Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> vol. 39 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Student-teachers' commitment to teaching and intentions to enter the teaching profession in Tanzania</b>]]> Commitment to teaching is a recurring topic in both research and policy discussions on teaching and the teaching profession. We investigated factors explaining differences in student-teachers' commitment to the teaching profession and to student learning, and their intentions to enter the teaching profession. Student-teachers (n = 3,246) from one University College in Tanzania completed a Commitment-to-Teaching questionnaire. Bandura's Social-Cognitive Theory was used to explain the findings. Differences in student-teachers' commitment were explained by personal characteristics (i.e., student-teachers' sense of self-efficacy), environmental factors (i.e., perceived influence of significant others and school conditions), and learning experiences (i.e., student-teachers' attitudes towards the teaching profession, their teaching subjects, and satisfaction with the teacher education programme). Implications for practice and for research on student-teachers' commitment to teaching are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Fostering teachers' experiences of well-being: A participatory action learning and action research approach</b>]]> Teachers, specifically those who work in under-resourced contexts, face many challenges within their workplace that negatively affect their experiences of well-being. Although research indicates that if teacher well-being improves, a more enabling climate for teaching and learning is created, little support is available for teachers in this regard. The aim of this study was to work collaboratively with teachers to help them find ways to improve their experiences of well-being. Following a participatory action learning and action research (PALAR) design, 6 teachers in a rural primary school met as an action learning set over a period of 6 weeks to reflect on their learning about how to improve their experiences of well-being. The findings indicate that frequent, informal social contact with colleagues, coupled with explicit action to focus on positive emotions, could improve teachers' experiences of well-being. The PALAR design afforded the structure for this to happen. This study offers insight into how a collaborative action learning process could help to enhance teachers' ability to improve and sustain their experiences of well-being. <![CDATA[<b>The use of technology in music education in North Cyprus according to student music teachers</b>]]> Today, the rapid changes and developments in information and communication technologies affect all sectors, which includes a positive impact in the field of education. For this reason, it is important that teachers make effective use of technologies and keep up with innovation to meet the needs of the new generation. This research focuses on describing technology use in music education at a university in North Cyprus, according to 18 student music teachers, to highlight the extent to which technology has been integrated into music education, making recommendations for further integration. This mixed-methods study employed a questionnaire containing closed-ended questions, which were analysed quantitatively, as well as open-ended questions, which were analysed based on content analysis. Results underline the importance of curriculum updates to integrate information and communication technology into student music teacher training and the need for in-service training to keep established teachers up-to-date with innovative technologies. Future research is recommended to compare music education practices cross-culturally and to identify ways of maximising the benefits of innovations in technology for music educators. <![CDATA[<b>Challenges faced by teachers living with HIV</b>]]> As the most stigmatised epidemic in history - the human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) have proven to be a fierce challenge to humanity. The stigmatisation associated with the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to destroy societies worldwide. The present study was designed to explain the challenges faced by teachers living with HIV. Transformational and ethics of care theories framed this research study. A narrative research design rooted in social constructivism was used to gather qualitative data. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis, where descriptive, process, and emotion codes were used to interpret the data. Key findings speak to affected teachers' social exclusion, stigmatisation and discrimination, inadequate care and support, physical debilitation as well as psychological stress and depression. All these conditions resulted in teachers being unable to perform their tasks at optimal level in South African schools. <![CDATA[<b>Relations among education, religiosity and socioeconomic variables</b>]]> This study demonstrates the relations of the position of education in the correlation between religiosity, and socioeconomic variables by using national-level, and large survey data. We used data from the international survey of 68 countries, and used statistical methods to create the composite scores of every variable. Next, we used Pearson and partial correlations to determine the significance of the relations between the three variables and path analysis to investigate the directions. The correlation coefficient between academic and religiosity variables was a significant and negatively high correlation; furthermore, the partial correlation was strong and significant