Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research https://www.ajol.info/index.php/zjer <p>The <strong><em>Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research</em></strong> (<strong><em>ZJER</em></strong><strong>)</strong> is an international refereed journal that is published by the University of Zimbabwe’s Human Resources Research Centre (HRRC) under the Faculty of Education. The journal is available in print and online three times a year. <strong><em>ZJER</em></strong> is hosted online by <strong>African Journals OnLine</strong> (<strong>AJOL</strong>) at www.ajol.info. The main thrust of <strong><em>ZJER</em></strong><strong> </strong>is to facilitate the publication of educational and scholarly research articles written by academics throughout the world. The HRRC has a team of Editors, supported by the Editorial Board and Editorial Advisory Board, which works to maintain and improve the quality of our publications.</p> Human Resources Research Centre, University of Zimbabwe en-US Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research 1013-3445 Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the journal. Re-Writing the Feminine Script: An Exploration of Women with Wings in ChiShona Literature Prescribed for Ordinary Level pupils https://www.ajol.info/index.php/zjer/article/view/185077 <em>The paper explores the portrayal of female characters in ChiShona literature prescribed for Ordinary Level in order to determine their potential educational implications to pupils. The paper qualitatively explores two purposively sampled ChiShona literature texts, namely Chikanza’s Vakasiiwa Pachena and Nyambiri’s Ndiri Parumananzombe. It employs document analysis for data collection and uses critical discourse analysis and qualitative inductive content analysis for data analysis. An Afrocentric paradigm, African womanism, serves as the theoretical framework. The paper’s finding is that, through the portrayal of female characters, the two ChiShona literature texts portray femininity as self-invention rather than femininity as entrapment. The texts traverse essentialist paradigms of gender identity, dislodge masculinity from males and highlight female masculinities. The two ChiShona literature texts therefore portray an emerging re-writing of the feminine script in contemporary Shona society. The female characters, through agency and self-determination, take matters into their own hands. The texts, to a large extent, have therefore a potential of socialising female pupils to believe in agency regarding femininity.</em> B. Taringa V. Nyawaranda L. Tatira Copyright (c) 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 31 1 10.4314/zjer.v31i1. The Perceptions of School Heads and Teachers on External Supervision: A Case Study of Primary Schools in Epworth Suburb in Harare Province, Zimbabwe https://www.ajol.info/index.php/zjer/article/view/185084 <em>The purpose of this study is to determine the perceptions that primary school heads and teachers have on the effectiveness of external supervision. The sample of participants included five schools inspectors, ten school heads and ten primary school teachers. An in-depth case study approach was used, and qualitative data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. The data analysis revealed the following findings: School heads and teachers view external instructional supervision as the practice of inspection; perceiving inspection as fault-finding, instilling fear, uncertainty and anxiety. The approach by the external instructional supervisors is intimidating and threatening, teachers are thus apprehensive about external supervision. The practice of external instructional supervision lacked the quality to facilitate improved classroom instruction and teacher professional growth. Nevertheless, the strength of external instructional supervision is that school heads and teachers are kept dutiful, diligent and up to date with their work. Thus, school authorities and teachers need a collaborative, collegial and developmental supervision model.</em> J. S. Maphosa L. Madhlangobe T. Maphosa Copyright (c) 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 31 1 10.4314/zjer.v31i1. The Potential of Early Childhood Development Contributing towards National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe https://www.ajol.info/index.php/zjer/article/view/185086 <em>Since independence in 1980, the process of nation building through ‘national healing and reconciliation’ has remained a burning issue deserving rethinking and revisiting at various levels to nurture democracy in Zimbabwe. Efforts towards this goal have featured mainly through three landmark phases, that is, Racial Reconciliation Policy (1980), Unity Accord (1987), and the Organ for National Healing and Reconciliation (ONRH) in 2008. However, despite these efforts, violence has continued to raise its ugly head, with recent reports revealing in-house violence within major political parties. Such developments have threatened the very core of the well-intended ONHR. The main question for this study was: What could be the missing link in all these efforts towards peace-building and development? There was need to identify a realistic/holistic approach to national healing and reconciliation. For the purpose of this study, the main task was then to highlight the possible role that could be played by the youths in national healing and reconciliation, with specific reference to Early Childhood Development (ECD). This was an exploratory study, aimed at finding out how the curriculum could be applied in the process of national healing/reconciliation. The study was mainly based on document analysis of Chapter 13 of the 1999 Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Education’s Report, the 1993 ECD handbook</em> (<em>revised in 1999 and 2010</em>)<em>, and the Zimbabwe Education Blueprint 2015 – 2022. This was then reinforced by a detailed review of literature, where several key documents were studied in search of relevant theoretical perspectives. Results showed ECD providing a firm foundation for the future of peace, national healing and reconciliation in Zimbabwe.</em> P. Kwaira Copyright (c) 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 31 1 10.4314/zjer.v31i1. Effectiveness of Performance Lag Address Programme for Children with Learning Disabilities in Nyanga District Primary Schools https://www.ajol.info/index.php/zjer/article/view/185088 <em>This ethnographic case study is part of the larger study carried out by the principal author on the evaluation of the effectiveness of Performance Lag Address Programme (PLAP) for learners with learning disabilities (LDs) in Nyanga District in Zimbabwe. Three primary schools and Nyanga Education District Office were purposively selected to participate in the study. The sample comprised one remedial tutor from the district office, three school heads and twelve junior class teachers, from each of the three participating schools. Data were collected through interviews, focused group discussions and document analysis. The study revealed that the PLAP programme did not effectively address learning achievement gaps for learners with LDs. Teachers and school heads were not fully committed to effective implementation of PLAP as an all-inclusive programme. The study also revealed that the programme lacked proper monitoring, supervision and a clear cut operational theoretical framework for learners with LDs. The study recommended that assessment of learners with LDs should specify the nature and cause(s) of the learners’ performance lag and should be done by specialists. Also instruction should be socially oriented to achieve meaningful or purposeful learning. The study also recommended that PLAP should be closely monitored and supervised by both the inspectorate and the special needs departments so as to be effective.