Theses and Dissertations (Education)

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    Natural Sciences teachers' views on Indigenous Knowledge and How to use it in teaching and learning in South African Classrooms
    (2022) Raphothe, Paseka Nimrod
    South Africa underwent much curricular change during Apartheid and post-Apartheid. The quality of education provided for black people was the worst during Apartheid; the education they received catered only for menial labour. However, the need to provide quality education to all strata of society took precedence when South Africa became a democratic state in 1994. Moreover, the need to respect different worldviews and knowledge systems from different societies came into focus at this time. Thus, post-Apartheid, revisions to the curriculum led to the current Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), which mandates that teachers include Indigenous Knowledge (IK) in their teaching and learning of Science. Investigations are required to understand the level of guidance teachers receive on integrating IK into their teaching. The following documents were analysed for this study to examine the guidance provided to teachers CAPS, Annual Teaching Plan (ATP), and the Pacesetter. Three teachers were surveyed to explore their views as well. The focus in this study was grades 8 and 9 Natural Sciences teachers. The study aimed to explore ways in which teachers could integrate IK in their teaching and learning of science to make science more accessible to their learners. The research took a qualitative case study approach and used theoretical frameworks as the lens. Aikenhead and Jegede’s border crossing, Vygotsky's Social constructivism, specifically the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) and Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), and Piaget's Cognitive constructivism (a process of accommodation and assimilation). Data was collected using questionnaires and followed up with semi-structured interviews. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse data and develop themes that helped answer the research questions. Findings in this study indicated some misalignment between the different curriculum documents used by teachers with regards to IK. However, the study indicated 3 that teachers are integrating IK into their teaching, as mandated by the CAPS. Some teachers use their experiences learned in the communities they grew up in and integrated that knowledge in their teaching and learner discussion in a Science classroom. This study documents examples used by teachers in their integration of IK into their classroom practice and, therefore, can provide a resource for teacher development in this area. Moreover, documentation of these practical examples of IK integration into classroom practice can be helpful to teachers who seek to facilitate the students’ access to science concepts taught in Natural Sciences.
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    "My pen won't talk" : towards an understanding of creative writing experiences among primary school children.
    (1995) Winkler, Gisela
    The work of Piaget and Vygotsky has formed the theoretical foundation for many research projects that investigate children's cognitive processes which are part of their learning experience, These investigations, however, do not address the affective aspects of the learning process. This study seeks to isolate and-explore the affective components of writing by conceptualizing a "creative writing experience" as a personal meaning making event which is simultaneously influenced by the children's cognitive development and their emotional development. The feelings experienced by the children while writing are a particular interest. Theories developed by Freud and Klein are used to investigate the children's emotions and to assess the impact these have on their writing process. The methods of investigation employ a detailed observation of external behaviour with the help of a video camera, a focus group interview, a reflective interview and a projective technique. The children's emotional experience of writing is deduced from the visual data as well as the interviews. It is concluded that the children's experience of writing is dominated by anxious emotions. As the medium of writing does not provide children with a communicative structure, it presents many children with an experience of isolation and meaninglessness. If the children fail to provide a purpose for their task, writing becomes an experience of insecurity and alienation. The role of children's talk during the writing process does not have a cognitive significance. On the contrary, its primary function seems to be to control affective forces and to maintain the personal purposefulness of the writing task.
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    "School-level politics, zones of mediation and the struggle for equity - minded change in South African schools: the case of a Gonubie primary school."
