South African Journal of Education https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje <p>The <em>South African Journal of Education</em> (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 style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;" lang="EN-ZA">SAJE is<strong> </strong><span>ISI accredited (in the Social Sciences Citation index), with an impact Factor is 0.560 (in 2015). </span></span></p><p>Other websites related to this journal: <a href="http://www.sajournalofeducation.co.za/" target="_blank">http://www.sajournalofeducation.co.za/</a> and <a title="http://reference.sabinet.co.za/sa_epublication/educat" href="http://reference.sabinet.co.za/sa_epublication/educat" target="_blank"><em></em> http://reference.sabinet.co.za/sa_epublication/educat</a></p> en-US <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="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" target="_blank">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International</a> (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.</p><p align="left"> </p> ronel.ferreira@up.ac.za (Prof. Ronél Ferreira) Estelle.Botha@up.ac.za (Ms Estelle Botha (Administrative Editor)) Fri, 25 Jun 2021 10:08:35 +0000 OJS 3.1.2.4 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Recruitment and retention of male educators in preschools: Implications for teacher education policy and practices https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209358 <p>In the study reported on here we employed the interpretivist qualitative approach to explore the recruitment and retention of male educators in preschool centres. Purposive sampling was used to select 2 preschool owners, 2 principals, 4 preschool educators and 2 male educators in the Foundation Phase. Data were obtained by in-depth interviewing and were analysed thematically. Results showed no male educators in preschools in the education district where the study was conducted. Misinterpretation of cultural roles, stigma, fear and prejudice, low educator status within the preschool sector and a lack of male recruitment policies were found to be negatively affecting the recruitment of males into the preschool sector. A gender balance that ensures that both female and male educators are recruited within the preschool sector would appear to be congruent with the philosophical underpinnings of the Social Role Theory (SRT). The Departments of Education and Social Development should, therefore, embark on awareness campaigns to educate all stakeholders on the need for a gender balance within the preschool sector.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: male educators; preschools; recruitment; retention; South Africa</p> Chinedu Ifedi Okeke, Enock Nyanhoto Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209358 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Assessment of learners with dyslexia in mainstream primary schools: An investigation https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209362 <p>With this study we sought to investigate the effectiveness of assessment of learners with dyslexia in mainstream primary schools in the Bubi district of Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. An exploratory case study design of the qualitative approach was adopted. Semi-structured individual interviews and focus group interviews (FGI) were used to collect data from heads of schools and teachers selected for the study. Gathered data were analysed and interpreted thematically. The major findings of the study were that no standardised instruments existed to assess learners with dyslexia in the infant category, the test used for those in the junior school category was not effective enough and most teachers had limited knowledge of dyslexia. We recommend the development of a variety of culturally sensitive assessment tools for infants as well as the junior school category. We also recommend that early diagnosis for early intervention and continuous professional development of teachers to keep abreast of the current trends in the education of learners with dyslexia be implemented.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: assessment; dyslexia; infant reading interventions; learning cycle; mainstream primary school; reading difficulties; remediation</p> Duduzile Nkomo, Peter Mulaudzi, Buyisani Dube Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209362 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Preparation of an observation card to measure the developmental learning difficulties among primary school students in Sana’a City, Yemen https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209368 <p>Developmental learning difficulties are among the prevalent exceptionalities school learners have today. In this regard, identification and placement are among the facilitators of later successful intervention for these groups of learners (West-Olatunji, Shure, Pringle, Adams, Lewis &amp; Cholewa, 2010). However, there are not enough resources such as tools to measure the learners’ difficulties (Alim, Abdallah, Ramaroson, Sidikou &amp; Van de Wiel, 2007) available. The tools, which objectively help a professional to identify a learner’s level of difficulty is an essential resource, however, they are scarce. With this study we aimed to develop an observation card to determine the prevalence of developmental learning difficulties among primary school students in Sana’a City, Yemen. A 24-item tool was used and analysed to test its psychometric properties. A total of 238 students with ages ranging from 6 to 13 years participated in the study. The findings of the study suggest the final formulation of the items to be included in the observation card that can measure the prevalence of this exceptionality through the use of observation scores. The observed raw score had been standardised by its deviation from the sample’s mean. Further, the findings reveal that there were statistically significant differences in the respondents’ level of difficulties in terms of their gender and grade. Recommendations of the study are presented in this article.