly selected from 17 government schools, in the Windhoek region of Namibia, voluntarily participated in the study. Results showed significant levels of dissatisfaction pertaining to intrinsic factors of work and, more especially, those factors relating to school area and rank. A significant correlation between levels of burnout and job satisfaction was found, particularly in respect of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, which were shown to correlate with low levels of job satisfaction. Limitations and recommendations pertaining to the study are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>A comparison of teacher stress and school climate across schools with different matric success rates</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002008000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Our aim was to investigate differences in teacher stress and perceptions of school climate among teachers from schools with differing matriculation success rates in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Two schools with matric pass rates of 100% and two schools with matric pass rates of less than 25% were selected from a list of schools provided by the province's Educational District Circuit. The schools were matched in terms of area, size, resources, and equipment. Thirty-three teachers from the high performing schools and forty-two teachers from the poor performing schools participated in the study. Student's t tests were used to assess the differences between the schools on the variables under investigation, and the results showed the teachers' experience of stress across the different schools was not significantly different, but significant differences did emerge with regard to school climate. The implications of these findings for the study population are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Educators' selection and evaluation of natural sciences textbooks</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002008000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en 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. <![CDATA[<b>Understanding connections in the school mathematics curriculum</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002008000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en I identify and discuss ways in which different types of connections are described in the South African mathematics National Curriculum Statement and its related documents, particularly at the Further Education and Training (FET) level. I argue that connections are central to the way the discipline of mathematics, its learning outcomes, and assessment standards are conceptualised. The notions of representation and integration are found to be key aspects in understanding connections in mathematics. Using these two notions, I then analyse connections in the National Curriculum Statement and its related documents. Finally, theoretical and practical implications of connections in the curriculum are identified. <![CDATA[<b>Critique of a language enrichment programme for Grade 4 ESL learners with limited English proficiency</b>: <b>a pilot study</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002008000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Some Grade 4 educators have expressed feelings of ineptitude regarding the support of ESL (English Second Language) learners with limited English proficiency as they do not know how to support these learners effectively. Their litany emphasises ESL educators' need for supportive and preventive intervention. A Story-based Language Enrichment Programme (SLEP) was compiled to suit the needs of educators teaching Grade 4 ESL learners with limited English proficiency. The programme was designed to maintain or improve the English proficiency of ESL learners. An intervention research method was followed to test the efficacy of SLEP. Forty teachers implemented SLEP over a six-week period. Thirty-nine teachers provided constructive feedback at the end of this period. Between 92% and 100% of the participants rated SLEP positively. Rural participants suggested some refinements to the programme. The overall conclusion was that SLEP makes a useful contribution to ESL practice. <![CDATA[<b>School principals' perceptions of team management</b>: <b>a multiple case-study of secondary schools</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002008000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en 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 considers the implications of these findings for leadership development in the context of team management. <![CDATA[<b>The appraisal and enhancement of resilience modalities in middle adolescents within the school context</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002008000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Middle adolescents are exposed to environments riddled with potential adversities which pervade their lives, adding to the challenges inherent in their developmental stage. They spend a significant time in school and therefore it is an appropriate context to foster, enhance, and develop emotional, social, and cognitive resilience competencies. There are limited psychological assessment instruments for the South African population that can be used to appraise the level of resilience modalities in middle adolescents. Our aim was to describe and explore the process of appraising, developing, and enhancing the modalities of resilience through the newly developed Resilience Enhancement Kit and the Resiliency Scale. The research was conducted from a combined qualitative and quantitative approach. The results indicated that there was an increase in the level of resilient functioning after administration of the Resilience Enhancement Kit and it therefore appeared to be successful in enhancing resilience modalities. The Resilience Enhancement Kit and Resiliency Scale could be administered by educational psychologists and teachers to assess and enhance resilience modalities and could be incorporated into the school curriculum. <![CDATA[<b>Teen mothers and schooling</b>: <b>lacunae and challenges</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002008000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en While many girls who become mothers before completing schooling consider academic qualifications to be very important, they may not be able to succeed academically if the support they need to complete their studies is insufficient. Usually, instead of getting support, the teen mothers endure misunderstandings and pressure. The teen mothers may feel disempowered because they are 'othered' and consequently, they develop forms of resistance which in most cases may foster their failure as learners. Our aim was to find out how much support was offered to these girls to facilitate their schooling, thus making it possible for them to complete their education and become self-reliant. A qualitative research approach was employed to gather information for the study. Teen mothers, their educators, and parents were interviewed to gather information about the girls' schooling situation. The results showed that many teen mothers failed to succeed with schooling because they lacked support to avoid the numerous disruptions to school attendance. <![CDATA[<b>Mathematics for teaching</b>: <b>observations from two case studies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002008000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en We report on two case studies in which we investigated mathematics for teaching. We were interested in the mathematical knowledge teachers need to know, and know how to use, in order to teach mathematics well. The two case studies focused on the teaching of probability in Grade 8 and the teaching of functions in Grade 10. We discuss the mathematics for teaching probability and functions in terms of the mathematical 'problem solving' or 'mathematical work' demanded of the teachers as they taught the two topics. Among the findings are the interesting differences between the demands on the teaching of functions and the demands on the teaching of probability in these two cases. We argue that mathematics for teaching needs to be understood as shaped by the particular topic being taught, as well as by how teachers select to introduce and approach the ideas and concepts they are teaching. We conclude with a discussion of questions raised for mathematics teacher education, together with implications for practice.