    (2016-03-07) Pierce, Kerryn
    Issues of controversy at school level have often taken the form of admission problems, school fee conflicts, differences over discipline, and so forth. As of late, however, school level struggles have taken a new turn with the development of a new curriculum policy, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, CAPS, (2011). The key issue at play is that of language, particularly the first additional language. Language in education has been an especially difficult focal point as it has been a key political issue in South African education for the past two hundred years. From the inception of formal education and English with the missionaries, up to learner protests over Bantu Education’s choice of Afrikaans as the language of learning and teaching (Kallaway 1986, p.20). As a result after the first democratic elections in 1994 and the second in 1999, widespread concerns with issues of redress and equity in education were expressed. This is particularly the case as schools are powerful generators, justifiers and transmitters of race, gender and class bias thoughts, actions and identities. Therefore the challenge is to shift the 'roles, rules, social character and functioning of schools' (Nkomo, Chisholm & McKinney, 2004:3) and stimulate new ways of being, thinking and practicing that are in keeping with ideals of equity and justice as defined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996). The purpose of this study then, is to contribute to an understanding of the localised patterns of political conflict over language. Thus this research proposal will make use of a school as an instance in which problems of this nature are being experienced. In the case of Gonubie Primary School, parents with children enrolled in the Foundation Phase, learnt for the first time in a CAPS assessment meeting, that the Department of Education required a First Additional Language as part of the new syllabus (2011). The issue of concern necessitating the meeting stems from the fact that Gonubie Primary School had decided on and adopted Afrikaans as their first additional language, without duly consulting the parents (Sunday Times, January 2011). This decision was effective as of January 2012, and its consequences have been that Afrikaans was introduced from Grade 1 as the school’s official First Additional Language and that any learner who fails Afrikaans will repeat that grade, no matter how well they do in all other subjects (Sunday Times, January 2011). Whilst this may have been a completely justifiable curriculum policy decision, it had an unanticipated consequence for a small group of Quintile Five English home language schools. Over the past fifteen years, privileged public schools such Parkview Junior Primary in Johannesburg and Grove Primary School in Cape Town had begun teaching two additional languages in the Foundation Phase. In Johannesburg, the two additional languages tended to be Afrikaans and isiZulu, in the Western Cape it was Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Although teaching of these additional languages was often limited to the oral language, i.e. listening and speaking by Grade Three some reading and writing had begun to be introduced. The decision taken by the Gonubie Primary School stakeholders is considered most unfair for many reasons, one being that firstly this is a primary school based in the Eastern Cape which caters to many Xhosa First Language speakers for whom learning Afrikaans in addition to English for the first time will be an enormous task. Secondly as the parents of such learners were not considered when this significant decision was taken, it cannot be considered as having the best interests of all learners [who make up the school] as the foremost priority. Since this school has brought the issue of the first additional language policy to light, other schools in other provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal have come to the fore with their concerns regarding the fairness of such decisions.
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    'A good education sets up a divine discontent': the contribution of St Peter's School to black South African autobiography
    (2000) Woeber, Catherine Anne
    This thesis explores in empirical fashion the contribution made by St Peter's Secondary School to South African literary history. It takes as its starting point the phenomenon of the first black autobiographies having been published within a ten-year period from 1954 to 1963, with all but one of the male writers receiving at least part of their post-primary schooling at St Peter's School in Johannesburg. Among the texts, repositioned here within their educational context, are Tell Freedom by Peter Abrahams, Down Second Avenue by Es'kia Mphahlele, Road to Ghana by Alfred Hutchinson, and Chocolates for My Wife by Todd Matshikiza. The thesis examines the educational milieu of the inter-war years in the Transvaal over and against education in the other provinces of the Union, the Anglo-Catholic ethos of the Community of the Resurrection who established and ran the school, the pedagogical environment of St Peter's School, and the autobiographical texts themselves, in order to plot the course which the autobiographers' subsequent lives took as they wrote back to the education which had both liberated and shackled them. It equipped them far in advance of the opportunities available to them under the colour bar, necessitating exile, even as it colonised their minds in a way perhaps spared those who never attended school, requiring a continual reassessment of their identity over time. The thesis argues that their Western education was crucial in the development of their hybrid identity, what Es'kia Mphahlele has termed `the dialogue of two selves', which was in each case worked out through an autobiography. The typical, if simplified, trajectory is an enthusiastic espousal of the culture of the West encountered in their schooling at St Peter's, and then a rejection out of a sense of betrayal in favour of Africa, eventually leading to a synthesis of the two. The thesis concludes that it was the emphasis on all-round education and character formation, in the British boarding school tradition, with its thrust of sacrifice and service, which helped to fashion the strong belief systems of Abrahams and Mphahlele's later years, namely Christian socialism and African humanism, which inform their mature writings.
