Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Childhood Education]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2223-768220220001&lang=en vol. 12 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Cultural adaptation and Northern Sotho translation of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: In recent reviews of autism spectrum disorder screening tools, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-Up (M-CHAT-R/F TM) has been recommended for use in lower middle-income countries to promote earlier identification AIM: The study aim was to culturally adapt and translate the M-CHAT-R/F TM into Northern Sotho, a South African language. SETTING: An expert panel was purposively selected for the review and focus group discussion that was conducted within an academic context. METHOD: The source translation (English) was reviewed by bilingual Northern Sotho-English speech-language therapists who made recommendations for cultural adaptation. A double translation method was used, followed by a multidisciplinary expert panel discussion and a self-completed questionnaire. RESULTS: Holistic review of test, additional remarks and grammar and phrasing were identified as the most prominent themes of the panel discussion, emphasising the equivalence of the target translation. CONCLUSION: A South African culturally adapted English version of the M-CHAT-R/F TM is now available along with the preliminary Northern Sotho version of the M-CHAT-R/F TM. The two versions can now be confirmed by gathering empirical evidence of reliability and validity <![CDATA[<b>The inclusiveness of mixed ability grouping in Johannesburg primary schools</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: South Africa adopted the policy on inclusive education in 2001 that aimed at offering quality and equity in education to all learners, as well as addressing their diverse needs in the classrooms despite their differences. Mixed ability grouping is one of the commonly used classroom practices in the schools, but little is known on how it reflects on principles of inclusivity. AIM: The study aimed to explore how mixed ability grouping reflects on inclusivity as one of the commonly used classroom practices. SETTING: This qualitative study embedded in descriptive phenomenology was carried out in six selected primary schools of Johannesburg's Metropolitan region of South Africa. METHODS: Six participants and their classrooms were purposefully sampled, and data were collected through observations and in-depth interviews with each individual participant. Data were analysed thematically and the organisation of the emerging themes was informed by Florian and Black-Hawkins' model on inclusive pedagogy. RESULTS: Findings of this study revealed that mixed ability grouping takes into account learners' levels of academic performance, gender parity, age of learners, as well as learners' backgrounds leading to diverse learners accepting one another in the classrooms. However, there are challenges in providing differentiated instruction, using appropriate teaching/learning media, and opportunities for individualised instruction according to learner needs. CONCLUSION: The study argues that for mixed ability grouping to be more inclusive, it has to provide for differentiated instruction within the same group setups, use teaching/learning media that are tailored to meet specific needs of individual learners, as well as offering individual instruction to learners who need it. <![CDATA[<b>Effectiveness of reception class teachers' pedagogical approaches in delivering pre-primary curriculum - Evidence from practice</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: This report is part of a study commissioned to provide evidence to inform quality improvements, and the rolling out of the public reception class programme (RCP) to all public primary schools in Botswana by 2020. The study adopted the Discrepancy Evaluation Model (DEM) as a theoretical framework. AIM: One of the specific objectives of the study was to determine the effectiveness of the programme in terms of the RCP curriculum coverage and the teachers' effectiveness in delivering the curriculum. The aim of the study reported in this article was therefore to determine the reception class teachers' pedagogical approaches in delivering the RCP curriculum. SETTING: The study was conducted in Botswana where early childhood care and education was provided by private providers until 2014 when the government of Botswana introduced the RCP in public primary schools. METHODS: The study utilised a multi-method design. Stratified random sampling was used to select 10% of the 539 public primary schools that had implemented the programme since 2014 when it was introduced. An analysis tool based on the revised Bloom's Taxonomy was used to analyse the content, as well as the level of coverage of important skills within the RCP curriculum. Questionnaires were used to gather information from teachers. Interviews were used to gather information from principal education officers (PEOs) who are part of the inspectorate. Feedback received from these participants was considered as indicating performance, according to the DEM. This performance was then compared with standards (with the RCP curriculum) to determine if any discrepancies existed. RESULTS: Findings indicated that the RCP curriculum was adequate in coverage of skills at various levels of knowledge, understanding and appreciation. However, in some learning areas, certain