South African Journal of Education
Print version ISSN 0256-0100
WEEKS, F H. The quest for a culture of learning: a South African schools perspective. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.1, pp. 1-14. ISSN 0256-0100.
Within the media and the literature the need is often expressed for the establishment of a culture of learning within South African schools. The contrasting view tends to be one of dysfunctional schools that have come into being, giving rise to significant learner behaviour problems and poor pass rates being encountered in practice. This paper is directed at gaining conceptual clarity as to what is meant by a "culture of learning" and exploring two fundamentally different views as to how such a culture can be nurtured within South African schools. The study is based on a multidisciplinary literature review to gain an understanding of the concept and the theories advocated for bringing about a culture change. A key finding emanating from the study is that the traditional culture management approach advocated in the literature may not be all that effective in practice and that an alternative approach that views "culture of learning" as an emergent phenomenon that has its origins in the social interaction taking place within classrooms, schools and learning communities may be more effective.