Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> vol. 38 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Exploring sustainability as a frame of mind: A multiple case study</b>]]> In this article we discuss a multiple case study, which investigates the frames of mind on sustainability of six Grade Nine Natural Sciences and Social Sciences teachers at three different urban schools in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The article consists of a theoretical and empirical component. Regarding the former, we firstly discuss contestations around sustainability as a policy, and secondly what sustainability as a frame of mind entails. This is followed by the empirical component, which enabled us to: firstly, determine the existing frames of mind of teachers concerning sustainability; and secondly, explore implications of viewing sustainability as a frame of mind for education. In conclusion, we open up possibilities that sustainability as a frame of mind has for taking us beyond the discourse that informed the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UN-DESD). <![CDATA[<b>Signposting Foundation Phase teachers' professional identities in selected Western Cape primary schools, South Africa</b>]]> The aim of this article is to report on the Foundation Phase (FP) teachers' professional identities in two primary schools in the Western Cape. This is meant to serve as a basis for understanding teachers' identities with regard to their teaching experience, qualifications, specialised knowledge base, and ongoing professional development. The article is based on data collected by means of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with the FP teachers in two township schools where isiXhosa is used as the medium of instruction in the Foundation Phase (Grades R to Three). We argue that while teacher identity research has received attention across the globe in the past four decades, little is known about the implications of teacher professional identity for literacy teaching in South African classrooms, especially where an African language is used as a language of learning and teaching. Our findings reveal the pluricentric nature of the FP teachers' qualifications and backgrounds. We conclude that FP teachers' professional identity (TPI) cannot be conceptualised in a simplistic and unidimensional way, but can be viewed as an intersectional construct that impacts on literacy instructional practices. <![CDATA[<b>Validation of the Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI) in a multicultural context: The SABPA study</b>]]> The aim of this study was to validate the Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI) for use in a South African context. The process of scale validation also sheds significant light on this culturally diverse group of participants' levels of psychological well-being and physical health, and its association with the level of stress that teachers reported. Using a cross-sectional survey design, Caucasian (n = 209) and African (n = 200) educators' subsiding in the North-West Province of South Africa, completed the TSI, together with a number of self-report and physiological measures of stress and well-being. In contrast to the five factors of the TSI identified in US samples, statistical analysis yielded a two-factor model (i.e. General circumstance-related stress and Learner-related stress) with satisfactory reliability indices. Significant correlation with measures of psychological and physiological health also reflected positively on the criterion-related validity of the scale. The TSI proved to be a useful, brief self-report questionnaire for the assessment of teacher stress in this cohort of South African teachers. <![CDATA[<b>South African teachers' perspectives on support received in implementing curriculum changes</b>]]> South African education has experienced significant curricular reform since the mid-1990s, but its implementation has not matched expectations. This study explores teachers' perspectives on implementing these reforms in schools, with the aim of ascertaining the challenges they faced in the process, and the kind of support, guidance and professional development programmes they received from the Department of Basic Education to facilitate the changes. This article focuses on their experiences of the government-based Foundations for Learning Campaign in schools in the uThungulu district, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Teachers from grades One to Six teaching languages and Mathematics were targeted, and a sample of 20 was purposefully selected. Using an interpretive qualitative research approach, data was collected by means of in-depth interviews, with open-ended questions, and classified by themes. The findings revealed that teachers felt inadequately provided with sustainable professional development programmes, and had minimal meaningful opportunities for classroom support, guidance and monitoring to assist in implementing the changes required. This small-scale investigation offers a stepping-stone for further analysis of assistance being offered to teachers across the country in times of curriculum reform, and thereby contributes towards preparing the ground for a new and integrated framework offering much-needed effective, systematic, ongoing professional development programmes that translate into improved teaching practice and learning success. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring an urban teacher's use of performance in fostering middle school students' moral awareness</b>]]> This study reports on how an urban teacher relied on herself and harnessed performance-based pedagogy in developing her students' moral awareness over one academic year. Drawing on qualitative analyses of the teacher and students' reflections, interviews, as well as students' performance, the study shows that the teacher's reliance on her own agency in designing a performance-based curriculum counteracted teaching constraints in her workplace. In addition, performance, enacted through engaging students in performing exaggerated bodily activities enabled them to critically reflect upon existing or potential moral issues in their lives and guided their follow-up behaviours. The study concludes the importance of synergising teachers' self-agency with arts-based education in raising students' moral awareness, especially in similarly constrained contexts. <![CDATA[<b>Schools as legal persons: Implications for religion in education</b>]]> Implementation of religion policy in schools has provoked contradictions and contestations in South Africa and across the globe. Reports on costly and protracted court cases and legislative battles between schools and parents as well as between schools and departments of education over religion in schools have been increasing at an alarming rate. In this article, I highlight some of the school management issues involved in the implementation of religion-in-education policy in some selected South African schools. Based on mediation theory, the study used individual interviews to gather data from 12 school principals, who were purposively selected regarding their experiences on the implementation of the religion-in-education policy in their schools. The study revealed that, despite the challenges raised by the implementation of the religion-in-education policy, the majority of the participating school principals displayed the qualities of a transformative mediator. I therefore recommend that school leadership programmes for school leaders offer mediation, and transformative mediation in particular, as a leadership and management course. Additionally, the teaching should focus on transformative mediation as a strategy that school principals can use to solve problems and handle disputes in schools. This is important because transformative mediation has potential benefits to the field of education. <![CDATA[<b>Teachers' perceptions of learners who are street children: A South African case study</b>]]> Children living in the streets are a global phenomenon and the concept street children have multiple definitions. Yet little is known about what it means to be a street child attending school in South Africa. The focus of this paper is on how teachers conceptualise learners who are street children. Data was generated from interviewing 15 teachers from two primary schools and one secondary school with learners who are street children. The findings of the study show that teachers identify such learners by their physical appearance, their behaviour at school, the lack of care and supervision, and their portrayed living conditions. From the findings of this study, it seems that learners who are street children are conceptualised by the teachers as unable to "fit in and function" in the school environment since they cannot adjust to the norms and culture of the school. There is also need for surrogate parents to fill in the parental gap that poses challenges in the educational experiences of the learners. This creates a gap in the relationship between the learners and the teachers, which need to be addressed through policy, training and practice. <![CDATA[<b>An analysis on the qualities of school life and classroom engagement levels of students</b>]]> This research explored the relationship between the pre-service teachers' quality of university life and students' engagement with classroom activities. The sample of the study consisted of 789 students enrolling teacher education programmes in 7 different Turkish state universities in 7 different regions in Turkey. To investigate student level of engagement with classroom activities, the Student Classroom Engagement Scale (SCES) developed by Nayir (2015) was used. To explore students' Quality of School life, scale of Quality of School life developed by Yilmaz and Çokluk-Bokeoglu (2006) was used. Canonic correlation analysis was run through Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 21 programme by writing syntax to analyse data. It was found that there was a correlation between the quality of the school life of the students participating in the research, and their classroom engagement levels. It was found that the sub-dimensions of satisfaction with faculty, satisfaction with instructors and class atmosphere, and satisfaction with relations to student, which are available in the school life data set of the students, had a positive correlation with the sub-dimensions of rebellion engagement and ritual engagement available in the classroom engagement data set; whereas the sub-dimension of authentic engagement had a negative correlation. <![CDATA[<b>'Go bolela, go a shikinya' - Shaking utterances in learning interactions</b>]]> This article is an inquiry into how talking is used for learning. The focus is on utterances of significance where participants say something which brings some sense of surprise and cognitive dissonance, and the purpose is to develop an understanding of how such 'shaking utterances' contribute to learning. The study is conducted from a social interaction theory perspective and utilised conversation analysis methods to observe how such utterances come about, how they are sequentially organised, and how they contribute to learning. Findings indicate similarities in the origins and learning consequences of shaking interactions. The study demonstrates the value of conversation analysis research methods for the deepening of our understanding of the nature and learning benefits of talk in classroom settings. <![CDATA[<b>Enhancing classroom