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    "Am I what I can do?" - Grade 10 learners' choices between mathematics and mathematical literacy and questions of identity
    (2015-09-03) Malahlela, Dorcas
    Subject choices afford differential opportunities to children when they leave school. Mathematics offers more elite, post-school education and employment opportunities. The introduction of Mathematical Literacy in post-Apartheid schooling was framed as a democratic imperative to provide all learners with some mathematical knowledge. The supposed choice between the two subjects has to be made by adolescents at the end of grade 9 for grade 10 to grade 12.However, subjects are not particularly ‘chosen’ by the learners. Rather, the schools allocate them to a stream that is determined by their previous academic performance. Subject allocation interacts with the self-perceptions that adolescents have of their capability to succeed in school. In Phase one, 356 learners in two schools were surveyed. The Mathematics learners surveyed attributed their subject choice primarily to their intended careers and tertiary study. Mathematical Literacy learners emphasised the ease of the subject, that they could not qualify for Mathematics, and that they did not feel that they had the required skills for Mathematics. The perception that a lack of ability and natural skill is the fault of the learner is entrenched by these statements, and serves as a foundation for the acceptance of inequality. In Phase two, the data from the individual interviews with11 adolescent girls was analysed, and the themes formulated were that Mathematical Literacy was easier and more accessible for the Mathematical Literacy learners, that high school was very different from primary school, that the cultural capital conferred by Mathematics will allow them to live up to the investments from their parents and teachers, and that sex and sexuality poses a threat to their futures.Subjects that a learner does at school impact on identity formation in that it controls the cultural capital that an individual has access to.Subject allocation confers senses of self-worth, capability, and opportunity. Subject ‘choice’ directs the path of the learner/individual, emphasising the school’s (as institution) role in the reproduction of inequalities through race, class and gender.
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    "Adaptation of the Marginal Budgeting for Bottlenecks model for planning, costing and budgeting in the educational sector".
    (2015-05-14) Duehring, Momo E.
    Already in its Education Strategy, adopted by the Executive Board in 2007, UNICEF fully obligates to the international commitment to universal education and defines its contribution to national efforts to fulfil children’s right to education. In September 2010, UNICEF further published a special report on a study showing that an equity-focused approach to child survival and development is the most practical and cost-effective way of meeting the health MDGs for children. For the modelling process of the research a simulation was run employing the Marginal Budgeting for Bottlenecks (MBB) model, jointly developed by the World Bank and UNICEF. This model has been widely used in international public health research to design and test development strategies. In its consistency with the human-right based approach, the MBB model addresses bottlenecks in the capacity of duty-bearers to fulfil human-rights as well as barriers of the capacity of right-holders to claim their rights. Using the MBB model, policymakers and researchers can simulate varying configurations of service delivery modes to expand access of coverage and measures to encourage usage. For each strategy, the model generates the predicted impact on intervention coverage and outcomes, overall cost and cost-effectiveness. UNICEF’s global refocus on equity and the most disadvantaged children makes it necessary to introduce improved planning and monitoring instruments. In this context, the MBB model is used as a budgeting and simulation tool for UNICEF interventions in health and nutrition. UNICEF aims to use harmonized tools across different sectors to reduce transaction costs and to improve comparison and sharing of lessons learned between the different sectors. However, it is also important to adapt and develop instruments based on the diverse needs of different sectors to ensure best results. Therefore, the main purpose of this research is to find an answer to following question: Can, and if so, how can the Marginal Budgeting for Bottlenecks model, developed for the health sector, be adapted for planning, costing and budgeting allocations in the education sector? An adapted Marginal Budgeting for Bottleneck model for education could be applied for a comprehensive sector analysis, comparing intervention alternatives and setting policy goals and strategies. It could further be used to monitor the implementation of major sector reforms with regard to the comparison of potential versus