Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> vol. 32 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The feasibility of localised strike action by educators in cases of learner misconduct</b>]]> Developments in South African labour legislation since the inception of the new democracy indicate serious attempts by the legislators to protect the interests of employees. The Bill of Rights has, concurrently, enshrined a variety of fundamental rights that, in principle, offer protection in the workplace. Despite this established, protective legal framework, South African schools regularly witness incidents where fundamental rights of educators are infringed. Numerous educators are currently convinced that their rights are put second to the rights of learners, even in cases of physical or psychological violence against them. Where ineffective enforcement of legislation by the state occurs, educators' security is undermined. This article explores various ways of compelling the employer to enforce existing legislation effectively against learner delinquency that may impact on the security of a specific group of educators. The basic claim of the article is that industrial action by educators in the form of localised strikes is feasible, provided that all other remedies have been exhausted. It is concluded that justice should be visibly reinstated by the state as employer, in all cases where educators' right to security are violated <![CDATA[<b>Transformation of teacher identity through a Mathematical Literacy re-skilling programme</b>]]> Wenger's community of practice theory is used to illustrate how, through careful curriculum design, teacher identity can be developed by participation in a re-skilling programme. In the context of learning, a community of practice involves the complex intersection of various components of learning, namely, meaning (learning as experience), practice (learning as doing), identity and community (learning as belonging). The Advanced Certificate in Education in Mathematical Literacy programme was designed to expose participants to knowledge and understanding of the ML curriculum (meaning), development of an integrated approach to teaching and learning, classroom didactics, lesson plans (practice), and group work activities where active participation and dialogue in lectures were encouraged (community). The programme design aimed to promote a change in the teachers' way of being (identity). Through semi-structured interviews with teachers their journey as individuals was revealed. The findings indicate how by focusing on both content and on the teacher's becoming a professional can assist educational specialists in their quest for improved teacher development. <![CDATA[<b>Teaching Practice generated stressors and coping mechanisms among student teachers in Zimbabwe</b>]]> We sought to establish stressors and coping mechanisms for student teachers on Teaching Practice from a Christian-related university and a government-owned teachers' college in Zimbabwe. The sample was made up of 77 participants (38 females, 39 males). Thirty-two participants were from the university and 45 were from the teachers' college. A questionnaire and an interview schedule were used to collect data. Frequencies and percentages were used in quantitative data analysis while qualitative data were thematically analysed. The main stressors revealed were problems with difficult learners, low allowances, heavy workload, and shortage of teaching and learning aids and, to some extent, supervision-related matters and the effect of the protracted industrial action by serving teachers that overlapped with the Teaching Practice period in the study. Most coping strategies were in the form of social-support networks, particularly interactions with family and friends. Student teachers suggested a number of actions to be taken to reduce the related stress. Recommendations are made. <![CDATA[<b>Keystone Life Orientation (LO) teachers</b>: <b>implications for educational, social, and cultural contexts</b>]]> The aim of this study was to identify and describe skills, characteristics and support networks needed by keystone Life Orientation (LO) teachers in six Gauteng schools. In this study "keystone" refers to LO teachers who make a positive impact in their schools. A qualitative research design was used to collect data through interviews, class observations, and questionnaires. Data were analysed through content analysis. The results indicate that keystone LO teachers must be skilled counselors, career guides and diverse role players. They should also be open, approachable, have integrity, be trustworthy, resolve conflict and make good use of internal and external support within the context of schools. More importantly, it was found that keystone LO teachers are determined by their ability to deal with challenges, such as child abuse, substance abuse, poverty, and HIV/AIDS within their school communities. Based on the findings, the implications for keystone LO teachers in the educational, social and cultural contexts are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>What inspires South African student teachers for their future profession?</b>]]> The need for an inspired professional teacher corps to haul South African school education out of its current low level of quality was the driving force behind this project. Its aim was to determine what counted as sources of inspiration for student teachers and hence for future teachers. Based on a conceptual-theoretical study, a questionnaire that could probe student teachers' sources of inspiration was completed by a sample of student teachers (n = 1,683). A factor analysis of their responses revealed the following as their sources of inspiration, from most to least important: (extended) family, religion, the teacher education institution, teaching practice, friends, and personal life. A comparison with similar research elsewhere revealed that, in this sample of respondents, considerations, such as education being the only accessible profession or being forced to enter the teaching profession because of economic circumstances, did not figure at all. <![CDATA[<b>Reading strategy instruction and teacher change</b>: <b>implications for teacher training</b>]]> I report on teacher change in the context of a reading strategy instruction intervention. Reading Strategy Instruction (RSI) was implemented by three teachers, new to the concept, over a period of 15 weeks. Observations of these teachers showed that a multitude of factors affect the uptake of RSI as part of everyday teaching practice, and that teachers seem to move through distinct phases in their uptake of RSI. The article focuses on teachers' reaction to RSI and highlights a number of issues that are important to the implementation of RSI, not the least of which is that a clear need exists for changes to in-service teacher training and support and pre-service teacher training. In an effort to address these training issues the article contains specific recommendations for pre-service teacher training in particular. <![CDATA[<b>Making a case for the teaching of reading across the curriculum in higher education</b>]]> Over the past two decades there has been much written in the literature about the importance of reading and the importance of teaching students reading strategies to improve their reading comprehension. Reading is one of the most important academic tasks encountered by students. In higher education, students are exposed to a number of texts and textbooks that require independent reading. At this level they are expected to comprehend what they read so that they can analyse, critique, evaluate and synthesize information from various sources. Many students entering higher education are not adequately prepared to meet these challenges. This article highlights the literacy situation in South Africa with a particular focus on reading both in school and in higher education. In addition, the article highlights the importance of teaching students reading strategies across the curriculum in order to improve their reading comprehension, thereby enhancing their chances of academic success. The implications of this research for policy makers and academics in higher education institutions are outlined and some suggestions are made. <![CDATA[<b>A qualitative analysis of facilities maintenance - a school governance function in South Africa</b>]]> I analysed school facilities maintenance, a school governance function in South Africa. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 13 principals and three deputy principals as coordinators of this function at their schools. The interviews were purposively and conveniently selected to gather data regarding school facilities maintenance and gain insight into the challenges this function presents to schools and their governing bodies. Findings indicate that schools generally do not have organisational structures for planned facilities maintenance, nor do they have policies on facilities maintenance. Evidence of facilities maintenance at schools mainly relates to concerns with facilities repairs, (mostly "as the need arises") and general campus cleanliness; mostly with emergency and corrective forms of maintenance as opposed to crucial preventive maintenance. Therefore, there is a need for interim facilities maintenance committees and, in the long term, a whole-school approach to facilities maintenance that makes facilities maintenance a strategic lever for school functionality.