when the socioeconomic variable was controlled. The correlation between religiosity and socioeconomic variables was a significant and negatively high correlation, and the partial correlation was not significant when the academic variable was controlled for. The correlation between academic and socioeconomic variables was a significant and positively high correlation, and the partial correlation was significant when the religious variable was controlled for. The path analysis reveals that the direction is as follows: socioeconomic, education, and finally, religiosity. Based on our results and the reviewed literature, this paper discusses how these results contribute to the secularization theory and how education mediates religiosity and socioeconomic variable. <![CDATA[<b>Science and non-science teachers' interpretation of physics diagrammes</b>]]> This paper discusses teachers' interpretations of physics diagrammes. The study based on 55 science and non-science teachers, where a qualitative approach was adopted. First, 12 fundamental physics diagrammes were revealed to the teachers, who were asked to think aloud about them. Science teachers and non-science teachers gave similar answers. It has been observed that only the science teacher cohort extended their explanations. When interpreting the diagrammes, the participants in both groups did not notice certain elements that it was expected they would see. The result of this study can inform how teachers interpret physics diagrammes. This paper contributes to the growing interest in international literature as well as national literature regarding the use of diagrammes for teacher training, because interpreting diagrammes is a comprehensive process, which contains certain elements, such as lines, arrows, curves, colour, and objects with boundaries. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring motivational orientations of English as foreign language (EFL) learners: A case study in Indonesia</b>]]> Motivation, which refers to students' reasons for acting, has been well explored in language learning. However, studies on motivation in language learning in many countries have been predominantly inspired by theories of motivation in learning English developed in western countries. The current study serves to: i) identify the motivational orientations of EFL university students in Indonesia; and ii) to investigate whether the west-inspired theories of motivation are still relevant to the Indonesian EFL students. The subjects of the current study were 886 university students. With alphas .70, .53, and .77 for three motivational orientations, the data were then analysed by running Exploratory Factor Analysis with the varimax rotation. The results showed the existence of three reasonable motivational orientations of the EFL students in Indonesia and they are labelled as extrinsic, international and intrinsic orientation. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of motivation and learning behaviour on student achievement</b>]]> The purpose of this study is to determine the direct effect of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on learning behaviour; the direct effect of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and learning behavioural on learning achievement; the indirect effect of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation from learned behaviour to learning achievement; and the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and learning behaviour on the learning achievement of the biology education department students of FKIP Undana. This is a correlation study, consisting of three independent variables and one dependent variable. Data collection was done by a questionnaire and a document of learning achievement. Data were analysed descriptively and inferentially with path analysis. The results show that intrinsic motivation has a direct effect on learning behaviour, and that both directly affect learning achievement; intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and learning behaviour jointly affect the learning achievement of the students of the biology education department. <![CDATA[<b>Pre-service mathematics teachers' mental constructions when using Cramer's rule</b>]]> This study explored the mental constructions displayed by pre-service mathematics teachers (PMTs) when applying Cramer's rule. The aim was to reveal the character of mental constructions made around the nature of the solution set of equations and the role of parameters in the solution of equations with parametric coefficients. These mental constructions occur within the Action-Process-Object-Schema (APOS) theory. In this study, data was generated from 31 first year pre-service teachers by means of an activity sheet and interviews. The interviews were used to clarify pre-service teachers' responses to tasks from the activity sheet. The findings revealed that many PMTs displayed procedural understanding of Cramer's rule. It was also found that they understood what the solution of system of linear equations means. This meant that they were operating at the action stage, in terms of APOS. Additionally, it revealed that the lack of construction of related schemata negatively impacted the PMTs' attempt to construct the necessary mental constructions. Therefore, the researchers provided the genetic decomposition (GD) for the use of Cramer's rule to assist teacher educators to analyse the mental constructions of students. This study explored a new application of APOS theory. Analysing the mental constructions of students by means of research is intended to assist in designing alternative teaching strategies. In this way, this