South African Journal of Education <p>The&nbsp;<em>South African Journal of Education</em>&nbsp;(SAJE) publishes original research articles reporting on research that fulfils the criteria of a generally accepted research paradigm; review articles, intended for the professional scientist and which critically evaluate the research done in a specific field in education; and letters in which criticism is given of articles that appeared in this Journal.</p> <p>Indicate the relevance of the study for education research where the education system is characterised by transformation, and/or an emerging economy/development state, and/or scarce resources. Research articles of localised content, i.e. of interest only to specific areas or specialists and which would not appeal to the broader readership of the Journal, should preferably not be submitted for consideration by the Editorial Committee.</p> <p>Ethical considerations: A brief narrative account/description of ethical issues/aspects should be included in articles that report on empirical findings.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-ZA" style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">SAJE is ISI accredited (in the Social Sciences Citation index), with an impact Factor is&nbsp;0.560 (in 2015).&nbsp; </span></p> <p>Other websites related to this journal: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a> and <a title="" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a></p> Education Association of South Africa en-US South African Journal of Education 0256-0100 <p align="left">If the article is accepted for publication, copyright of this article will be vested in the Education Association of South Africa.</p><p align="left">All articles published in this journal are licensed under the <a href="" target="_blank">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International</a> (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.</p><p align="left"> </p> Digital competencies: perceptions of primary school teachers pursuing master’s degrees from eight African countries <p>The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) highlights the relevance of using information and communications technology (ICT) in education for improving the quality of education. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to extend research on digital competences in education. To advance the development of digital competencies it is necessary to take account of how teachers perceive these. In addition, systematic reviews of the literature on ICT and education show an imbalance regarding the amount of research from Africa compared to other regions of the world. In this sense, the objective of this study carried out between March 2019 and April 2020 was to analyse the perceptions of primary school teachers from 8 African countries about their digital competences. The teachers were master’s students in teacher training on virtual platforms. A mixed methodological perspective (quantitative-qualitative) was adopted and a questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions was applied. The quantitative and qualitative analyses show that the teachers recognised their digital competence at all 3 levels. The needs highlighted by teachers were in developing their knowledge of how to create content with the support of technology. However, the available resources, which differed in the participants’ work contexts and did not enable the equal use of ICT in all African countries, was an important issue highlighted by the participants. It is recommended that teacher training in digital competence is prepared using instructional design that promotes innovation and contact with real teaching-learning situations.</p> Andresa Sartor Harada Juliana Azevedo Gomes Oscar Ulloa Guerra Roberto Ruiz Rubén Calderón Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 “I thought I was going to pass”: Learners’ experiences of grade retention <p>Grade retention is the practice of holding back learners who have failed to meet specific promotional requirements as stipulated by policy, in the same grade. The main objective of the research reported on here was to determine Foundation Phase (Grades 1–3) learners’ experiences and perceptions of grade retention. The theoretical framework used was Messiou’s (2006) conceptualisation of marginalisation. In this study we employed a phenomenographic, qualitative research approach. Twelve participants who had repeated grades in the Foundation Phase at a school in Johannesburg, South Africa, were purposively selected. Data were collected by means of one-on-one interviews, “blob trees”, drawings, and collages from participants about their views and experiences of retention. The findings of this study reveal that learners were not psychologically prepared to be retained. Most learners experienced being bullied by their peers and teachers due to being retained, which led to them feeling excluded and marginalised. A correlation was found between parents’ and teachers’ views of retention and learners’ experiences. Future research should focus on learners’ experiences of retention at different schools and in different school phases in South Africa.</p> Maureen Hadebe Moeniera Moosa Copyright (c) 2023 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 History education and changing epistemic beliefs about history: An intervention in initial teacher training <p>Epistemic beliefs can have an important effect on teaching practices determining how teachers approach a discipline in the classroom in different contexts. The research reported on here focused on initial teacher education, assessing the pre-service social studies teachers’ epistemic beliefs about history, and their ideas regarding history education. We examined the way in which the beliefs of 59 Spanish participants had evolved after an intervention focused the fostering of historical thinking and understanding. A pre-test-post-test quasi-experimental design was applied, using the Beliefs about History Questionnaire (BHQ), which was supplemented by a qualitative approach. Results indicate progression, although it was more noticeable in pre-service primary education teachers who adhered to a more nuanced vision about historical knowledge and both objectivity and subjectivity. The way that participants with different conceptions about history thought about educational aspects were also examined and discussed. Findings suggest the effectiveness of educational interventions in initial teacher training to allow pre-service teachers to understand the specificity of this discipline.