Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0256-010020100004&lang=en vol. 30 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>The relationship between the perception of own locus of control and aggression of adolescent boys</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002010000400001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Aggression is increasingly seen in most parts of South African society. Aggressive behaviour of boys in secondary school often results from frustrations caused by perceived high expectations of others regarding the role, locus of control, and personality of boys. Locus of control plays an important role in a person's perception concerning a situation and possible reactions to what is happening, or should be happening. A 56-item questionnaire, based on Rotter's "Locus of control" questionnaire, and the DIAS Scale were used. The questionnaire was completed by 440 boys in Grades 9, 10, and 11. Various factor, item and differential statistical analyses were conducted. Three constructs were identified, i.e. physical, verbal, and indirect aggression. Results indicated that locus of control has a significant influence on verbal and indirect aggression. The differential analysis indicated that contextual variables (language of tuition, age, and grade) play a significant, but not substantial, role in aggression. Furthermore, boys with an internal locus of control are significantly and substantially less aggressive than boys with an external locus of control, with respect to physical, verbal and indirect aggression. <![CDATA[<b>Constructing principals' professional identities through life stories</b>: <b>an exploration</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002010000400002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Adopting a humanistic perspective to the study of leadership, I discuss and describe how school principals adapt to their new roles, owing to the new education policies and educational restructuring within the South African Department of Education. The Life History approach was used to collect data from six selected school principals in KwaZulu-Natal. On the basis of the analysis of data, I conclude that leaders create their provisional selves and construct their professional identities from their personal and professional knowledge. Provisional selves, in this context, are temporary solutions principals use to close the gap between their current capacities and self-concepts, and the ideas they hold about what attitudes and behaviours are expected in their new roles. <![CDATA[<b>The perceptions of teaching staff from Nigerian independent schools of a South African professional development workshop</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002010000400003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en There is widespread agreement that professional development (PD) is the best possible answer to meeting the complex challenges in education systems. Studies on educational effectiveness identify the link between quality teachers and their PD. The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the perceptions of Nigerian delegates from independent schools of the effectiveness of a training programme conducted by academic staff at the University of South Africa (Unisa). A mixed-method approach was adopted in two similar workshops. In March (2008) (Phase 1), quantitative data were collected and, in October 2008 (Phase 2), qualitative data were collected. The results reveal delegates' experiences of the quality of the presentations, the content and learning experience, the extent to which the expectations of the delegates were met, the application possibility and relevance of the workshops to educational practice and the needs experienced in Nigerian schools and recommendations for future workshops. <![CDATA[<b>Contextualizing South Africa's participation in the SITES 2006 module</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002010000400004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) initiated the Second International Technology in Education Study (SITES 2006) - a large-scale comparative survey on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in schools. The goal was to understand the pedagogical use of ICTs in schools in 22 education systems. We aim to contextualize South Africa's participation in SITES 2006 on four levels: (i) the nature and structure of the South African education system, (ii) a review of South Africa's participation in SITES 2006, (iii) ICT infrastructure, facilities and equipment, and (iv) teachers' use of ICTs for teaching and learning. SITES 2006 administered three questionnaires to school principals, technology coordinators, and mathematics and science teachers. The final sample consisted of 666 mathematics and 622 science teachers. Although most education systems collected data via the internet, South Africa was the only country that used only a paper-and-pencil data collection strategy with an average return rate of 90%. South Africa scored low on most variables, e.g. ICT infrastructure, facilities, and equipment. A large percentage of South African teachers reported their ICT incompetence. South Africa's inability to cross the boundaries of traditional learning towards the development of 21st century teaching and learning skills inhibits social and economic growth for the development of human capital. <![CDATA[<b>An analysis of the alignment of the grade 12 physical sciences examination and the core curriculum in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002010000400005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en I report on an analysis of the alignment between the South African Grade 12 Physical Sciences core curriculum content and the exemplar papers of 2008, and the final examination papers of 2008 and 2009. A two-dimensional table was used for both the curriculum and the examination in order to calculate the Porter alignment index, which indicates the degree of match between the two. Alignment indices of 0.8 and 0.6 for Physics and Chemistry, respectively, were computed and remained constant for Physics, but fluctuated initially for Chemistry before levelling off. Using the revised Bloom's taxonomy, discrepancies were found in terms of cognitive levels as well as content areas in both Physics and Chemistry. The cognitive level Remember is under-represented in the Chemistry and Physics examinations, whereas the cognitive levels Understand and Apply were over-represented in Chemistry. It is argued that the shift to higher cognitive levels is in line with the reported increase in cognitive complexity of the Physical Sciences curriculum. The significance of the study for Physical Science teachers is highlighted, and the potential for further research is also indicated. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring alternative assessment strategies in science classrooms</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002010000400006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The knowledge children bring to the classroom or construct in the classroom may find expression in a variety of activities and is often not measurable with the traditional assessment instruments used in science classrooms. Different approaches to assessment are required to accommodate the various ways in which learners construct knowledge in social settings. In our research we attempted to determine the types of outcomes achieved in a Grade 6 classroom where alternative strategies such as interactive assessments were implemented. Analyses of these outcomes show that the learners learned much more than the tests indicate, although what they learnt was not necessarily science. The implications for assessment are clear: strategies that assess knowledge of science concepts, as well as assessment of outcomes other than science outcomes, are required if we wish to gain a holistic understanding of the learning that occurs in science classrooms. <![CDATA[<b>School effectiveness</b>: <b>conceptualising divergent assessment approaches</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002010000400007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Studies on school effectiveness have dominated the literature of education management and administration for some time. According to the literature, these studies have two distinct aims: firstly, to identify factors that are characteristic of effective schools, and secondly, to identify differences between education outcomes in these schools. The choice and use of uniformed outcome measures has, however, been open to debate in many areas of education research. One of the touchstones for effective schools is the impact on learners' (scholars or students) education outcomes. Researchers into school effectiveness, however, continuously aim to clarify the dilemma with regard to learners' education outcomes. In parallel with this has been a call for schools to be more accountable, which in many cases leads to school effectiveness being judged on academic results, while other contributing factors are ignored. Apart from these studies, the uniform assessment of effectiveness in the school context has recently also received attention. This article, descriptive and narrative in nature and based on a literature study, offers a dynamic perspective on the assessment of school effectiveness and concludes with conceptualisation and analysis of three different, divergent approaches to measuring or assessing effectiveness of schools. <![CDATA[<b>How can schools build learning organisations in difficult education contexts?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002010000400008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en There is paucity in the study of learning organisations within the education sector and particularly in schools working in difficult socio-economic contexts, such as those studied in this investigation. In this qualitative study I therefore sought evidence from teachers, in one of the districts of Gauteng province, through in-depth, semi-structured focus group interviews to establish what a learning organisation is. Using data obtained through two in-depth, semi-structured focus group interviews with 16 teachers, themes were constructed to theorise their experiences on what a learning organisation is. The results showed that teacher commitment to personal learning enhanced student achievement. This study contributes to the understanding of theories on learning organisations from the experiences of these teachers working in disadvantaged townships schools. <![CDATA[<b>The impact of teachers' limited english proficiency on english second language learners in South African schools</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0256-01002010000400009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The importance of the role of language in teacher education programmes and in children's learning is crucial. This study focuses on the use of English as the language of learning and teaching and its impact on the language development of English second language (ESL) student teachers and ESL learners. Against the background of major theories in second language (L2) acquisition and learning, this topic is contextualized within the South African education system. An empirical inquiry was carried out in which portfolios (evidence of practical teaching including lesson plans and learners' work) submitted by final year student teachers enrolled at a large distance teaching university for the Advanced Certificate in Education: Inclusive Education were scrutinised. A comparison of teacher and learner written errors was made. Based on the findings, a questionnaire was designed to determine the extent of the impact of teachers' limited English proficiency on learners' English proficiency. The findings of the questionnaire responses are presented. Recommendations are made on how student teachers can improve their teaching practice to ensure quality ESL teacher input and ESL learner performance.