management through parental involvement by using social networking apps</b>]]> The purpose of this study is to explore the classroom management effectiveness enhancement by using social networking apps through electronic devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, and personal computers, as well as the role of parental involvement. Quantitative research was conducted, and the Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) statistical technique applied. From 15 different Changhua County primary schools in Taiwan, 411 teachers were chosen using stratified random sampling in proportion to the size and location of schools. Each teacher was invited to fill out a questionnaire. A total of 403 (98.05%) questionnaires were returned, with 382 (92.94%) considered valid. In order to confirm the statistical results, a focused group interview was also conducted. The effects of the behaviour intention of using Line, parental involvement, and classroom management effectiveness were all found to be positively associated with one another. Moreover, the mediating role of parents in the relationship between the behaviour intention of using Line and classroom management effectiveness enhancement was also supported and confirmed. <![CDATA[<b>Technology-aided learning environment: An investigation into electrical/electronics students' instructional preferences, attitude and approaches to learning</b>]]> Technology-aided learning environment is replacing the popular teacher-dominated teaching-learning process. This study investigated electrical/electronics students' instructional preferences for technology-aided learning environment in relation to their approaches and attitudes to learning. A total of 339 third- and final-year electrical/electronics technology students from 18 universities participated in the study. A questionnaire package comprising of three adapted scales (students' instructional preference, approaches to learning and students' attitude) was used to collect data for the study. Results showed that students preferred teacher-directed technique, followed by knowledge construction, and finally cooperative learning. Students adopted deep approach to learning rather than strategic and surface approach. Students' attitude reflected a very good subject confidence, fairly good behavioural engagement, but poor confidence with technology, use of technology for learning, and affective engagement. There were significant relationships found between students' instructional preferences and approaches to learning; instructional preferences and students' attitude; and approaches to learning and students' attitude towards learning. The study recommends intensive use of technology facilities in the training of electrical/electronics technology students to aid their interest and participation in knowledge construction, and their relevance in the 21st century workplace. <![CDATA[<b>The effectiveness of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in teaching and learning in high schools in Eastern Cape Province</b>]]> The effectiveness of the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in teaching and learning is germane to the recent educational innovations in South Africa. The study examined the level of availability and utilisation of ICT facilities by teachers and students in high schools in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa as well as the factors influencing and challenging its effectiveness. A random sampling technique was adopted to select a sample of 600 (450 students and 150 teachers) for the study. Four research questions were answered with the aid of self-developed instruments tagged Teachers' Questionnaire on Effectiveness of ICTs in Teaching and Learning (TQEICTTL) and Students' Questionnaire on Effectiveness of ICTs in Teaching and Learning (SQEICTTL). Frequency and a simple percentage were used to analyse the data obtained. It was revealed that the highest available ICT facilities in all selected schools were mobile phones being used by students to download relevant information on their various courses and exchange ideas and knowledge among other students. It was, therefore, recommended that government play an active role in the effectiveness of the use of ICTs by funding ICTs in schools through training and re-training of teachers and exposure of stakeholders to the relevance of the pedagogy relating to the use of ICTs for teaching and learning. <![CDATA[<b>Digital reading habits of pre-service Turkish language teachers</b>]]> The present study aimed to determine the digital reading habits of pre-service Turkish language teachers. The study was conducted with relational screening model. The study sample included pre-service Turkish language teachers (n = 140) who were faculty of education students at a state university. To determine the digital reading habits of pre-service teachers, a digital reading habits scale was developed by the author based on the field literature. The developed scale was individually delivered to pre-service teachers in the sample to collect the study data. The obtained data were analysed using arithmetic mean, independent samples f-test and one-way analysis of variance (Anova) statistical techniques. The study findings demonstrated that psychological factors associated with reading (interest, anxiety, motivation, etc.) were occasionally influential on the reading process using digital media, and pre-service teachers mostly utilised digital media on a daily basis. It was observed that digital media manuscripts were read to obtain information, for entertainment and to chat with others. Furthermore, it was determined that Internet use on a mobile phone, as well as owning a web page and a social media account, were effective on digital reading habits.