competencies and performance targets were pitched at higher-order thinking. This resulted in most teachers focusing on achieving performance targets instead of following performance indicators to develop particular skills. As a result, learners demonstrated achievement of performance targets yet their developmental process skills were not fully accomplished CONCLUSION: The RCP generally had a sound teaching cadre which would generate a considerable impact on the programme, should their pedagogical approaches not be derailed by the desire to fulfil performance targets at the expense of developmental process skills. <![CDATA[<b>The construction of knowledge through visual perceptual training in visual arts</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: Visual perception and observational skills are an essential part of Visual Arts education, through which young learners, in the primary school, acquire important and necessary skills to create artworks during their creative projects. These skills provide learners in the primary school the opportunity to overcome their self-imposed criticism to their own works of art. Similar research projects highlight the inability of learners in the middle childhood to creatively express what they visually perceive. AIM: The study sought to assist learners in the middle childhood to overcome the slump in their creative attempts through a series of visual sharpening exercises, in the form of an Art intervention. SETTING: A qualitative case study with elements of action research was conducted at a single site at a primary school in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. METHODS: The participants of the study comprised of four grade 5 classes divided into a test group and control group. The intervention was administered to the test group in the form of visual sharpening exercises. The practical projects of four grade 5 classes were assessed, analysed, compared, and the findings were discussed according to the themes identified during the study. RESULTS: The results indicate factors that might influence the visual perceptual skills of learners in middle childhood, while completing Visual Art projects. Analysis of the research data revealed an increase in the test group's score compared to the control group. There was a marked effect on the test group participants' ability to record what they visually perceived. CONCLUSION: This study investigated and highlights shortcomings in the CAPS Visual Art curriculum for Grade 5. Bridging the gap between practice and curriculum shortfalls is important. The study suggests that the Department of Education (DoE) should supplement the Visual Arts curriculum with visual perceptual training for middle childhood learners. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of the concept education programme on 48-60-month-old children's visual-spatial perception mechanisms</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: To understand how the human brain organises the information, how prototypes are handled in the categorisation system, researchers have pointed out that there may be a relationship between visual perception and concept acquisition. AIM: This study was conducted to examine the effect of a concept education programme, developed on the basis of a configured concept map, on the visual-spatial perception mechanisms of children between the ages of 48 and 60 months who were selected through random sampling from central kindergartens. SETTING: The experimental group and control group each included 59 children. For data collection, the Frostig developmental test of visual perception and the Boehm Test of Basic Preschool Concepts-3 were used. METHODS: The experimental group and control group each included 59 children. For data collection, the Frostig developmental test of visual perception and the Boehm Test of Basic Preschool Concepts-3 were used.Additionally, the concept education programme based on configured concept map was developed by consulting expert opinions, and this programme was applied to the experimental group. RESULTS: In assessing the relationship between pre- and post-test scores, the findings indicate that a significant increase occurred in favour of the post-test results. However, a significant relationship favouring the experimental group was present between the post-test scores of experimental and control groups. No significant difference was found between the post-test/monitoring measurements regarding visual-spatial perception and Boehm-3 concept skills. The data suggest that the concept education programme supported the development of children's visual perception skills. CONCLUSION: On the basis of the study results, parents, teachers and researchers are recommended to use concept maps in the learning processes, particularly those related to visual-spatial perception. <![CDATA[<b>Do student teachers see what learners see? - Avoiding instructional dissonance when designing worksheets</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: The judicious use of worksheets ought to contribute to the establishment of literacy, with a special significance for multilingual classrooms where neither teachers nor learners are mother tongue speakers of the instructional language. Disparity between the pedagogical intention of the worksheet and learners' interpretation of the message often creates instructional dissonance AIM AND SETTING: The aim of this nested study was to establish the quality, and (mis)use of worksheets as implemented by