Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=2520-986820210003&lang=pt vol. num. 84 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Interlocking inequalities, conflicts, and crises: COVID-19 and education in the Global South</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[<b>Crises and disruptions: Educational reflections, (re)imaginings, and (re)vitalization</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt COVID-19 has illuminated and exacerbated inequities, yet, as a crisis, it is not exceptional in its effect on education. We start this critical essay by situating the crisis in its historical, economic, and political contexts, illustrating how crisis and violence intersect as structural conditions of late modernity, capitalism, and their education systems. Situating the current crisis contextually lays the foundation to analyse how it has been interpreted through three sets of policy imaginaries, characterised by the notions of learning loss and building back better and by solutions primarily based on techno-education. These concepts reflect and are reflective of the international aid and development paradigm during the pandemic. Building on this analysis, we present, in the final section, an alternative radical vision that calls on a sociology of possibilities and pedagogies of hope that we see to be central to a new people-centred education imaginary to disrupt current inequalities and provide a new way of doing rather than a return to a business-as-usual approach in and through education. <![CDATA[<b>African female university students' experiences of online education at home during the COVID-19 pandemic</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The purpose of the study on which this paper is based was to explore how self-identified female African university students understand the influence of their home environments on their experiences of online education. The study took place during the COVID-19 pandemic when universities in South Africa and elsewhere introduced online teaching and learning. Using a qualitative approach to a single case study design within a critical feminist paradigm, we carried out an inductive thematic analysis of the data from seven in-depth, open-ended questionnaires and metaphors. We found that home environments play an important role in the education of female African students, particularly in a context characterised by gender inequalities exacerbated by inequities in material resources. However, a sense of agency, displayed by some participants, indicated their determination to rise above the many forms of marginalisation and discrimination they experienced. <![CDATA[<b>Education lecturers' perceptions of organising systematic online teaching and learning during COVID-19 pandemic conditions in 2020 at two selected universities in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, we view epistemological access as organising systematic teaching and learning, and we focus on teaching and learning online during COVID-19 pandemic conditions in 2020. We used a Survey Monkey questionnaire with two universities in South Africa that moved their teaching and learning online to survey whether lecturers thought that the extent of epistemological access was affected when this happened. Our findings indicate that lecturers feel that the emergency teaching and learning did compromise their teaching, and, while most used existing face-to-face materials online, and some changed the content when they went online, they changed the assessment formats. We argue that these changes, although understandable given pandemic conditions, did not necessarily constitute the kind of carefully designed, paced, sequenced, and assessed online teaching and learning that also enhances epistemological access. We indicate that if one is to accept that the so-called new normal in education will largely be online, then the quality assurance of online teaching and learning will become unavoidable. <![CDATA[<b>21st Century competencies in Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Rhetoric and reality in the wake of a pandemic</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt There is general agreement about the need for vocational education and training to embrace so-called modern technologies in gearing up to deliver to young people a broad range of what have become known as 21st century competencies, of which digital literacy, self-directed learning, and adaptive learning are but three. Recent Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policies in South Africa incorporate the language of future competencies that ought to be acquired by college students through their curricula and delivered by lecturers with appropriate professional training. But in April 2020, confronted by the global COVID-19 pandemic and an immediate hard lockdown, TVET colleges went into crisis mode to try to meet a government demand that no student be left behind. While blended and remote methodologies had been employed to some extent in a few college programmes, the pandemic suddenly launched all lecturers into technology dependent teaching and learning. This article is based on a survey of conveniently selected public TVET college lecturers early in the lockdown who were under enormous pressure to continue the academic programme remotely. The snapshot I obtained was one of anxiety and consternation, but also of deep concern for students and their wellbeing under inordinately difficult conditions. Their conflicting priorities while they tried to balance remote teaching responsibilities and personal needs were illustrative of Maslow's well-known theorisation of humans and their hierarchy of needs. The limited research I conducted for this article was exploratory at a time in the pandemic when there were more questions than answers in every sphere of social interaction. My findings, therefore, do not seek to be definitive and there was full understanding that the education and training landscape was dynamic and shifting. However, what can be shared here is a moment in time to appreciate the experiences of a critical component of the TVET college sector under emergency conditions, and the distance they would have had to traverse towards official exhortations to leave no student behind. <![CDATA[<b>Planning for freedom: From human capital to human capabilities</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, I build on critiques of the dominant skills orthodoxies that underpin National Skills Planning Systems (NSPS). I respond to calls for a broader conceptualisation of skills planning by discussing the contribution that the capability approach brings to the reconceptualisation of the role, purpose, and orientation of NSPS. Applying the capability approach as a thinking tool for building a broader approach to skills planning led to the identification of seven dimensions that frame an emancipatory approach to skills planning. My core argument is that COVID-19 has laid bare the urgent need for new approaches to skills planning that are informed by a different set of assumptions, driven by a different set of indicators, inclusive of different voices, undertaken through different processes, and, importantly, driven by a different set of goals. Responding to the call for a broader approach to skills planning and taking seriously the seven dimensions of an emancipatory skills planning system will require an alternative vision not only of skills and of work, but of society as a whole. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring how the national COVID-19 pandemic policy and its application exposed the fault lines of educational inequality</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt During the COVID-19 pandemic, many surveys in education were conducted. These revealed alarming statistics about learners losing half of the academic year, parents' anxiety about sending children to school, and a minority of education institutions being able to offer online teaching. In response to a cacophony from teachers' and students' unions, school governing body representatives, scientists and education experts, the government decided to close education institutions as part of what was known as the hard lockdown. Against this background, we used critical policy analysis (CPA) to explore decision-making by education departments and the enactment of these decisions at schools. This qualitative study revealed iniquity and inequity as departments of education made decisions to close and reopen institutions. The findings revealed a tension between expectations of producers of policy and enactors of policy within unequal school settings. We recommend a repositioning from the perspective of the dispossessed to inform future policy. <![CDATA[<b>Teacher support, preparedness and resilience during times of crises and uncertainty: COVID-19 and education in the Global South</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing education inequities, further marginalising those with poor and limited education opportunities, particularly in conflict, fragile, and insecure contexts. In the Global South, the COVID-19 pandemic compounds existing crises, frailties, and inequities as the impoverished suffer food insecurity, physical conflict, and crises of health and water. Existing research suggests that the pandemic has further disadvantaged marginalised communities, weakened learner performance, increased learning losses, and stretched already strained education budgets. However, little is known about the role of teachers in the policymaking process relating to matters that have a direct impact on their work. It is this gap that we address in this paper. Drawing on research, commissioned by the Open Society Foundation and Education International, based on a detailed desk-based review and interviews with purposefully selected Teachers' Union and Government officials in eight African countries, we examine the role of teachers in education policy-making processes and the kinds of support made available to them, or the lack thereof, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the conceptual framing of de Sousa Santos's sociology of absences and cognitive injustice, we demonstrate that teachers have been absent from policymaking processes and have not been adequately provided with the necessary professional development (PD) and psychosocial support to navigate the uncertainties and pedagogical requirements imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. <![CDATA[<b>Towards an e-learning ecologies approach to pedagogy in a post-COVID world</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300009&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt In this article, part of the special COVID-19 issue of the Journal of Education, we concentrate on digital technology as one of the core dimensions of education's pandemic-related response. As the default teaching mode during the pandemic, Online Emergency Remote Teaching evoked contentious responses about future education directions in a post-COVID world. We shed light on the role of digital technology in South African education, specifically in relation to current debates on higher education. We present an argument that supports an approach based on e-learning ecologies to pedagogy to inform teaching and learning in institutional contexts. We argue that a reflexive pedagogy-led response to digital technology holds promise for creating a systemic educational approach to promoting students' critical epistemic engagement to enable them to secure viable futures. <![CDATA[<b>The crisis of COVID-19 and opportunities for reimagining education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300010&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Our argument in this brief contribution is that COVID-19 has brought the experience of education to a crisis with respect to its practices and the theories that inform it. The practice crisis is about the glaring inequalities in peoples' access to education. The theory crisis is about how we learn. Our contention is that our dominant cohort learning approaches fail to address the many differences children bring to the learning task. In response we make two key moves: the first is to restore the centrality of cognition in all processes of teaching and learning, and the second is to situate cognition in its full biopsychosocial complexity. With respect to the first move we begin our discussion of teaching and learning with a focus on cognition and particularly on its executive function component. We provide the explanation of what it is, and with that, we move to our second to show the importance of new learnings about epigenetics that explain the significance of the relationship between the biological and the social to the cognitive process. <![CDATA[<b>Community-based learning in higher education: A portal for knowledge production in the time of COVID-19</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300011&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt At the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, the world-renowned writer and political activist, Arundhati Roy, signalled that the pandemic is "a portal, a gateway between one world and the next . . . [and] we can choose to walk through it." Roy's views highlight how we can imagine our world anew through reflection in the time of COVID-19. In this article, we examine the epistemological experiences of students enrolled in a course in community-based learning (CBL) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and consider how CBL during COVID-19 serves as a portal for understanding knowledge that is produced at the nexus between the university and the community. We deemed the Community of Inquiry framework to be a suitable theoretical lens based on its appreciation of the nexus between social (community), teaching (classroom), and cognitive (critical thinking) elements in an online educational experience. Our findings indicate that COVID-19 provides an opportunity for CBL to serve as a portal for understanding how the students' epistemological experiences during the pandemic influenced knowledge production. This is beneficial since university education most often places at the periphery knowledge that students from the surrounding communities bring to the classroom. It is our contention that students bring epistemic value to the university that is not affirmed during the knowledge production process. We conclude that CBL can indeed serve as the gateway for knowledge production between universities and communities during and beyond COVID-19. <![CDATA[<b>Early childhood teachers' and managers' lived experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300012&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020 brought many changes to the early childhood sector internationally. The South African response is best understood in the context of an under-developed sector with pre-existing vulnerabilities. In this article, we present a contextual understanding of the lived experiences of early childhood development (ECD) teachers and managers during the lockdown and the opening phases of a risk-adjusted approach. Our use of a phenomenological lens together with systems theory provides a reality check through a focus on lived experiences. Data were produced through an online survey with 28 ECD teachers and managers. We conducted semi-structured interviews with a subset of 8 of these participants. Findings show that disruptions of COVID-19 led to entrenching inequities in service provision and early learning opportunities. These intersecting dimensions have implications for building effective ECD systems. <![CDATA[<b><i>Teaching in and beyond pandemic times </i>(2021) edited by Jonathan D Jansen and Theola Farmer-Phillips</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2520-98682021000300013&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020 brought many changes to the early childhood sector internationally. The South African response is best understood in the context of an under-developed sector with pre-existing vulnerabilities. In this article, we present a contextual understanding of the lived experiences of early childhood development (ECD) teachers and managers during the lockdown and the opening phases of a risk-adjusted approach. Our use of a phenomenological lens together with systems theory provides a reality check through a focus on lived experiences. Data were produced through an online survey with 28 ECD teachers and managers. We conducted semi-structured interviews with a subset of 8 of these participants. Findings show that disruptions of COVID-19 led to entrenching inequities in service provision and early learning opportunities. These intersecting dimensions have implications for building effective ECD systems.