actual impact of interventions on learning achievements. Applying two production functions, the MBB model applies the basic principle of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, comparing the costs of education interventions with the corresponding expected impact on increased service coverage. However, detailed inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts and the corresponding correlations would need to be defined for an Service Production Function (inputoutput) and an Education Production Function (output-outcome/impact). Further, a selection of globally proved remedial actions to overcome sector bottlenecks need to be specified. Education interventions largely depend on the country context and different countries and regions apply different remedial actions. Since the relationship of input and impact is not as linear as the illness-treatment relationship in health, international research and comparison of effective interventions would need to be conducted. The MBB model is applying service coverage determinants of both, supply and demand side. Therefore the approach could be a helpful instrument in the context of the Human Rights-based Approach as used within programming of the United Nations and UNICEF. However, applying further analysis on humanitarian aspects of programming always depends on the availability of disaggregated information. Based on the outline of the Service Coverage Concept and the Marginal Budgeting for Bottlenecks model and the conceptual adaptation of the MBB model for its use in education, following suggestions can be made for the Service Delivery Modes and Service Coverage Determinants: Overall, an MBB model in education could have added value for education planning, budgeting and impact simulation. However, it has to be considered that applying the model requires extensive data input for all six Service Coverage Determinants for each of the five Service Deliver Modes. Although, the MBB model could be adjusted to only cover a certain sub-sector within Quality Education for All. Five Service Delivery Modes Ten Sub-Packages 1. Pre-School Education 1.1 Public Early Childhood Education 1.2 Private Early Childhood Education 2. Formal Basic Education 2.1 Public Formal Basic Education 2.2 Private Basic Education 3. Non-Formal Basic Education 3.1 Public Non-Formal Basic Education 3.2 Private Non-Formal Basic Education 4. (Lower) Secondary Education 4.1 Public Secondary Education 4.2 Private Secondary Education 5. Adult Literacy, Continuing Education 5.1 Youth and Adult Literacy Interventions 5.2 Continuing Education Six Service Coverage Determinants Indicator Supply side 1. Availability of essential commodities Pupil-Classroom Ratio by grade Pupil-Textbook Ratio 2. Availability of human resources Pupil-Teacher Ratio (or Pupilqualified Teacher Ratio) by grade 3. Geographic and financial accessibility School-Distance School-Costs by grade Demand side 4. Initial Utilization Net-Enrolment Ratio (or Gross- Enrolment Ratio) by grade 5. Continuous Utilization Survival Rate by grade 6. Effective Utilization Graduation Ratio Graduation Test Scores Overall, an MBB model in education could have added value for education planning, budgeting and impact simulation. However, it has to be considered that applying the model requires extensive data input for all six Service Coverage Determinants for each of the five Service Deliver Modes. Although, the MBB model could be adjusted to only cover a certain sub-sector within Quality Education for All.
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    "Beliefs of the district e-learning coordinators in the GDE about the pedagogical integration of ICTs in Gauteng Online schools".
    (2014-01-06) Waspe, Tom
    Using a Mixed Methods Convergent Parallel Design this study examines the Behavioural Intentions of the District eLearning Coordinators (DELCs) in the Gauteng Department of Education. The study posits that the educational beliefs of the DELCs are a significant factor in influencing their Behavioural Intentions with regard to their role concerning the integration of Gauteng Online into teaching and learning. Its purpose is to explore whether the DELCs intend to perform their roles in constructivist “Just-in-time” ways. It does this by examining their pedagogical beliefs, their knowledge about technology integration as well as other salient beliefs as formulated in the Theory of Planned Behaviour and by finding out whether these have a bearing on their intentions to provide support and professional development for teachers in the GDE. The study draws on key theories like the Theory of Planned Behaviour, theory about teacher knowledge for technology integration – Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) amongst others to explore these beliefs and behavioural intentions.
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    "I will get this degree" : an exploration of the motivations and coping skills of mature female postgraduate psychology graduates.
    (2013-03-19) De Freitas, M. S.