study makes a significant contribution to the solution of system of equations pedagogy. <![CDATA[<b>Benefits and challenges of lesson study: a case of teaching Physical Sciences in South Africa</b>]]> This study explored teachers' experiences in the teaching of electricity and magnetism during a Lesson Study intervention. Using a case study research design, a sample of 4 physical sciences teachers was conveniently selected from schools in rural and suburban areas. Due to logistical challenges, the 4 participants were grouped into 2 separately functioning lesson study pairs. Data were collected through multiple sources including semi-structured interviews, observations of classroom teaching and Lesson Study meetings, field notes, participants' initial lesson plans and reflective writings. It was found that collaboration through Lesson Study enhanced teachers' professional teaching strategies, networking skills, lesson plan writing, classroom management, self-efficacy and positive attitudes towards teaching. However, challenges such as lack of time, lack of institutional support and insufficient instructional materials pose a threat to teachers' participation in Lesson Study. It is therefore recommended that policy makers develop strategic plans to promote the use of Lesson Study as a school-based professional development initiative. Further research on Lesson Study in pre-service science teacher education may pave the way towards professional collaboration as a sustainable practice amongst science teachers. This may ultimately improve the performance levels of science learners in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>The relation between intellectual risk-taking regarding science classes and test anxiety inventory of secondary school</b>]]> In learning of students, cognitive and affective skills and interaction of these skills are very significant. Intellectual risk taking (IRT) and test anxiety inventory (TAI) fall between these cognitive and affective skills. In this research, in addition to the relation between the skills of secondary school students, whether their class level and science success (SS) have any affect receives scrutiny. The research data has been obtained from 591 students, studying in 12 different government schools in 5 different provinces of Central Blacksea Region of Turkey. Three different data collection tools were used in this research conducted with the cross-sectional method. The correlation analysis results show that there is a negative relation between success in science and TAI, whereas there is a low relation between TAI and IRT. MANOVA results have revealed that as class level gets higher, IRT decreases and TAI does not have a significant tendency. It has been found that as the academic success of students gets higher, their TAI decreases and their IRT points do not have a specific tendency. <![CDATA[<b>Elements of the physical learning environment that impact on the teaching and learning in South African Grade 1 classrooms</b>]]> Foundation phase teachers in South African schools follow a socio-constructivist approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics, which entails that learners experiment freely with concepts and are encouraged to communicate and share their thoughts and ideas. In an effort to understand the impact that the physical learning environment, such as noise or large class sizes, have on learning in South African foundation phase classrooms, this study deployed a qualitative case study design to gain insight into the learning and teaching that take place in Grade 1 classrooms. From a cognitive load perspective, the study found that noise, as result of the large number of learners in the class, as well as noise from the outdoor environment, contributes to the overload of learners' working memory, which ultimately impacts negatively on learning. The study also found that the large classroom sizes in Grade 1 prevented teachers from rendering effective support, which causes uncertainty among learners in regard to what is expected of them when working on classroom tasks. This uncertainty leads to extraneous cognitive load. <![CDATA[<b>A socially inclusive teaching strategy: A liberating pedagogy for responding to English literacy problems</b>]]> Socially inclusive strategies encourage empowering, progressive and sustainable responses to social challenges and needs. These strategies are made possible through inclusion and equitable consideration of diverse contributions of those affected by the problems, and who feel obliged to find solutions to the problems. In this paper, the principles of a free attitude interview technique as well as the critical discourse analysis are used to generate and analyse data. A participatory action research-oriented, socially inclusive teaching strategy was followed that is underpinned by critical emancipatory research principles. The study found that the listening and speaking skills of English first additional language learners improved significantly. This paper demonstrates how a socially inclusive teaching strategy can contribute to strengthening the teaching of listening and speaking skills in English first additional language, to Grade Four learners at a public farm school. Learners' inability to listen attentively and speak fluently requires the application of an adequately responsive teaching strategy that focuses on improving learners' listening and speaking skills in early stages of learning. The purpose of implementing the strategy is to contribute towards improving learners' listening and speaking capabilities. This will in turn improve learners' chances of doing well in other subjects.