student teachers during their work-integrated learning stint in selected urban South African primary schools. DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY: Using a self-designed grid, a qualitative document analysis underpinned by visual ethnography was conducted on 45 worksheets. These texts were prepared by the student teachers for literacy, numeracy and life skills lessons offered to 6- to 9-year-olds. Criteria used for the simple analysis included appropriateness for the age group, visual complexity, accuracy of language use, cultural compatibility, layout, clarity of instructions and alignment with expected learning outcomes. FINDINGS: Findings suggested the hasty conceptualisation and creation, or inappropriate choice of worksheets used as learning support material. Apart from linguistic barriers because of poorly formulated tasks, the worksheets were generally culturally insensitive, and contained grammatical inaccuracies compounded by technical and design shortcomings. These lacunae defeated the pedagogical purpose of most worksheets and generated instructional dissonance CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHER EDUCATION: The careful crafting and implementation of worksheets coupled with sound content knowledge of language and literacy principles would alleviate learner bafflement and enhance the learning opportunity. We take the position that well-designed worksheets should serve a focused purpose and link directly to literacy and learning of the instructional language. <![CDATA[<b>Learning at home for Grade 1 learners in disadvantaged communities: Insights from the Sandbox@Home COVID-19-response intervention</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: The spread of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has escalated the need for studying the home learning environment (HLE). With learners spending more time at home, understanding about learning at home, especially in disadvantaged communities, is paramount. AIM: The aim of this research study was to explore the HLE for foundation phase learners by analysing data from an intervention that aspired to support organised learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. SETTING: This research study was conducted telephonically with families from 11 schools (10 in the Waterberg district, Limpopo and one in Soweto, Gauteng. METHODS: Qualitative data (recorded phone interviews) were collected from caregivers and learners from 17 households. The interview recordings were transcribed and translated into English. The constant comparative method of data analysis was used to analyse interview transcripts. RESULTS: Three themes emerged from the analysis: (1) challenges of learning at home, (2) perceived benefits of learning at home and (3) the desire to continue with the programme even after schools re-opened. The data showed that having access to learning material facilitated learning at home. Additionally, caregivers noted benefits to learners from engaging in learning activities. However, there were also challenges in facilitating learning at home. These include caregivers not following the learning guidelines provided. CONCLUSION: Caregivers appreciated having access to learning material and were willing to facilitate learning at home. However, the challenges they faced resulted in them not executing the programme effectively. Future studies and interventions should explore how to provide adequate and accessible support to caregivers. <![CDATA[<b>Availability and use of infrastructural resources in promoting quality early childhood care and education in registered early childhood development centres</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: Quality early childhood development (ECD) is crucial for protecting children against a multitude of socio-economic challenges such as poor living standards, lack of education, and substandard healthcare. Furthermore, research has revealed that educational resources used at ECD centres enrich the all-round well-being of young children. Despite these findings, the provision of educational resources in the ECD learning environment has received little or no attention at national and local levels. AIM: This study aimed to explore registered ECD centres to understand the available infrastructure resources and how they are used to promote quality early childhood care and education (ECCE). SETTING: A sample of eight participants (four ECD centre principals and four practitioners) from four registered ECD centres were purposively selected in suburban and township areas of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa. METHODS: An interpretative, qualitative multiple case study was used and the Woodhead quality framework for ECD centres was used as a guide for this study. Data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews, non-participant observation and field notes RESULTS: The findings revealed that practitioners know how the use of learning resources improve young children's growth and development. However, the township centres have fewer infrastructure resources that promote quality ECCE because of the dire socio-economic conditions of the parents. CONCLUSION: The lack of modern and age-appropriate play equipment at township registered centres indicated that the (township) practitioners are not able to use such equipment, even though they are aware of their benefits in promoting quality ECCE. Hence, quality ECCE is not equally available. The great equaliser, called ECCE, is merely