Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Educational Research for Social Change]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2221-407020170002&lang=en vol. 6 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>A nonviolent pedagogical approach for Life Orientation teacher development: the Alternatives to Violence Project</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Violence in South African schools seems to be increasing and the consequences affect not only the physical, emotional, and academic lives of learners but also their resistance to delinquent and criminal behaviour. Because the foundations for youth violence are laid in early adolescence, violence prevention in schools is a critical need. Life orientation (LO) as a compulsory school subject could play a key role in helping South African learners deal with the different manifestations of violence, especially understanding the nature of the institutionalised violence of colonialism and apartheid. LO can also nurture learners' personal development and life skills to increase their sense of agency, a key factor in both violence prevention and learners' decolonisation processes. However, various South African studies attest to the current low status of LO in the school curriculum as well as the difficulties of teaching LO. Many of these studies also mention the inadequacy of LO teachers' preparation for meaningful LO teaching. Given that equipping current-day South African learners with the self-empowerment skills necessary for preventing everyday conflicts from escalating into violence also entails this complex decolonisation process to liberate them of past or still present oppressions, this paper contends that LO teachers need to have first participated in such self-development processes themselves. For these reasons, this article proposes a specific development strategy to support LO teachers, namely, that they participate in workshops of the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP),1 which applies a nonviolent pedagogical approach in its focus on self-empowerment and creative conflict management. The article discusses the benefits of such an approach and conceptually explores how AVP has the potential to provide LO teachers with practical strategies for creative, affirming responses to conflict and violence. <![CDATA[<b>Teachers as curriculum leaders: towards promoting gender equity as a democratic ideal</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Curriculum is a site of political, racial, gendered, and theological dispute. Teachers who acknowledge this and see the implications for democratic living embrace their teaching practice as curriculum leaders and participate in complicated conversations. With the focus on gender equity as a democratic ideal, this article explores the lived experiences of some South African female teachers. From the findings, it became evident that some teachers still experience their school contexts as pervaded with patriarchy and sexism, and often fear confronting these traditional discourses. Engaging with subject matter that is likely to cause conflict or confrontation is avoided by some teachers because they do not feel comfortable in such contexts. However, some teachers do emerge as activists for gender justice and create awareness of injustice. These teachers are curriculum leaders who advocate for social change. This article concludes by putting forward some suggestions for how teachers can promote social change through their teaching practices. <![CDATA[<b>Espoused and enacted values of student teachers interrogating race, class, and gender in literary texts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en While South Africa has embraced a democratic ideal for over 20 years, the dynamics of race, class, and gender have not been fully engaged with. In an educational setting, such as a university lecture room, active interrogation of these and other issues may present opportunities for understanding and change. In this article, the authors present findings from a participatory action research study that used literary texts as catalysts to interrogate issues of race, class, and gender. The study was underpinned by critical pedagogy and asserted an empowerment and transformation agenda. Using qualitatively analysed data from observations, interviews, focus groups, and written tasks, the authors found that while the student teachers in a teacher education programme espoused certain values related to characters, events, and issues in the literary texts studied, what they said they do in their daily lives proved contradictory. However, as the six cycles of the study proceeded, awareness of the complexities of the student teachers' lives and the contradictions inherent in their behaviours enabled the student teachers to interrogate issues of race, class, and gender from an informed position, and helped engender their journeys towards empowerment and transformation. <![CDATA[<b>Privilege, poverty, and pedagogy: reflections on the introduction of a service-learning component into a postgraduate political studies course</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper reflects on the experience of integrating a service-learning component into a postgraduate course in political studies. The course in question aims to get students to reflect on the ways in which poverty and privilege are tied up with each other, and on whether and how the relatively privileged can be involved in helpful ways in struggles against oppression. The service-learning component involved spending a week volunteering with a rural community-based organisation. Students were required to relate their volunteering experience to the course content. The paper reflects on the implications of the course's failure to live up to many criteria for quality service-learning, arguing that despite its failings, the service-learning experience significantly enhanced the learning of the students and also my own learning as an educator. I show that the nature of this learning calls into question some possible assumptions about how service-learning ought to be done. The paper contributes to ongoing discussions about the ways in which service-learning can assist in the achievement of social justice-related goals. <![CDATA[<b>A multidisciplinary approach to university engagement: key considerations for dynamic mental health teaching and service provision to a disadvantaged community</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Scholarship has an obligation to society in that what is discovered through research and what is taught in the lecture hall should extend beyond the classroom and benefit the community. As a hub of training and knowledge in a local community, the challenge for a university exists in integrating community needs and university resources. Mental health is one discipline where this is particularly relevant and urgent due to the growing need for mental health interventions, particularly in under-serviced communities. A university is well positioned to develop a dynamic multidisciplinary approach to the biopsychosocial teaching of mental health practice and community service provision because it has extensive access to networks of current and future professionals. This reflective article explains the development of such a university-community collaborative initiative attached to the Missionvale Psychology Centre (MPC) at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) located in Port Elizabeth. It examines the broader teaching and learning opportunities afforded the students as well as the need to deliver a much needed service to the local community. In this article, the initiative is qualitatively analysed through the lens of a combination of observational experience and self-reflection. Insights gained and lessons learnt could