    This research study explored the dimensions of motivation that may exist for mature psychology graduates when completing their postgraduate degree. And because it is widely acknowledged that stress is often a close companion to motivation, specifically in the pursuit of academic goals, the study also investigated those aspects of coping skills these individuals employed to sustain their motivation in completing their studies. Eight mature female psychology postgraduates from four different South African public universities were identified using a non probability sampling technique. Semi structured interviews were then carried out with the eight participants; the interviews were then transcribed and analysed using content analysis. The results of the study indicated that self efficacy; intrinsic motivation, attribution and achievement goals all play a role in the students’ motivation. It further indentified perseverance as an important factor in the students’ completion of their studies. Positive beliefs, problem solving strategies and social support appeared to be the most widely used coping skills by this sample.
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    Doctoral education in South Africa: models, pedagogies and student experiences
    (2010-01-20T09:27:10Z) Backhouse, Judy Pamela
    People who hold doctoral degrees are considered valuable national resources able to produce knowledge to address pressing problems, and important sources of labour for the higher education sector. However, in 2006, only 1100 people graduated with doctoral degrees in South Africa. This limits the potential for research and improvements in higher education. In addition, 618 of those graduates were white, making it difficult to address equity concerns. Within the higher education sector there are debates about how to increase enrolments in doctoral education and the best way to run PhD programmes for effective learning, high quality research results and for efficiency. But there is little South African-based empirical research into what makes people undertake PhDs, how the programmes work and what learning and knowledge result. This study explores how different stakeholders – national and institutional policymakers, academic staff and doctoral people – understand the PhD; how these understandings influence the practice of doctoral education; and how different practices affect the PhD experience and the learning and knowledge produced. The primary research question I address is: “How do existing models and pedagogies of doctoral programmes shape the learning of doctoral people and the outcomes of doctoral programmes in South Africa?” The origins of the Doctor of Philosophy degree are often traced back to the nineteenth century reforms of German universities when the idea emerged that all scholars should be actively involved in research. But this is a simplistic view. By examining the evolution of the PhD in greater depth, it becomes clear that it has undergone continuous change and has always served both the high-minded pursuit of knowledge and the more prosaic pursuit of skills for employment. The literature reflects ongoing tension between the scholarly view of the PhD as knowledge generation by an emerging scholar, and the labour market view of the PhD as developing high-level research skills. In the South African context both of these views can be observed, but I also identified a view of the PhD as ongoing personal development through an engagement with knowledge. The three views of the PhD are underpinned by different discourses which inform the practice of doctoral education. In South Africa, the traditional model of individual supervision dominates, and it varies by discipline, department and supervisor. But patterns of practice can be discerned and I identify four of these and discuss how supervisors construct their individual supervision practice. Doctoral education is also a function of the people who do PhDs. Much of the research undertaken in the overdeveloped world focuses on younger people who are starting out on academic careers. However, in South Africa, many people doing PhDs are older and midway through careers which are often not academic. This leads me to propose a model of intersecting contexts, as an alternative to McAlpine and Norton‟s nested context model of doctoral education, which more accurately reflects the local situation. I discuss the PhD experience and make use of the intersecting contexts model to develop the notion of congruence between the PhD, the contexts and the PhD person with more positive experiences being related to higher degrees of congruence. Finally, I consider how the outcomes of doctoral education, the learning and knowledge which result, relate to the expectations of the different stakeholders. The research took the form of a qualitative study with a multiple case-study design employing theoretical replication. I examined doctoral education in four academic units at three South African universities with the units selected to represent different disciplines. All four units were in previously advantaged universities from the English-speaking tradition and all were successfully producing PhD graduates. These rich pictures of how doctoral education takes place contribute empirical evidence to current debates about the PhD in South Africa. At a conceptual level I identify the competing discourses about what a PhD is. I provide a more nuanced understanding of the practice of doctoral education within the overarching model of individual supervision. The intersecting contexts model provides a way to understand the expectations and circumstances of doctoral people and the notion of congruence illuminates their varied experiences. Finally, the study confirms that the outcomes of doctoral education, in terms of learning and knowledge generated, meet at least some of the expectations of policy-makers, supervisors and people who do PhDs.
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    "An imperilled profession?" : teachers' perceptions of the significance of remuneration in entering and remaining in the teaching profession.
