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Now showing 1 - 5 of 21180
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    Exploring instructional leadership practices of primary school heads in the context of increased accountability in the Lubombo region, Eswatini
    (2022) Matsenjwa, Ncamsile
    This study explored instructional leadership practices of primary school heads in the context of increased accountability in the Lubombo Region of Eswatini. A mixed methods design had been employed in the study, wherein the sequential exploratory design was adopted with the pragmatist paradigm. Within the first phase, semi-structured interviews, document analysis and observations were used for collecting data. In the second quantitative phase, structured questionnaires were used, while, in the last phase, a focus group interview and semi-structured interviews were carried out. The population of the study consisted of 153 educational professionals in the Lubombo Region of Eswatini. Purposive sampling, systematic sampling, simple random samplings were techniques engaged in selecting the different participants. The majority of the head teachers in rural primary schools have misconceptions regarding their roles as instructional leaders. Consequently, there is a significant gap between policy and practice insofar as instructional leadership in rural primary schools is concerned. The majority of the time of rural school head teachers in the Lubombo Region is consumed by administrative tasks, including meetings and accounting roles, among other routine issues. Head teachers face a number of challenges that restrict them from effectively promoting instructional leadership in schools within the Lubombo Region, including limited instructional resources, overcrowded classes, as well as insufficient time to complete their roles, late hiring of teachers, public participation, teacher unionism, offenders not sanctioned, teachers’ attitudes towards head teachers’ supervision, normal progression policy and drug abuse. Among the coping strategies to manage instructional leadership in the context of increased accountability, head teachers work extra hours and make use of the delegation option of management. Increased accountability for school heads in rural schools is thought to improve overall performance and quality of education. However, this places significant pressure on the head teachers to perform, leading to extremely stressful events. It is recommended that the Ministry of Education and Training launches capacity-building programmes aimed at educating head teachers about instructional leadership. Considering the excess times spent on administrative tasks, it is suggested that the official responsibilities of a standard head teacher be audited by the Regional Education Office. There may be the need for the MoET to invest more in rural schools, to ensure adequate instructional resources are available for use. It may be essential for the MoET to focus on policies and procedures that promote the notion of increased accountability. Official standard appraisal forms for school heads to utilise during classroom observation should be designed by the MoET.
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    Research capacity development in South African higher education: an analysis of the challenges and opportunities presented by the new generation of academics programme
    (2022) Magabane, Mmamajaga Angeline
    Investing in the development of research capacities among young academics from designated groups has become a central part of planning for the South African government and universities. Research capacity development initiatives have therefore increased significantly over the years, with most universities initiating multi-faceted approaches to providing training for research staff and funding through research grants. This study explored the concept of research capacity development in South African higher education by investigating and analysing the challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation of the New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP) in selected South African universities. It was noted that these opportunities and challenges could be either constraining or enabling for the nGAP programme in general, as well as for participants in the study, who are nGAP lecturers, mentors and managers. Determining the factors that enable or constrain the implementation of the nGAP was achieved by exploring the motivation of participants to be part of the nGAP, examining the mechanisms employed by participating universities to support the programme and the extent to which these constrain or enable its implementation; as well as investigating the views and experiences of participants about the implementation of the different components of the nGAP in their respective universities. This study is the first qualitative research to investigate and analyse the factors that affect the implementation of the nGAP at institutional levels, from the point of view of the lecturers, managers and mentors participating in the programme. This is a timely study, given that the nGAP is in its sixth year of existence, which marks the conclusion of training for the first cohort participating in the programme. The programme was initiated in 2016 to recruit, develop and retain young and emerging academics from designated groups across the twenty-six universities. The nGAP has the long-term goal of transforming the academic staff demographics in the South African higher education sector. The study is located within the interpretivist paradigm, therefore