</p> Diego Miguel-Revilla María Sánchez-Agustí Teresa Carril-Merino Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 Pre-service teachers’ experiences of schooling: Implications for preparation for inclusive education <p>Teacher educators in South Africa face challenges of preparing new teachers for an inclusive education system that has been accepted as policy but is not yet fully realised in school contexts. Pre-service teachers entering teacher preparation programmes are themselves a product of a schooling system in which many inequalities and marginalising practices are still prevalent. In this article, we present an analysis of the extent to which pre-service teachers’ personal experiences within the schooling system influenced their perceptions about the benefits and drawbacks of 2 common organisational arrangements made for learners who experience barriers to learning. An analysis of empirical data from a questionnaire and individual interviews suggests that participants who had personally observed or experienced particular arrangements were more likely to hold fixed<br>views about their potential benefits or drawbacks. We consider the implications of this finding for teacher education programmes that seek to produce teachers who can teach inclusively in the South African schooling system.</p> Lee Rusznyak Elizabeth Walton Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 Service-based learning experiences of pre-service Turkish teachers: Language teaching to Syrian refugees <p>With this study we aimed at determining the service-learning experiences of pre-service Turkish language teachers in teaching Turkish to Syrian refugee students. The Community Service Practices course plays an important role in the integration of pre-service teachers in the society. A phenomenological design was used in the study in which we investigated the opinions of pre-service teachers about the service-learning processes. The study was conducted with 23 pre-service Turkish language teachers in Kilis 7 Aralık University. The community service practice was realised in a state school where Syrian secondary school students receive education. Interviews were conducted to collect data from the participants, and the content analysis method was used to analyse the data obtained from the interviews. Themes were formed by classifying and interpreting the data. In the study, the experiences of pre-service teachers with students, the teaching process, teaching environment, students,<br>and service-based learning process were analysed. The results indicate that pre-service teachers developed their awareness, took social responsibility, attained occupational experience, and improved their communication with the refugees during the Community Service Practices course. Considering the results obtained it could be argued that service-learning practices have significant benefits for pre-service teachers and students.</p> Nurşat Biçer Yakup Alan Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 Educators’ perceptions of the life orientation programme in schools and its effect on HIV/AIDS <p>The life orientation programme (LOP) was introduced to all schools in South Africa to help learners to, among others, take cognisance of their sexual lives. Before the programme was introduced in the 2006, many learners had become infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The programme was introduced based on the perceptions that some learners were struggling as a result of the epidemic. The main aim of this study was to evaluate educators’ perceptions of their ability to successfully implement the objectives of the programme. In the study we used open-ended questions to explore 8 educators’ perceptions on the programme. Of the 8 educators who responded to the questions in the questionnaire, only 2 were interviewed based on their willingness and commitment to life orientation (LO) in schools. The findings suggest that only 1 of the 8 educators had the relevant training and qualification to teach LO at school. Although the educators considered the programme to have a moderate influence on the learners’ sexual behaviour, we highlight compromise and uncertainty about the veracity of such claims. The introduction of LO to South African schools cannot be underestimated because of its welltimed intervention. However, all involved must be committed to ensure successful implementation of the programme.</p> Abiodun Folakemi Fatoba Daniel Angaama Meshach Bolaji Ogunniyi Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 A case study of Northern Cyprus: The voice of senior academic administrators on education <p>The purpose of the study reported on here was to introduce the perceptions of senior academic administrators in the Northern Cyprus<br>Ministry of Education on the structure of the current education system as a whole. In order to carry out this case study, the views of 14 senior academic administrators were obtained through semi-structured interviews. There is no doubt that in qualitative research semi-structured interviewing is a flexible and powerful tool to capture the voices and the ways in which people make meaning of their experiences (Kvale, 2007). As Yin (2009:18) states: “An empirical inquiry about contemporary phenomena (e.g., ‘case’), set within its own real-world context – especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident.” Therefore, by reflecting on the current education system in Northern Cyprus as a case, we tried to show the real context of the education system itself. The data collected from the semi-structured interviews were analysed through content analysis. According to the findings of this research study, the current education system must be reconstructed considering the curriculum, strategies in teaching and learning approaches, developing of collaborative and student-centred classrooms, applying active learning strategies and voicing the voices of the senior academic administrators during the decision-making process.