Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> vol. 36 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>A pedagogical approach to socially just relations in a Grade 11 Economics class</b>]]> Post-apartheid schooling in South Africa is challenged with the task of contributing towards social justice, as has been evident from the emergence of a plethora of education policies following the promulgation of the South African Schools Act in 1996. One of the most significant ways in which social justice can be cultivated in schools, especially where exclusion and marginalisation have been in ascendancy for decades, is through improved pedagogical activities, which receive focus in this article. The article focuses on investigating how the learning goals for Grade 11 Economics with the aid of an educational technology, in particular Facebook, engender opportunities for socially just relations in the classroom. The researcher is concerned with how these learning goals are related to three underlying aspects of Economics education, namely sustainable development, equity (including equality) and economic development, and how they may or may not engender opportunities for social justice. Critical discourse analysis is the research approach used to analyse learners' comments on Facebook in relation to their understandings of three films. It was found that it is possible to teach and learn education for social justice in the classroom. Learners treated one another equally; enacted their pedagogical relations equitably; and learnt to become economically aware of their society's developmental needs. Thus, it is recommended that education for social justice be cultivated in school classrooms through the use of Facebook. <![CDATA[<b>How school ecologies facilitate resilience among adolescents with intellectual disability: Guidelines for teachers</b>]]> The global prioritisation of the inclusion of learners with disabilities, and of vulnerable young people's resilience, means that teachers worldwide require insight into how best to facilitate the resilience of adolescents made vulnerable by intellectual disability (ID). To provide such insight, we conducted a secondary data analysis of a multiple case study of resilient adolescents with ID attending special schools in Gauteng Province, South Africa. The visual and narrative data that inform this case study were generated by resilient adolescents with ID (n = 24), and their teachers (n = 18). Four school-related themes emerge from their accounts of resilience-supporting factors associated with their schools for the physically and severely intellectually disabled (SPSID). From these, we distill three uncomplicated actions mainstream school ecologies can execute in order to enable the resilience of included adolescents with ID. Their simplicity and ordinariness potentiate universally useful ways for mainstream teachers to champion the resilience of included adolescents with ID. <![CDATA[<b>Sexual and reproductive well-being of teenage mothers in a South African township school</b>]]> Research addressing the sexual health and reproductive rights of pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers is growing, although attention to the sexual well-being of young mothers who are already in school remains limited. This omission places teenage mothers at risk, who may be susceptible to repeated pregnancies that may compromise their well-being and educational outcomes. By drawing on a qualitative study, we focus on young mothers' sexual relationships and their knowledge and choice of contraceptive methods, as well as their accessibility to them. In this paper, we ask how sexual and reproductive well-being is constructed in relation to knowledge, choice and accessibility to contraceptive methods. While the study found that schooling was constructed as vital to economic empowerment, teenage mothers' aspirations were compromised by limited contraceptive knowledge and choices, and enduring patterns of gender inequalities within relationship dynamics. Effective interventions require attention to a comprehensive understanding of sexual health, which includes a focus on gender and relationship dynamics, as well as knowledge of and access to contraceptive methods. Accessibility to all methods of contraceptive use remains vital in all health centres. Community health workers need to engage better with young mothers so as to support their reproductive well-being. <![CDATA[<b>HIV/AIDS infected mothers' experience of a group intervention to enhance their children's behavior</b>]]> A secondary study was conducted within a broader National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded longitudinal study on resilience in South African mothers and children affected by HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a 24-week support group intervention programme, which was designed to enhance adaptive behaviour of latent-phase children affected by maternal HIV/AIDS as reported by the mother participants. The study was embedded in a concurrent nested mixed-method design, with a quasi-experimental and a nested multiple case study approach. The mother and child dyads (n = 139) were purposefully selected from amongst previously identified HIV-positive women (n = 220), with children between the ages of 6 and 10 years at clinics in the Tshwane region, South Africa. Data were collected over a period of five years in multiple waves of intervention implementation. The data collection strategies comprised of mother psychological questionnaires and quality assurance questionnaires. The quantitative data were analysed by means of a paired-sample t-test for within-group comparisons. The qualitative text was analysed for themes to establish defined categories. The findings of the study showed that the mothers reported that the child support group intervention sessions decreased the children's withdrawal-, social-, attention-, rule-breaking- and aggressive behavioural problems. The findings suggest that the use of support groups should be incorporated into intervention programmes dealing with latent-phase children affected by HIV/AIDS to enhance adaptive behaviour. <![CDATA[<b>"We can't believe what we see": Overcrowded classrooms through the eyes of student teachers</b>]]> The effects of overcrowded classrooms are far-reaching for teachers and learners. Many parents base their decision on whether to send their child to a particular school on the prospective number of learners in the child's classroom (Mustafa, Mahmoud, Assaf, Al-Hamadi & Abdulhamid, 2014:178). All teacher training institutions ought to ascertain whether they offer appropriate teacher training programmes that will enable student teachers to deal with the numerous demands associated with the teaching profession, among others, teaching in overcrowded classrooms. The aim of the research reflected in this article was to explore student teachers' challenges when teaching in overcrowded classrooms. An exploratory