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> developmental learning difficulties; observation; primary school students</p> Abdo Hasan AL-Qadri, Wei Zhao Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209368 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Multiple intelligences: Educational and cognitive development with a guiding focus https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209371 <p>Development and dissemination of innovative pedagogies continues to be one of the challenges of the 21st century. The visible deficiencies in the educational field have highlighted the need for other types of pedagogies that promote complete student development. Gardner’s theory about multiple intelligences (MIs) has great potential that has not yet been realised in practice in school contexts. With this research we aimed to analyse the relationship between the intelligences that students develop in primary education and the increase in certain cognitive and academic capacities, and to demonstrate that a pedagogy based on Gardner’s theory does more to promote creativity, maturation and school performance than traditional teaching-learning pedagogies. A total of 420 participants from 2 state-funded schools participated in this study (experimental group = EG; control group = CG). The EG (n = 230) was taught using Gardner’s theory and the CG (n = 190) was taught according to traditional pedagogy. There was an association between the intelligences developed by the students and their academic, creative, and maturational levels. Finally, significant differences were found between the EG and CG, with the EG obtaining a higher mean in the variables analysed in favour of the EG. In conclusion, using MIs in classrooms allows for a more mature and creative development and greater academic performance.</p> <p><strong> Keywords:</strong> creative development; intellectual maturity; multiple intelligences; school performance</p> Beatriz Berrios Aguayo, Cristina Arazola Ruano, Antonio Pantoja Vallejo Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209371 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 An analysis of the learning performance gap between urban and rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209374 <p>The learning gap between urban and rural areas is a persistent problem in many sub-Saharan African countries. Previous studies have found that the urban-rural learning gap is attributed to the fact that student characteristics and school resources are different in urban and rural areas. Our study updates this finding by using the latest dataset and further examines the changes in the attributed sources over time. Using 15 educational systems in sub-Saharan Africa, we examined 4 potential sources of the gap: student, family, teacher, and school characteristics. Our results reveal that the urban-rural learning gap in recent years is attributed mostly to differences in school and family characteristics. We also found that the attribution remains the same over time from 2004 to 2011 and that the attribution to family characteristics’ differences became slightly greater than the one to school characteristics’ differences.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: decomposition analysis; learning gap; regional disparity; sub-Saharan Africa; urban-rural gap</p> Sugata Sumida, Keisuke Kawata Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209374 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Teenage pregnancies in Bapong schools, Madibeng local municipality: Teachers’ views https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209377 <p>The South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 forbids discrimination against learners based on pregnancy, while the 2007 guideline document, Measures for Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy, stipulates teachers’ role in preventing and managing learner pregnancy. Teachers are, therefore, responsible for pregnant learners in the school environment. In the study, which was conducted in primary and secondary schools in Bapong, we aimed to explore and describe the perceptions of teachers regarding pregnancy of school learners. A qualitative exploratory and descriptive approach with purposive sampling was used. In-depth interviews were used for data collection and content analysis was done through Tesch’s approach using open coding. The findings suggest that, despite being against learner pregnancy, teachers are more concerned with the educational success of pregnant learners. They view learner pregnancy as a threat to teachers, other learners and the school environment because they are not trained to deal with pregnancy-related problems. The findings also indicate that the Departments of Health and Education should collaborate in order to initiate a partnership between teachers, school health nurses, and midwives regarding learner pregnancy in schools.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> impact; learner pregnancies; management policy perceptions; school pregnancy; teenage pregnancy</p> Tshiamo N. Ramalepa, Tendani S. Ramukumba, Mmajapi E. Masala-Chokwe Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209377 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The predictive influence of gender, onset of deafness and academic self-efficacy on the attitudes of deaf learners towards Biology https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209382 <p>In the study reported on here we examined the attitudes of deaf learners towards biology in Ibadan, Nigeria. Forty-one deaf learners (28 males; 13 females) in the Secondary School II science classes from 3 government-funded secondary schools for the deaf were purposively selected for the study. In the study we adopted a descriptive survey research design of the correlational type. Four research questions were raised and answered. A structured questionnaire, “Deaf Learners and Biology Questionnaire” with a reliability coefficient of 0.81, was used for data collection. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics and inferential statistics of Pearson product moment correlation, multiple regression and t-test at 0.05 level of significance. There was a positively significant relationship between academic self-efficacy and the attitudes of deaf learners towards biology (r = 0.511; p &lt; 0.05); a significant but negative relationship between gender and the attitudes of deaf learners towards biology (r = 0.15; p &lt; 0.05). No significant relationship between the onset of deafness and the attitudes of deaf learners towards biology (r = 0.810; p &gt; 0.05) was observed. A total of 58.1% of the variance of the independent variables accounted for the attitudes towards biology among deaf learners who participated in the study. We conclude that academic self-efficacy has a great effect on the attitude of deaf learners towards biology. Gender contributes to and is inversely proportional to learners’ disposition towards biology. In light of the findings, appropriate recommendations are made.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> academic self-efficacy; attitude towards biology; deaf learners; gender; onset of deafness</p> Olufemi Timothy Adigun, Dumisani R. Nzima Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209382 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Deep learning opportunities in the geography classroom https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209386 <p>From a cognitivist theory stance, domain-specific subject knowledge is necessary for deep learning and cognitive advance. What opportunities for deep learning and cognitive advance are provided in geography classrooms? This analysis of teaching in geography classrooms is framed by the concepts of deep learning, pedagogic discourse, and a curriculum of engagement. This article draws on Grade 10 and 11 lessons observed, recorded, transcribed, analysed and qualitatively interpreted. Analysis of pedagogic discourse shows diminished opportunities for deep learning and cognitive advance. Geography is being taught in less elaborated ways and more for compliance, thereby hindering deep learning of the epistemic structure of geography. Furthermore, surface features of the curriculum including knowledge as “given” have displaced attention to underlying principles and conceptual meanings. These practices deny learners access to deep learning of powerful knowledge. Implications for social equality and teacher education are raised.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> deep learning; epistemic structure; geography; pedagogic discourse</p> Devika Naidoo Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209386 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The influence of local worldview presuppositions on learners’ conceptions of Selected Mechanics topics https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209388 <p>The study is situated within a worldview theory as espoused by socio-cultural constructivists. Science classrooms in secondary schools in Swaziland are culturally largely homogeneous where learners and their teachers have a strong grounding in traditional Swazi culture. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the conceptions held by Grade 11 learners of selected mechanics topics were influenced by the worldview presuppositions prevalent in their socio-cultural environment. The learners were exposed to a socio-culturally-based teaching/learning strategy that integrated selected indigenous knowledge presuppositions into school science. The learners were given a pre-and post-physics achievement test (PAT). At the end of the intervention, a focus group interview was conducted with some of the learners. Data on selected PAT questions were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The learners’ responses to the focus group interview and the PAT’s open-ended questions were analysed at a later stage using the Ogunniyi’s Contiguity Argumentation Theory (CAT). The findings of the study show that the learners’ post-conceptions on selected mechanics topics were influenced by their local worldview presuppositions and could be analysed according to the CAT worldview categories.</p> <p><br><strong>Keywords</strong>: alternative conceptions; Contiguity Argumentation Theory; indigenous knowledge; integration; mechanics; scientific knowledge; socio-cultural constructivism; worldview presuppositions</p> Cynthia Fakudze Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209388 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Towards the development of teachers for the future https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209390 <p>The purpose of this research was to examine student teachers’ views on the kind of teachers they would like to be. The participants were 51 student teachers at the primary education department of a state university. The views of these student teachers were collected from unstructured reports that they submitted following a one-semester classroom management course in the 5th semester. The qualitative data gained from the reports, specifically the attributes that the student teachers associated with themselves, were analysed in terms of classroom management according to Korthegan’s Onion