</p> Ulus Irkad Bengi Sonyel Hamit Caner Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 Informing practice in mathematics through the use of Herrmann’s Whole Brain® theory <p>In this research I explored how mathematics teachers can inform their teaching practice through a meta-reflective inquiry into methods of facilitating Whole Brain® learning in mathematics. Herrmann’s Whole Brain® theory was used as a lens through which to explore leading theories in the fields of constructivism, mathematics education and cognitive psychology by means of a participatory action research innovation, stretching over approximately 3 years. An analysis of these theories validated Herrmann’s Whole Brain® theory as the foundation for a synthesised integrated theory of practice, which also formed the epicentre of the conceptual framework for the research. The conceptual framework was also at the core of the participatory action research. The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®) was administered to 8 teacher participants in a school mathematics department. Learners of each of the teacher participants also completed a questionnaire on how they perceived their teachers to facilitate learning and assessment of mathematics. These results were compared to the teacher participants’ Herrmann’s Brain Dominance Instrument®. Findings indicate that the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® initiated scholarly reflection with teacher participants involved in facilitating and assessing the learning of mathematics. The collective reflexive practice was both part of the action research process and an outcome of the research itself. Findings also indicate that the thinking preferences of teacher participants, as tested by the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument®, are not necessarily indicative of their teaching style and teachers involved in post-graduate studies indicated an ability to access their non-dominant thinking mode situationally.</p> E Randewijk PH du Toit AF Harding Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 The effects of the attributional style on the mathematics performance of senior secondary school students <p>The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of the attributional style on the mathematics performance of senior secondary school students. The study involved a sequential explanatory mixed-method approach (QUANTITATIVE + qualitative). The quantitative part of the study involved 300 students drawn from 2 schools chosen in 2 education districts in Lagos State, Nigeria. The major data generation instruments for the study were the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ), the mathematics performance scores of students, and focus-group interviews. Focus-group interviews with 20 students (10 students per school) were used in the qualitative part of the study. Quantitative data were analysed by calculating correlation coefficients, conducting multiple regression analyses, and performing a one-way analysis of variance to compare the subscales across gender and socio-economic status. Conversation analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data generated. The findings reveal no significant relationships between the attributional style and mathematics performance. Gender-based differences were found in the stability and globality scales, students’ socio-economic status, and their attitudes towards mathematics. Future research on all the variables used in this study could be replicated on different samples. Researchers could consider exploring the use of an attributional style questionnaire on academic issues using a similar sample as in this study.</p> Akolade Olubunmi Lapite Jacobus Gideon Maree Joyce Jordaan Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 A journey to adolescent flourishing: Exploring psychosocial outcomes of outdoor adventure education <p>There is an increasing appreciation that, in order to prepare learners for success in life, they require a holistic education providing not only academic skills, but also psychosocial competencies (Zins &amp; Elias, 2006). Outdoor adventure education (OAE) shows potential as a way of developing these life skills, which are not easy to incorporate into the school curriculum (Sibthorp &amp; Jostad, 2014). The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the psychosocial outcomes and perceived value of a school-based OAE programme (Journey) for adolescents in South Africa. Data from a convenience sample of 144 Grade 10 learners’ post-Journey surveys, letters to the school principals and interviews with members of the focus groups (n = 20), were thematically analysed using template analysis. Applying the acronym, FLOURISHING, the analysis suggests that while Journey was beneficial for the psychosocial development of most learners, not all perceived value from their experiences. We propose that positive psychosocial outcomes could be enhanced by adopting a strength-based approach to OAE. This study provides a unique sociocultural perspective, corroborating the beneficial effects of OAE and could have implications for pedagogical policy and practice within South Africa (SA) and further afield.</p> Judith Blaine Jacqui Akhurst Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 Parents’ attitudes towards distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic <p>In this article we consider the applicability of distance education on the elementary level from parents’ perspectives and present the limitations stemming from the degree of support that students in elementary education need from their parents. The dilemmas regarding the possible levels of students’ development of independence and self-orientation, and the parents’ roles are highlighted. We believe that due to these limitations, distance learning has some of the characteristics of homeschooling. The subject of the research in the empirical part of this study focused on parents’ attitudes. Parental attitudes, based on a previously established multi-factor model, become clear from the parents’ experiences (Kolak, Markić &amp; Horvat, 2020) where factors regarding the demands of teaching and the competence of parents as substitute teachers, were separated. Parents’ characteristics (e.g., gender, age, educational status and involvement) were found to influence their attitudes. The results of the research indicate the importance of parents in distance during the pandemic which adds a new and more significant role in the educational process of their children.