research design and qualitative research approach was chosen as the appropriate methodology for this project. Data was collected by means of a non-compulsory written assignment set out in student teachers' teaching practice workbooks. The theoretical frameworks used constructivist learning theory and socio-constructivist learning theory. The research revealed that numerous problems were experienced by student teachers, who were teaching in overcrowded classrooms. Guiding principles regarding support from lecturers, significant observation and the responsible engagement of mentor teachers are suggested. <![CDATA[<b>The <i>Cape Times's</i> portrayal of school violence</b>]]> This study explores the Cape Times's portrayal of school violence in the Western Cape (WC), South Africa, reporting on findings from a qualitative content analysis of 41 news articles retrieved from the SA Media database. The findings shed light on the victims and their victimisation, the perpetrators, as well as the context of the violence, identifying gangsterism, as well as school administrative and community factors as the reasons for violence in WC schools. It is argued that school violence and gangsterism are inextricably linked to the Cape Flats in particular, and that the interaction of forms of inequality and oppression such as racism, class privilege and gender oppression are structural root causes for school violence in this area of the WC. The study highlights the negative consequences of school violence on teaching and learning and on the economy. It is concluded that even if the Cape Times paints an exaggerated and atypical picture of violence in the gang-riddled parts of the WC, the detrimental effects thereof on the regions cannot be denied. The study therefore recommends a holistic approach to addressing the structural root causes of school violence where it takes place in the WC. <![CDATA[<b>The management of user fees and other fundraising initiatives in self-managing public schools</b>]]> In view of redressing past imbalances created by the apartheid regime and achieving equity in funding public schools, the post-1994 government introduced the Norms and Standards for School Funding policy that severely reduces state funding to schools located within affluent areas. However, the South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 makes provision for school governing bodies (SGBs), responsible for financial and physical resource management of schools, to supplement state funding. In order to ensure that effective teaching and learning takes place, self-managed SGBs secure funding from parents, corporates and the broader community through school (user) fees, donations and unconventional fundraising projects. These additional funds enable SGBs to provide schools with state-of-the-art physical resources, and to employ teaching and nonteaching staff not provided for in the post-provisioning norms determined by the department of education. Using quantitative research, this study aimed to determine how self-managed SGBs manage funds through user fees and other fundraising initiatives. Findings revealed that governing bodies of most self-managed schools were able to secure substantial funding from school fees and other fundraising initiatives, and managed the funds effectively and efficiently. <![CDATA[<b>The dual role of the principal as employee of the Department of Education and ex officio member of the governing body</b>]]> In terms of section 15 of the Schools Act, a public school is a legal person ("juristic person") with legal capacity to perform its functions under the Act. The Schools Act distinguishes between governance and professional management, assigning the former to the governing body and the latter to the principal of the school (section 16(1) and 16(3)). The professional management of a public school must be undertaken by the principal under the authority of the Head of Department. Section 16(A) makes provision for the functions and responsibilities of principals of public schools. Section 16(A) lists the tasks and responsibilities for which the principal as employee of the Department of Education is accountable to the Head of Department. The principal is however also accountable to the governing body for the implementation of statutory functions or policies regarding admission, language, religion and school funds that are delegated to him or her by the governing body in terms of the Schools Act. Since 1996, an increasing number of court cases and disciplinary hearings took place in which provincial heads of education departments were challenged for unlawful actions against principals due to the latter's implementation of the statutory functions of governing bodies. Principals therefore seem to be caught between their role as employee of the Department of Education and ex officio member of the governing body of their public school. <![CDATA[<b>Pros and Cons: Compulsory 12 year education reform in Turkey</b>]]> Turkey has undergone two significant education reforms in the last two decades. In 1997, the compulsory education period was increased from five years to eight years with the unification of primary school (five years) and middle school (three years) and vocational middle schools were dismissed. In 2012, compulsory education was increased from eight years to discrete 12 (4+4+4) years. In this study, the opinions of two separate prospective teacher groups were taken before (from 2012 graduates), and after (from 2013 graduates) the new 4+4+4 system was initiated and trend analyses was carried out. Because of the cultural and ideological mosaic structure of Turkey, the changes that were found to be "positive" by some participants were found to be "negative" by others. It is possible to assert that the initial implementation of the new system has been rather problematic, yet the efforts to render it more effective still continue. <![CDATA[<b>Creating a simple electric circuit with children between the ages of five and six</b>]]> This paper presents a study of how preschool-aged children go about creating and operating a simple electric circuit (wires, light bulb, and battery), and how they view the elements that comprise it, particularly how they view the role of the battery. The research involved 108 children aged between five and six, who were individually interviewed. The results of the study show that the children have already begun to form representations which link the battery, the light bulb and the wires to electrical functions, and that the majority of children are able, with or without help, to successfully create a simple electric circuit. Moreover, their involvement in the process of creating and operating such a circuit leads many children not only to a comprehensive viewing of the circuit, but also to the creation of a pre-energy thought-form in which the battery is acknowledged as the distribution source of an entity which is responsible for the luminescence of the light bulb.