Politics and performance of a literacy intervention in Cape Town: School libraries and the new subjection of volunteerism.

Carolus, Gabriela Penelope (2016-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Since 1994, policy-driven research in South Africa led by the Department of Education (DoE) and Library Information Sciences (LIS) in resource-poor schools has focused on the absence of teaching and learning the material, teacher support for poor numeracy, and literacy pass rates. In addition, research has been particularly concerned with teachers and poor literacy results across Grade 3 and 6 cohorts. I argue that "literacy" and "literacy rates" are complex political and educational concerns in South Africa. I argue further that a historical examination of the notion of a "school library" in South Africa, its deployment in education policies and programmes, and the effects of school libraries on individuals who work in them should inform our understanding of these concerns. Based on ethnographic research within a non-profit organisation in South Africa which aims to realise a school library in every school, I develop here a framework for understanding the complex processes that shape the school library as a particular kind of policy and political object. Investigating the school library in historical and political context allows for a more in-depth understanding of the outcome of a policy campaign and those implementing the policy. Through a close examination of the policy campaign, I aim to illustrate the relations between stakeholders and role-players in the context of the school library campaign developed by Equal Education and its spin-off, The Bookery. An ethnographic approach to the literacy campaign enabled me to develop an intimate knowledge of a particular non-governmental organisation and the complex relations between volunteers, employees, and activists.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Sedert 1994 lei die Departement van Onderwys (DvO) en Biblioteek Inligting Wetenskappe (BIW) beleid navorsing oor beleid in minderbevoorregte skole. Navorsing fokus veral op die afwesigheid van onderrig en leer- en onderrigmateriaal, onderwyser ondersteuning vir swak numeriese vaardighede, asook die verswakte geletterdheidslaag vereiste. Daar word ook klem gelê op die swak geletterdheid uitslae, met meer spesifieke fokus op Graad 3 en 6. My mening is dat “geletterdheid” en “geletterdheidstatistiek” van die komplekse politiese en opvoedkundige bekommernisse in Suid-Afrika is. Verder beklemtoon ek hoe die bogenoemde kwessies slegs verstaan kan word indien die historiese konteks van “die skoolbiblioteek” in Suid-Afrika in ag geneem word. Dit sluit in die voorgestelde implementering daarvan in opvoedkundige beleide en programme asook die ervaringe van en uitwerkings op individue wat in die skoolbiblioteek werk. Hierdie studie werk is gebaseer op etnografiese navorsing in ’n nie-winsgewende organisasie in Suid-Afrika wat beywer om ’n skoolbiblioteek in elke skool op te rig. Ek wil hiermee ’n raamwerk voorstel om die bogenoemde komplekse prosesse uit te wys. Die raamwerk dui aan dat die skoolbiblioteek as ’n politiese en beleid voorwerp. So ʼn kontekstueel histories- en politiese-ontleding van die skoolbiblioteek dra by tot ’n insiggewende begrip van die uitkomstes van ʼn spesifieke beleidsveldtog, asook die rolspelers was by die implementering daarvan betrokke is. Met deeglike ondersoek van beleidsveldtogte, illustreer ek die dinamiek tussen aandeelhouers en rolspelers soos dit uitspeel in die konteks van die skoolbiblioteek veldtog, wat onderskeidelike deur “Equal Education” en sy afstammeling, die “Bookery”, ontwikkel is. So ʼn etnografiese benadering tot die skoolbiblioteek veldtog het dit moontlik gemaak om intieme kennis van ʼn spesifieke nie-regerende organisasie op te doen en om die komplekse verhoudings tussen vrywilligers, werkers en aktiviste uit te beeld.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100045
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