    (2009-03-03T10:05:53Z) Sfetsios, Nefeli
    In view of the rapid decrease in the number of students opting to train as teachers and the increasing numbers of teachers leaving the profession; the teaching profession in South Africa is indeed what Duke (1984) termed “imperilled”. While quantitative research identifies remuneration to be the foremost factor attributed to the dissatisfaction of teachers in South Africa as elsewhere; the main purpose of this study was to explore teachers’ perceptions of remuneration. Nine qualified women teachers aged between 25 and 35 years of age, who had been teaching for at least two years and less than ten, volunteered to take part in this study. The sample was drawn from government schools in a suburban part of Johannesburg. This research was based on the information gathered from a short biographical questionnaire followed by in-depth, semi-structured interviews. A process of language sensitive thematic content analysis was employed in order to analyse the data from the interviews. The research indicates that in the decision to enter the teaching profession, notions of the perception that teaching is a vocation predominate. An emphasis on the related intrinsic rewards to be gained from teaching was found to receive greater focus than monetary concerns on entering the profession. The participants expressed that women are more likely to enter the teaching profession while even though men may share the passion to teach, they are seriously deterred by the poor levels of remuneration. The participants explained that as the contexts of their lives changed, so too did their perceptions of remuneration, often resulting in an increasing emphasis on the importance of better remuneration to meet their and their families’ financial needs. Related to this, it was found that as South African teachers were exposed to an almost overwhelming number of challenges, the participants began to experience fewer intrinsic rewards which seemed to impact negatively on their perceptions of remuneration. Thus of the nine participants, only two indicated their long-term commitment to the teaching profession whereas the remaining seven all had plans to leave the profession in search of better remuneration.
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    'Being and doing' in a new academic environment : challenges faced by seven Chinese post-graduate students at a South African University.
    (2009-01-09T08:15:56Z) Shen, Chunyan
    This research explores a range of academic and socio-cultural challenges faced by seven Chinese post-graduate students at the University of the Witwatersrand. The main aims of this study are to identify and understand any academic discourse challenges these students have been experiencing, together with any challenges in their new socio-cultural environment, such as financial or social challenges, and then to investigate the impact of these challenges on their studies and their identities as students. The study is based on data gathered from in-depth, semi-structured interviews with seven Chinese post-graduate students, from location ‘maps’ completed by each student and from some examples of the writing of three of the students. The findings suggest that these Chinese students are encountering great challenges in relation to English language proficiency and adjustments to new Discourses (Gee, 1996) – both academic and social. The data provide evidence that although these students feel socially disempowered in many respects, their attitudes toward academic study remain positive and each is making steady progress in his or her progamme of study and research. This finding indicates that there seems to be no explicit connection between positive social experiences and academic achievement and contrasts with findings from other research studies in which there is a correlation iii between positive or negative socio-cultural experiences and success or failure in the academy.
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    "Incentives and disincentives in education and their impact on educator satisfaction."
    (2008-12-23T08:18:27Z) McDonald, Donagh-Leigh
    The above research investigates what incentives and disincentives are present within the education system and how these factors impact on educator satisfaction. Increasingly, educators are becoming dissatisfied with their status in society as well as with their working environment. The research looks at a small group of Johannesburg based South African educators and, through an in-depth questionnaire, compares the situation with educators from the United States as well as from China in order to find similarities. A number of authors work was researched that looked at what “satisfaction” is and, how it affects the workplace. Various educational authors were also looked at in order to gain a historical and sociological view. Various news articles and media reports were also taken into consideration as a number of educators felt that the media reflected the education system in a negative light. It is evident from the research conducted that, increasingly, educators are becoming more despondent and less satisfied with their careers and a large degree of this dissatisfaction appears to stem from the organisational structures within education. Using South African based work, similarities were also established between the United States as well as China. The similarities and findings suggested that a more structured approach needs to be taken in terms of the organisational structure, not only in South Africa but perhaps within the United States and China too. If these changes were to be instituted, educators may experience improved satisfaction.