qualitative research methodologies and instruments were applied. The sample for the study comprised eight lecturers, six mentors and five managers participating in the nGAP at the eight public universities. A total of nineteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants, with the purpose of understanding their views and experiences, and the contexts within which they operate, as well as how the implementation of nGAP functioned. The study was limited because it only focused on the implementation of the nGAP as one of the many strategies for developing research capacities in South African public higher education institutions. Although there are other research capacity development programmes implemented by universities, the majority are not government sponsored and are therefore not very well known. It would therefore have been a daunting task to even begin to expand the focus of such programmes, especially considering the time limitations and financial constraints of the study. This limitation provides an opportunity for further research to be conducted on how these other programmes compare to the nGAP, and how their implementation and support vary at different universities. Only eight universities out of the 26 that participated in the implementation of the nGAP took part in the study. The rich narrative data produced by the study was analysed through the lens of the capability approach, which provided a structure for reflecting on factors associated with the participants’ environments and circumstances that could suggest policies for improving the implementation of the nGAP at institutional and national level. Evidence produced by the study indicates the nGAP is a valuable programme, based on sound principles and good intentions. However, its implementation at the institutional level is both constrained and enabled by several factors at the individual and institutional levels. These tend to affect the experiences of the three categories of participants in the study, both negatively and positively. These issues include institutional cultures and climate, the university processes and systems, the contradiction between national policy and practices at institutional level, the lack of policy to guide mentoring for the programme and the inflexible implementation of the different features of the programme. The findings are intended to contribute towards a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation of the nGAP. The study’s contribution to theory is through its conceptualisation of the nGAP as a research capacity development programme, with its implementation taking place at three interconnected and interrelated levels: individual, institution and government. The study was also intended to influence policy and practice in government and in the higher education system, in order to strengthen the nGAP implementation processes. Mentoring was one aspect of the nGAP that featured strongly in the narratives of the three categories of participants, particularly the lectures and mentors. It was found to be constrained, mainly by the lack of policy or any other guiding framework. As part of its contribution to new knowledge, the study proposes a model for the development of the nGAP mentoring framework to improve mentoring practices in the programme. It is hoped that this will help to develop a mentoring policy/ framework for the nGAP would strengthen the debate around mentoring in the South African higher education sector.
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    Lived experience: a study of young people said to be missing in Education and Training yet not found in Employment, Kagiso, South Africa
    (2022) Luxomo, Viwe Gift
    Non-participation in education, training, and employment (NEET) has become the dominant feature in young people’s lives. At its launch the notion of ‘NEET’ was branded as a possible panacea to the identified as ‘social exclusion’ outcome. In many ways, this idea assisted to reinsert young people in the dominant policy discourse. However, it has not helped to address their social and economic needs. In this doctoral study, I produced substantial descriptions drawn from the qualitative research approaches that focused on the lived experience of the township youth. I explored the perceived possibilities, choices, expectation and meaning the so-called ‘NEETs’ attach to non-participation in education, training, and employment. I made use of interpretative phenomenology to conduct the interviews with the seven young people and fifteen persons in their circles of intimacy. The findings pointed to the outstanding barriers for accessing education, training, and employment; delayed transitions on post-school possibilities; and the constrained transition into employment. I found the construct of symbolic violence to be providing insightful tools for making sense of the wider challenges for accessing opportunity in South Africa, while care helps us to [re]imagine a world (society) that is committed to make the possibilities for human functioning ready-to-hand. These helped me to develop a model for approximating the possibilities that are intended to shift current preoccupation with discourse of skills towards care for humanity. I argued that raising the expectations on what young people must give to their societies, without adequately equipping them to meet the emergent demands, set them up for failure. A study of the youth experiences at a time when non-participation in education, training, and employment is increasing is important and opportunistic for three reasons: It is topical, relevant, and timely.