</em> W. Mashiri B. Bondai Copyright (c) 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 31 1 10.4314/zjer.v31i1. Father Absence and Anxiety Symptoms in Women: Findings from Masvingo Urban, Zimbabwe https://www.ajol.info/index.php/zjer/article/view/185090 <em>This quantitative study sought to explore the influence of father absence on anxiety symptoms among women who grew up in father absent homes. This was achieved by comparing the anxious feelings, thoughts and physical symptoms of anxiety of women who grew up in father absent households against those of women who grew up with a resident father. The ex post facto design was employed and a one stage cluster sampling strategy was used to select 392 women who participated in this study. Of the 392 participants, 168 were women who had grown up in father absent homes and the remaining 224 had grown up with a resident father. A standardised instrument, the Burns Anxiety Inventory, was used to collect data. This study revealed that father absence influences manifestations of anxiety among women who grew up without fathers. A significant difference was found in the general anxiety levels between women who grew up in father absent households and those who grew up with their fathers (u = 15075.5, p&lt;0.1) with women who emerged from father absent homes expressing more anxiety symptoms than women who grew up with a resident father. Furthermore, father absent women had significantly higher scores on the anxiety inventory on anxious thoughts and physical symptoms of anxiety than women who grew up with their fathers. However, no significant differences were noted between the two groups of women in terms of how they expressed nervousness or worry. This study recommends that voluntary organisations that promote fatherhood programs should be set up to raise awareness on the importance of fathering. Moreover, future research should explore the role of father involvement in children’s lives.</em> H. Zirima F. Zindi P. Mudhovozi Copyright (c) 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 31 1 10.4314/zjer.v31i1. Education for Social Justice and Transformation: A Mismatch between Policy and Practice in Juvenile Reformatory Schools in Zimbabwe https://www.ajol.info/index.php/zjer/article/view/185091 <em>Few studies have directly examined juveniles’ experiences regarding their academic challenges as they go through reformatory institutions. In this study, 53 institutionalised juveniles responded to open ended interview questions by identifying and describing educational practices that affected their academic achievement. The data from this study revealed four themes of educational experiences, namely correctional curriculum, corporal punishment, recidivism and failure to re-integrate into mainstream society. The key conclusions from the data revealed there is a wide gap between juvenile re-integration expectations and the correctional curriculum that students are exposed to as they do time in the local detention facilities under study. There was a clear disconnection between the officials and how students’ valued their benefits of being detained in the institution.</em> A. M. Maposa L. Madhlangobe Copyright (c) 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 31 1 10.4314/zjer.v31i1. Barriers to the Use of ICT by Students on Teaching Practice: Student Teacher and Lecturer Input https://www.ajol.info/index.php/zjer/article/view/185092 <em>In this digital world, information and communication technology (ICT) makes it critical and mandatory for teachers to use ICT in didactic situations. Mounting pressure from pupils who are advanced in the use of ICT, influence of local education and general perceived usefulness of ICT to pupils and teachers, make it binding for teachers to make use of ICT. In spite of these developments, it seems there is very minimal use of ICT by Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) students during their teaching practice (TP). A case study involving student teachers and ZOU lecturers at ZOU Midlands Campus was conducted to determine causes of the minimal use of ICT in student teachers’ teaching and to obtain participant views on how the perceived limited use of ICT by student teachers could be attended to. Data were generated via open-ended questionnaire, interviews and analysis of students’ teaching documents. The findings of the study indicated that although students were aware of some benefits of ICT use in teaching and learning, most students did not utilise ICT due to a number of prohibitive determinants, among which were absence of connectivity, absence of practicals in the coverage of the educational media and technology (EMT) module and peer and microteaching, resulting in students not having ICT skills. Furthermore, the practice in some schools restricted use of school computers to some individual teachers only and there is inadequate ICT equipment and lack of ICT culture in some schools in rural areas. The study recommended revised school policies on the use of ICT, incorporation of ICT in teacher development courses and monitoring and support of government or ministerial policies on using ICT in schools.</em> R. Ngara Copyright (c) 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 31 1 10.4314/zjer.v31i1. Perceived Factors Influencing Low Enrolment in Physical Education for Senior School Certificate Examination in Ilorin Metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria https://www.ajol.info/index.php/zjer/article/view/185093 <em>This study investigated the perceived factors influencing low enrolment in Physical Education (PE) for senior secondary certificate examination in Ilorin Metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria. The variables examined in this study are PE teacher’s personality, parental influence, and career opportunities. The type of research design used was descriptive survey research design. The population used for this study consisted of all students in the public senior secondary schools in Ilorin Metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria. Purposive sampling techniques were used to select twenty (20) secondary schools while stratifying sampling techniques were used to group respondents into SS I, SS II and SS III. Simple random techniques were used to select four hundred respondents (400) senior secondary students drawn from twenty (20) selected schools in Ilorin Metropolis. As a means of data collection, a questionnaire was administered and retrieved from participants. The inferential chi-square statistical instrument was used for data analysis to test the hypotheses. The result of the findings revealed that a PE teacher’s personality, parental influence, and misconception about career opportunities influenced low enrolment in PE for SSCE in Ilorin Metropolis. Based on the findings, the study recommendations include career guidance and counselling of PE students, improved employment conditions for PE teachers, among others.</em> T. O. Ibraheem M. O. Ibraheem Copyright (c) 2019-03-29 2019-03-29 31 1 10.4314/zjer.v31i1.