a smokescreen. <![CDATA[<b>Pretend play in pre-schoolers: Need for structured and free play in pre-schools</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: Pretend play is a form of play that involves nonliteral actions. There are limited studies reporting the developmental trends of pretend play behaviours of typically developing pre-schoolers. This knowledge would be beneficial in the early identification of deviations in pre-schoolers who have or are at risk of developing developmental disabilities. AIM: The present study aimed to describe the developmental trends in pretend play skills across different age groups of pre-schoolers. The study also aimed to understand the differential patterns in pretend play observed across the Free Play and Structured Toy Play scenarios SETTING: This study was conducted on pre-schoolers in a classroom of the school. METHOD: The study followed a cross-sectional study design. Forty-eight participants were recruited for the study and were divided into four groups. A video recording of the child's pretend play skills was recorded using a Sony-HDRCX405 camcorder in Free Play and Structured Toy Play scenarios. The recorded video was coded and analysed for the occurrence of pretend play skills using the Play in Early Childhood Evaluation System (PIECES) coding scheme RESULTS: The study results depict a developmental trend in the occurrences of pretend play skills in pre-schoolers. It also emphasises the importance of amalgamation of Structured Toy Play and Free Play scenarios for the child's holistic development because of the unique benefits of each scenario. CONCLUSION: The study findings could help in the formulation of Individualised Education Programme objectives for typically developing children and children with developmental disabilities involving play, thus enabling these children experience normalised, contextually pertinent experiences like their peers. <![CDATA[<b>Finding myself by involving children in self-study research methodology: A gentle reminder to live freely</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: This article describes my exploration of social and emotional learning as a primary school teacher in a Grade 4 classroom. AIM: This article aimed to illuminate how I improved my teaching practice through valuing and listening to children's voices. SETTING: I am a teacher at a primary school in the Umlazi education district, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. As a PhD candidate, I explored social and emotional learning in a Grade 4 classroom from a scholarly perspective. METHOD: I present a detailed description of the methodological interactions and the theoretical underpinning that guided my interactions with the Grade 4 study participants. I documented the lessons, which were audio-recorded and photographed, in my teaching development portfolio. By employing self-study research and adopting a sociocultural theoretical perspective, I explored the principles of social justice. The importance of working collaboratively with children in a primary school educational setting to make sense of both the teacher's and the learners' collective and individual experiences is emphasised. The methodology included working with critical friends to help me uncover different ways of making sense of my research and to enhance my own learning about teaching. RESULTS: The findings affirm that young children's voices need to be foregrounded to enhance teaching and learning practices. Children's dignity and perspectives need to be acknowledged as they are the key contributors to and recipients of educational processes CONCLUSION: The study affirms the importance of crediting young learners' diverse perspectives and lived experiences in classroom interactions and asserts that this obligates teachers to listen to children emotively and consciously. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of a parental mHealth resource on language outcomes in 4- to 5-year-old children</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: The use of mobile health (mHealth) technology is rapidly expanding in healthcare worldwide. mHealth tools may provide parents with access to resources essential for promoting language development. AIM: The current study aimed to determine how an mHealth parental resource influenced 42 preschool children's (4.0-5.11 months old) language abilities after a 17-week intervention period. SETTING: Participants were identified from six early childhood development (ECD) centres from a low-income community in Tshwane, South Africa. METHOD: A randomised controlled trial (RCT), pre-test post-test research design was employed to determine whether an mHealth parental resource influenced 42 preschool children's (4.0-5.11 months old) language abilities after a 17-week intervention period. Data were collected using the language subtests of a South African standardised protocol, the Emergent Literacy and Language Assessment Protocol (ELLA). RESULTS: The parental mHealth application targeting language stimulation did not significantly improve the experimental group's language outcomes when compared with the control group because most of the parents (n = 27) used the application for less than 20% of the active days. CONCLUSION: Providing parents with more support with mobile resources may lead to improved usage of the application. <![CDATA[<b>Litigation and social mobilisation for early childhood development during COVID-19 and beyond</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: Litigation has been utilised to advance a range of socio-economic rights in post-apartheid South Africa, including the right to basic education. Nonetheless, there has not been significant litigation or sustained broad-based mobilisation around issues impacting the early childhood development (ECD) sector in the democratic era. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, however, saw some ECD stakeholders turning to the courts to advocate for their survival, as well as to mobilise and advocate for sector reforms. AIM: This article aimed to critically reflect on the role of litigation and social mobilisation in advancing the right to ECD during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. SETTING: The article assesses two South African cases with national implications. METHODS: The article critically assesses two South African cases relating to ECD during the pandemic. At the time of writing, these were the only South African judgements specifically relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the ECD sector RESULTS: The two cases played an important role in: (1) reopening the ECD sector during the pandemic; and (2) making efforts to ensure that the sector could remain open. However, the cases were not based on a holistic rights-based approach to ECD, which remains an area for further development. CONCLUSION: The article concludes that litigation may play a significant role in advancing children's rights to ECD, particularly as a complement to broader social mobilisation strategies. The cases highlight the (1) need and potential for building a holistic rights-based foundation of ECD jurisprudence post the pandemic; and (2) strategic use of litigation interventions as part of broader mobilisation strategies. <![CDATA[<b>Priorities for access to early childhood development services for children with disabilities in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: South Africa has migrated the responsibility for early childhood development (ECD) centres from the Department of Social Services to the Department of Basic Education. This functional shift has ushered in consultations and discussions on how best to implement ECD, including opportunities the change may bring. AIM: By anchoring the understanding of ECD services in nurturing care, this study aimed to elucidate the provision of appropriate, inclusive services in early childhood development, including early childhood intervention, for children with disabilities in South Africa against the backdrop of the migration of services from one government ministry to another. METHODS: This is an analytical article based on South African literature on ECD services, including interventions, with particular attention to children with disabilities, basing our understanding of these services in nurturing care. RESULTS: We elucidate how the ideals of the Nurturing Care Framework can be achieved in the context of children with disabilities in South Africa using five themes: the need to localise services, developing tools and strategies for screening and early intervention, enhancing the efficacy of caregivers, supporting and training staff and collaborations. CONCLUSION: It is necessary to empower caregivers and professionals to address early childhood intervention and ECD needs of children with disabilities. Early childhood development centres are an important context for nurturing care, providing opportunities to promote and sustain health amongst a large number of children. Considering the function shift of ECD services in South Africa, these centres are well positioned to further nurturing care to children with disabilities through the provision of supportive environments that promote health and well-being. <![CDATA[<b>Classroom factors that contribute to emotional intelligence in the case of primary school learners</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: A healthy classroom climate has been related to the socioemotional development of learners. This, in turn, has been associated with an increase in academic success, intrapersonal skills and the quality of interpersonal relationships. AIM: This study aimed to investigate the impact of classroom climate on the emotional intelligence (EI) levels of South African primary school learners. The aim was also to determine which classroom factors promote, and which inhibit the development of EI. SETTING: A purposive sample of 119 primary school learners from six classes in two government schools in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal was drawn. Ethical clearance and permission for the study were obtained from the relevant stake holders. Informed consent was obtained from the parents or guardians as well as the participants. METHODS: The My Class Inventory (short form) (MCI-SF) and the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (Child Short Form) (TEIQue-CSF) were administered. The former is a measure of classroom climate. Relations between classroom climate factors and EI were explored by means of Pearson's correlations and stepwise multiple regression analysis. ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare the performance of the learners in the different classes in terms of these variables. RESULTS: Results indicated a strong relation between classroom climate and EI; satisfaction and cohesiveness correlated positively with EI levels, whilst friction, competitiveness and difficulty correlated negatively with EI levels. CONCLUSION: The results contribute to the understanding of the development of a positive classroom climate. Intervention at classroom level might be a more viable option in resource-strapped contexts. <![CDATA[<b>Community's knowledge, attitude and practices towards inclusive home based early childhood education in Uganda: Lessons for scaling deep</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: Most innovations that would help to provide inclusive home-based early learning for children in marginalised communities sometimes collapse when the funders pull out. One of the reasons for this has been lack of information on the dynamics in such communities that can help to sustain such innovations. AIM: This study aimed to provide information on what communities in the study area know, their attitude and practices that can sustain home-based early learning initiatives. SETTING: The study setting was in rural districts with marginalised communities, two in eastern and the other two in central Uganda. METHODS: This study uses an exploratory approach to collect data through interviews and focus group discussions in the selected Ugandan communities. Data were collected from 120 purposively sampled parents, caregivers and teachers using in-depth interviews RESULTS: 1) Participants support the establishment of inclusive home learning centres and already have learning expectations of their children by the age of 6 years. (2) While women are more available for early childhood care services, men are supportive of inclusive education. (3) Cases of children with special needs are more prevalent in the study area, suggesting that many more could be found than currently known. CONCLUSION: The study concludes that communities have preferences for some activities carried out in the centres if established. This study provides an advance information that is useful for planning by agencies and government departments that may want to support establishment of such centres in marginalised communities. <![CDATA[<b>Functional near-infrared spectroscopy as a tool to assess brain activity in educational settings: An introduction for educational researchers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: Educational research has been conducted mainly by using behavioural approaches. Whilst such methods provide invaluable insights into the field, several important questions such as 'how do we learn?' and 'what mechanisms cause individual differences?' cannot be answered thoroughly by using only behavioural approaches. In the last three decades, the advances of neuroimaging technologies and computational power have allowed researchers to investigate these questions beyond behavioural measures that provide complementary knowledge about human brain. AIM: One of the most recent neuroimaging techniques that holds much promise for use in educational settings is functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). This article aims to introduce the fNIRS technique to educational researchers interested in neurocognitive mechanisms of academic learning and achievements to further promote the growing field of Educational Neuroscience. METHOD: We present the properties of the fNIRS device, its basic principles and important considerations when planning an fNIRS study. RESULTS: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy is a portable, cost-effective and easy-to-handle neuroimaging device that allows experimentation in naturalistic settings such as in the school. CONCLUSION: Even though several articles describe different applications and technical features of the fNIRS technique, there is still a need for materials with a more accessible language for those unfamiliar with neuroscientific and technical terms. <![CDATA[<b>Corrigendum: Teachers' perspectives on learners with reading and writing difficulties in mainstream government primary schools in Mauritius</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2223-76822022000100017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en BACKGROUND: Educational research has been conducted mainly by using behavioural approaches. Whilst such methods provide invaluable insights into the field, several important questions such as 'how do we learn?' and 'what mechanisms cause individual differences?' cannot be answered thoroughly by using only behavioural approaches. In the last three decades, the advances of neuroimaging technologies and computational power have allowed researchers to investigate these questions beyond behavioural measures that provide complementary knowledge about human brain. AIM: One of the most recent neuroimaging techniques that holds much promise for use in educational settings is functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). This article aims to introduce the fNIRS technique to educational researchers interested in neurocognitive mechanisms of academic learning and achievements to further promote the growing field of Educational Neuroscience. METHOD: We present the properties of the fNIRS device, its basic principles and important considerations when planning an fNIRS study. RESULTS: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy is a portable, cost-effective and easy-to-handle neuroimaging device that allows experimentation in naturalistic settings such as in the school. CONCLUSION: Even though several articles describe different applications and technical features of the fNIRS technique, there is still a need for materials with a more accessible language for those unfamiliar with neuroscientific and technical terms.