Model using a qualitative content analysis method. The data demonstrate that the participants expressed their opinions mostly regarding classroom environment, behaviour and competency. The reports also present their views about the kind of teachers they would grow into and the teacher behaviour they would like to adopt. The results of the study reveal that the student teacher participants were at the levels of interventionist and interventionist/interactionist control; 2 different approaches to dynamic assessment and classroom management styles. They also used authoritative, educational, behaviour-based, and democratic approaches. The study suggests that, in order for the student teachers to express themselves about their teaching in the layers of belief, identity and mission (inner layers) of the Onion Model, they must be provided with opportunities and experiences.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> classroom management; Korthegan’s Onion Model; student teachers; teacher development; teacher education</p> M. Sencer Bulut Özsezer, Ayten İflazoğlu Saban Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209390 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Learner discipline in the post-corporal punishment era: What an experience! https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209393 <p>Learner discipline is one of the bases of effective teaching and learning. If learners are not well disciplined, schools will not provide the best possible education. Therefore, it is important that good disciplinary measures and procedures be put in place in any school. In this article we investigate how learners in schools are currently being disciplined without violating their human rights. The nature and the causes of learners’ disciplinary problems are fundamental. A qualitative data-collection approach was employed in this research. Purposive non-probability sampling was used to select the participants for the study. Experienced educators from school disciplinary committees, Representative Councils of Learners (RCLs) and the school principals of 4 schools were interviewed. We found that the common causes of learners’ disciplinary problems varied from school to school. Furthermore, effective school management was found to be at the heart of learner discipline and the general academic performance of the school. We recommend that parents as first teachers should instill values and morals for their children to distinguish right from wrong.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> corporal punishment; disciplinary problem; discipline; disruptive learner; misconduct; school discipline</p> Olufunmilayo Tenidade Obadire, Dzivhonele Albert Sinthumule Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209393 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Pre-service teachers’ mathematical engagement in learning about the total surface areas of geometrical solids https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209395 <p>In this article we report on pre-service teachers’ mathematical engagement regarding the total surface areas of geometric solids. Despite several attempts at improvement, the poor performance of South African learners in mathematics persists. This is attributed to instructional approaches. In the study reported on here we explored how pre-service teachers communicate conjectures, justifications, and generalisations to develop formulae for geometric solids. We employed a qualitative descriptive case study within the interpretive paradigm. Data were collected through document analysis and students’ written tasks. Four tasks were administered to 30 pre-service teachers to enable the researchers to reflect on their performance. Students’ written tasks were analysed with the aid of the model of mathematical knowledge for teaching, which served as the theoretical underpinning of the study. The findings of the study reveal that students can develop mathematical engagement and reasoning when appropriate tasks are designed to facilitate understanding of key concepts that are the cornerstone of learning about geometric solids. Certain concepts, notably, circles, radii, pi, rectangles, cones, Pythagoras’ theorem, slanting height, congruence, and prism, were crucial elements that should be explored prior to the introduction of the topic of the total surface areas of geometric solids. The study was an eye-opener to South African policy makers, mathematics teachers and lecturers in terms of identifying students’ weaknesses at pre-service level on how to develop logical methods to make sense in the learning of geometrical solids.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> areas of three-dimensional shapes; areas of two- dimensional shapes; conjectures; deductions; formulae; generalisations; justifications; mathematical concepts; pre-service teachers; understanding</p> Sibawu Witness Siyepu, Siphokazi Winniefred Vimbelo Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209395 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Pre-service teachers engaged in noticing aspects of learner written work https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209397 <p>The study reported on here focused on pre-service teachers noticing learner thinking in the context of written work. The results show how pre-service teachers engaged in noticing learner thinking and on which aspects of learner thinking they focused. These results and related discussion broaden our conceptualisation of teacher noticing learner thinking as involving both disciplinary and non-disciplinary-specific aspects and provides related pedagogical implications for those who educate teachers.