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    Investigating the characteristics of the twenty-first century South African secondary school learning environment that produce rich learning experiences
    (2022) La Fleur, Jeanette Andrea
    This mixed methods study set out to investigate the characteristics of a 21st century South African secondary school learning environment that provide rich learning experiences. It was framed through a pragmatic lens and articulates the view of learning as an active, social process. This research was conceptualised around teachers’ appropriation of digital technologies and teachers’ pedagogical approaches. The examination of their pedagogical strategies included the opportunities to harness learners’ epistemological diversity, which speaks to their lived experiences, and ways of making meaning in society. Teachers’ appropriation of digital technologies was analysed using Hokanson and Hooper’s continuum of media use from representative to generative use, which reflects the extent to which they exploited their digital affordances to enhance and transform learning. Cope and Kalantzis’ Learning by Design knowledge processes along with the modes of interaction in Anderson’s interaction theorem (teacher-student, student-student and student-content) were used to examine teachers’ pedagogical approaches. This study extended the theorem by adding and using teacher-studentcontent interaction as another mode of interaction. The research setting for this investigation was 10 English and History classrooms in three private schools and two former Model C schools. The study used a convergent mixed methods design that combined quantitative and qualitative data sources with the latter being prioritised. Qualitative and quantitative data collection occurred concurrently and included detailed classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, and a questionnaire survey. The findings revealed that teachers mainly used digital technologies in the representative sense with minimal evidence of their generative use and did not exploit the surfeit of digital affordances. Teachers whose pedagogical strategies included a blend of knowledge processes and modes of interaction demonstrated more transformative pedagogical strategies. The main contribution of the study is a conceptual model of the 21st century secondary school learning environment that speaks to both technology-rich and technology-constrained environments.
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    Science teachers’ Information and Communication Technology (ICT) self-efficacy and classroom technology integration: the case of Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe
    (2022) Jabangwe, Sifelani
    Computers and the internet are becoming common in learner’s everyday life. The learners therefore acquire competencies associated with these digital resources outside the classroom. The way the learners are educated must keep pace with the realities they experience in their lives outside the school environment. The initiatives by Zimbabwe to integrate ICTs in the teaching and learning process is in line with the current learners’ digital image. The effort and determination in using information and communication technology (ICT) in teaching and learning is influenced by one’s level of computer self-efficacy. The aim of the study was to determine the ICT self-efficacy and practices of Science teachers in Manicaland province of Zimbabwe and to propose a teacher professional development model to enhance Science teachers’ self-efficacy to ensure ICT integration in the teaching and learning of science. The self-efficacy theory was developed by Albert Bandura’s as a sub-set of a larger theory, the social cognitive theory. This study therefore drew from the social cognitive theory. This study used the mixed research methods and adopted the exploratory sequential design using a descriptive survey. Data was collected in two phases. The initial phase (qualitative) was done to identify challenges and impediments to ICT integration in the teaching and learning of science as perceived by the population members using questionnaires and interviews to collect data. The second phase of the research was carried out to determine the level of teacher ICT self-efficacy and the frequency of use of digital devices in lesson delivery. Generally, the teachers agree that they are not confident in using ICT in teaching and learning, that is they are not computer self-efficacious (computer self-efficacy mean score=39, standard deviation =26.624). The Science teachers in the study sample never or rarely used ICT in the teaching and learning process (mean score=1.97, standard deviation = 0.825). There is a positive but moderate correlation between the Science teachers’ ICT self-efficacy and their frequency of using digital teaching methodologies (correlation coefficient of 0.521). The linear relationship between the variables was statistically significant (p˂0.01). The findings indicate that teachers’ ICT professional development needs are not sufficiently addressed in a well-coordinated manner to ensure effective integration of ICT in teaching and learning. This study recommended that an effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the ICT integration in education should be put in place and teachers and senior management staff at schools should be professionally developed to ensure ICT integration in teaching and learning. Teachers should integrate technology in classroom practice using available devices. Well-coordinated technology centres should be established. An ICT policy dedicated to education besides the generalised one should be formulated.