</p> Ante Kolak Ivan Markić Zoran Horvat Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 Parental involvement in children’s primary education: A case study from a rural district in Malawi <p>In the study reported on here, we analysed parents’ involvement in their children’s primary education in 4 primary schools in rural Malawi, focusing on the home and the school. Through interviews and focus-group discussions, information was obtained from 19 parents, 24 teachers (6 from each school), and 4 head teachers. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory was used to design the study and to interpret the data, focusing mainly on the micro- and mesosystem elements. The home and school settings represent the autonomous microsystem, whereas parental involvement is part of the mesosystem. The microsystem appeared to be active both with learner-parent and learner-teacher actions; however, mesosystemic interactions were limited. We found that parents and teachers needed to develop stronger mutual relationships and interactions to support learners better. Schools also need to communicate positive aspects of children’s learning to the parents. Enhancing positive reinforcement could enhance parental involvement.</p> Guðlaug Erlendsdóttir M. Allyson Macdonald Svanborg R. Jónsdóttir Peter Mtika Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 Teachers’ and students’ views about the applicability of the project-based learning approach in science courses in Turkey <p>The aim with this study was to examine how, from the teachers’ and students’ perspectives, the project-based learning approach was applied in science and technology lessons. The research was conducted through a case study with qualitative research methods. The data of the study were obtained from semi-structured interviews with 38 students and 11 science and technology teachers. This data were analysed by descriptive analysis which is a qualitative data analysis method. The results of this study show that the teachers described the project-based learning approach as an inapplicable approach in schools. Teachers advised a reduction of curriculum content and a reduction in class sizes. We understood that the other phases of the project processes that started with the selection of project topics at school were done with the help of the students’ families at home. It also became clear that during the evaluation process, the teachers took the students’ own efforts into consideration. We determined that most of the students who participated in the projects in the science and technology course were free to choose their project subjects. It also became clear that students preferred to do projects in the science and technology course. At the end of the research report, suggestions based on the results of the research are made.</p> Ismail Kilic Mehtap Ozel Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 Student teachers’ perceptions and experiences of certain modules within a transformed curriculum to foster social justice <p>Since 1994, numerous policies promoted social justice and the transformation of the South African society. The re-curriculated Bachelor of Education (BEd) programme at the Sol Plaatje University aims to equip students with knowledge and skills to realise the aim of social justice. The aim of this study was to explore Sol Plaatje University students’ experiences and perceptions of a curriculum that aims to promote social justice. We selected 3 education modules, with the assumption that they reflected social justice content. Four students, representative of different ethnic and language groupings at the university were chosen as participants. Data were generated through 3 reflective exercises about each of the modules, spread over a period of 3 years. The module aims, linked with the narratives of the participants’ perceptions and experiences of each module, provided an overview of their experiences of the enacted curriculum. A qualitative research design with an interpretivist approach informed by Dover’s (2013) social justice pedagogy was used. The students’ narratives shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of how the BEd curriculum worked towards social justice and revealed the students’ perceptions of otherness. From the narratives it became apparent that the 3 modules did promote a social justice orientation in prospective teachers educated at the university.</p> Emma Groenewald Anthony Mpisi Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3 Investigating the beliefs and attitudes of teachers towards students who stutter <p>With the study reported on here we aimed to investigate teachers’ beliefs and attitudes towards students who stutter. These aspects were investigated through a questionnaire developed for the study. A total of 382 Saudi teachers from public and private schools from different educational levels were included in this questionnaire-based study. The results show that most respondents believed that there was a high prevalence of stuttering in the general population. Male teachers had a better understanding of persons who stutter (PWS) than female teachers. Senior teachers had better insight into stuttering. The teachers commonly had a positive opinion of PWS. Participants reported that few sources on education about and experiences with PWS were available to them. The results confirm that the teachers had reasonably good knowledge about stuttering. The results show that the teachers knew about stuttering, that they also knew about the consequences of stuttering and the way in which these children should be treated in class. The teachers possessed knowledge and had a positive attitude towards children who stutter (CWS). The findings show a change in perspectives towards CWS as a positive impact of the media.</p> Abdulaziz Almudhi Copyright (c) 2023-02-17 2023-02-17 42 3