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> learner thinking; mathematics education; teacher education; teacher noticing</p> Sarah Selmer, Erna Lampen, Denise L. Lindstrom Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209397 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Exploring how science process skills blend with the scientific process: Pre-service teachers’ views following fieldwork experience https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209399 <p>In science education, only teachers that are competent in skills, methods and procedures relevant to a science discipline can help learners to develop scientific skills and processes associated with investigating natural phenomena. The purpose of this study was to explore views of pre-service science teachers with regard to science process skills that they had developed through various freshwater activities and the stepwise scientific process. Data were collected through a 4-part questionnaire that included various science process skills and the scientific process. Ninety-four 2nd- and 3rd-year pre-service teachers that registered for a Bachelor of Education degree participated in this study. The results from statistical analyses of the teachers’ responses to skills they had developed showed prominence of observing, yet the teachers failed to link observing and communication to formulating a research question. Similar challenges were also evident in designing experiments. While the teachers were able to link science process skills to hypothesising, they experienced relative challenges in linking relevant skills to observation and drawing conclusions and making inferences. The findings suggest potential challenges to teachers on fair testing investigations in terms of questioning, designing of experiments, drawing of associated conclusions and making inferences.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> fieldwork; freshwater study; life sciences; pre-service teachers; science process skills; scientific investigations; stepwise scientific process</p> Leonard Molefe, Jean-Baptiste Aubin Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209399 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Exploring the pre-service teacher mentoring context: The construction of self-regulated professionalism short courses https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209401 <p>During work integrated learning (WIL), pre-service mentoring helps prepare final-year education students for the workplace. The pre-service teacher is placed alongside a mentor teacher, and the higher education institution (HEI) stipulates the timeline and the requirements. This study follows a wide-ranging research project, identified by the acronym FIRE (Fourth-year Initiative for Research in Education). In this article we focus on pre-service teacher mentoring experiences, partnerships, roles, and teacher identity development concerning mentor teachers, not mentor lecturers. The results of 2 baseline exploratory research surveys are shared. The attitudes, beliefs, opinions and practices of Senior, Further Education and Training phase mentor teachers and pre-service teachers were gathered, measured and compared. The responses to 2 cross-sectional questionnaires in electronic format provided a competence-base for the design of curricula for 2 short courses about mentoring and self-regulated professionalism. The 2 short courses were created for mentor teachers and pre-service teachers.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: mentor teachers; mentoring; pre-service teacher mentoring; self-regulated professionalism; short course curriculum development; work integrated learning</p> Tanya Smit, Pieter H. du Toit Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209401 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Teaching thinking in South African schools: Selected school leaders’ perceptions https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209403 <p>In this article we argue that school leaders should ensure that teachers experience a supportive professional learning community committed to collaborative, thoughtful inquiry and be enabled to create similar communities in their classrooms. This study followed on one published in 2017 that explored school leaders’ responses to an introduction to cognitive education. The same participants investigated cognitive education practices (ways of teaching thinking) in their schools, with an emphasis on the factors that facilitated or constrained implementation. Using a qualitative research approach an open-ended research assignment in the form of a report was completed by 32 teachers in school leadership positions. The data was analysed using the guidelines of grounded theory to identify key themes. The findings suggest a possible starting point for leadership initiatives, although cognitive education practices in the participating schools were constrained by a number of structural, contextual and personal factors. Discussion highlights the importance of the development of professional learning communities that focus on cognitive education and identifies a possible leadership direction, namely, building on the progress already made in training teachers to apply Bloom’s taxonomy to assessment tasks. Although our data is from schools in one area of South Africa, our conclusions are likely to have implications for school leadership generally, with particular reference to the development of classroom and professional thinking and learning communities.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> Bloom’s taxonomy; cognitive education; curriculum leadership; professional learning communities; teaching thinking</p> Lena Green, Karen Collett Copyright (c) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/saje/article/view/209403 Fri, 25 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000