benefit other health professionals in comparable positions who are faced with similar challenges in response to student training agendas and the social responsibility of universities in developing countries. <![CDATA[<b>Cultivating social entrepreneurial capacities in students through film: implications for social entrepreneurship education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In South Africa, the economic, social, and political institutions designed to provide for the basic needs and fundamental rights of all citizens in society are failing to address the escalating socioeconomic problems for large segments of the population. Studies suggest that the provision of entrepreneurship education strengthens the entrepreneurial capacity of students to launch new ventures, which has economic implications in society (Mars, Slaughter, & Rhoades, 2008). Although much progress has been made, the authors argue that social entrepreneurship (SE) is not adequately taught in South African schools, and that this could be partially addressed by introducing SE education into the curriculum for preservice educators. In this regard, teaching and learning activities should be directed towards enhancing preservice teachers' sense of SE theory, and practical knowledge to inculcate an awareness of how SE can help deal with social injustices. Using a distinct case study that explicates teaching and learning through the use of film and online discussion groups, the authors show how spaces can be created to facilitate deliberative pedagogical engagement. The authors conclude that SE education offers valuable opportunities for dialogical (deliberative) pedagogical engagement, and should be considered as a constitutive element of higher education. <![CDATA[<b>Phantasmagoria: communicating an illusion of entrepreneurship in South African school textbooks</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this article, we examine discourses of entrepreneurship manifest in selected textbooks used in South African primary schools in the postapartheid era. While an attempt was made to purge school textbooks of discriminatory subject matter, the extent to which new powerful discourses have replaced apartheid ideology remains unknown. There is little dispute that school textbook content communicates subliminal messages about the world. Using critical discourse analysis, we reveal constituted and constitutive ideology at work in the textbooks under study. A dominant discourse that emerged was that individuals in society are responsible for their own economic sustainability despite prevailing and historic conditions of oppression and subjugation, and that entrepreneurship is a readily viable way to achieve economic emancipation because it naturally leads to wealth creation. It communicates as a subtle yet deliberate attempt by the state to displace its responsibility for the economic welfare of the individual citizen. The textbooks uncritically legitimate the values of the neoliberal market system. In this paper, we urge the development of a heightened sensitivity when teacher educators, teachers, and learners engage with such ideological persuasions. <![CDATA[<b>An autoethnographic exploration of disability discourses: transforming science education and research for students with learning disabilities</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this autoethnographic inquiry, I examine the dominant disability discourses that inform practice and research in science education for individuals with disabilities. Guided by my experience as a practitioner-researcher, I use reflexive vignettes and photo elicitation to discuss and critique disability discourses (e.g., the medical and social models of disability) that construct students with learning disabilities (LD) as disadvantaged learners. For example, the medical model of disability pathologises students with LD by focusing on their individual deficits and blaming them for their academic struggles and failures in science. In contrast, the social model of disability locates the problem solely within the students' environment (e.g., teaching strategies) and does not consider within-individual issues (e.g., cognitive deficits). By navigating through these discourses, I found my voice as a practitioner-researcher in Bronfenbrenner's (2005) ecological model, which recognises that individuals' barriers stem from their characteristics as well as their complex, multilayered environment. This article, embedded within a reflexive process, illuminates my journey of self-transformation as a practitioner-researcher while transforming and bringing educational changes to the academic lives of my students with LD. <![CDATA[<b>Academic autoethnographies: inside teaching in higher education by Daisy Pillay, Inbanathan Naicker, and Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan (Editors)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this autoethnographic inquiry, I examine the dominant disability discourses that inform practice and research in science education for individuals with disabilities. Guided by my experience as a practitioner-researcher, I use reflexive vignettes and photo elicitation to discuss and critique disability discourses (e.g., the medical and social models of disability) that construct students with learning disabilities (LD) as disadvantaged learners. For example, the medical model of disability pathologises students with LD by focusing on their individual deficits and blaming them for their academic struggles and failures in science. In contrast, the social model of disability locates the problem solely within the students' environment (e.g., teaching strategies) and does not consider within-individual issues (e.g., cognitive deficits). By navigating through these discourses, I found my voice as a practitioner-researcher in Bronfenbrenner's (2005) ecological model, which recognises that individuals' barriers stem from their characteristics as well as their complex, multilayered environment. This article, embedded within a reflexive process, illuminates my journey of self-transformation as a practitioner-researcher while transforming and bringing educational changes to the academic lives of my students with LD. <![CDATA[<b>Framing/Reframing: Visual Sociology, Goffman & the Everyday 35th International Visual Sociology Conference 19-22 June 2017. Concordia University, Montreal, Canada</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2221-40702017000200011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this autoethnographic inquiry, I examine the dominant disability discourses that inform practice and research in science education for individuals with disabilities. Guided by my experience as a practitioner-researcher, I use reflexive vignettes and photo elicitation to discuss and critique disability discourses (e.g., the medical and social models of disability) that construct students with learning disabilities (LD) as disadvantaged learners. For example, the medical model of disability pathologises students with LD by focusing on their individual deficits and blaming them for their academic struggles and failures in science. In contrast, the social model of disability locates the problem solely within the students' environment (e.g., teaching strategies) and does not consider within-individual issues (e.g., cognitive deficits). By navigating through these discourses, I found my voice as a practitioner-researcher in Bronfenbrenner's (2005) ecological model, which recognises that individuals' barriers stem from their characteristics as well as their complex, multilayered environment. This article, embedded within a reflexive process, illuminates my journey of self-transformation as a practitioner-researcher while transforming and bringing educational changes to the academic lives of my students with LD.