Grade 6 English First Additional Language teachers’ perceived preparedness for pedagogical content knowledge in writing education

Barnard, Jacques (2017-12)

Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Curriculum Studies

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2017

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : This thesis set out to determine the perceived preparedness of English Additional Language teachers for pedagogical content knowledge, specifically regarding the teaching of writing in the intermediate phase. Key theoretical resources for the study were Lee Shulman, with particular focus on pedagogical content knowledge, and scholars who elaborated on his work. Data for the study were collected by using a mixed-methods approach: firstly, Shulman’s work was used as a lens for a detailed document analysis of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) document to determine specific pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) terminology that teachers should be prepared for in order to teach writing effectively. A survey, primarily consisting of closed-ended Likert scale questions, was drafted upon the data from the document analysis and administered to teachers in the Western Cape in order to obtain deeper insight into how prepared they felt to teach the writing curriculum. Open-ended questions provided useful data to triangulate other data sets and also enriched the inquiry into the phenomenon. This study found substantial evidence indicating that there is a big difference between what teachers do know about the teaching of writing and what they, according to the curriculum document, should know. The CAPS is clear in emphasising particular concepts, strategies and everyday terminology to teach writing, and it follows that teachers should at least be prepared for the minimum requirements prescribed by the curriculum. Teachers’ lack of confidence was manifested particularly in the teaching of academic (formal) writing, transactional texts and the initial phase of the writing process. Many teachers felt confident developing the final draft of the writing task, but initiating the writing process – developing students’ ability to write the first draft, or to design and structure the task according to its formality and purpose – was an area in which teachers felt unprepared. There is evidence that teachers do not feel 100% confident to teach any of the 29 prescribed writing genres well. A significant pattern that emerged was that teachers felt more confident in teaching informal writing as opposed to transactional texts, which tend to be formal in professional contexts. This information is valuable, not only for future researchers, but also for stakeholders in South African education concerning the current level of preparedness of English First Additional language teachers in the intermediate phase. This study does not merely aim to identify a problem, but rather offers an indication of where and how teacher quality could be improved.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie tesis het gepoog om die waargenome voorbereidheid van Engels Addisionele Taal onderwysers, met spesifieke betrekking tot die onderrig van skryfvaardighede in die intermediêre fase, vas te stel. Die teoretiese bronne waarop die studie gekonsentreer het, was die werk van Lee Shulman, met spesifieke fokus op pedagogiese inhoudskennis, asook kundiges wat sy werk uitgebrei het. Data vir die studie is versamel deur gebruik te maak van die gemengde metodes benadering. Eerstens is Shulman se teorie as ‘n lens vir ‘n gedetaileerde dokument-analise van die Kurrikulum en Assesseringsbeleidsverklaring (KABV) vir die onderrig van Engels Addisionele Taal in die intermediêre fase gebruik om die terminologie vir die spesifieke pedagogiese inhoudskennis te bepaal waarvoor onderwysers voorbereid moet wees om skryfvaardighede suksesvol te onderrig. ‘n Opname wat hoofsaaklik uit Likert-skaal vrae bestaan het, is uit die data van die dokument-analise saamgestel en aan onderwysers in die Wes-Kaap voorsien om dieper insig te verkry oor hoe voorbereid hulle vir die onderrig van die skryfkurrikulum voel. Oop-eindevrae het waardevolle data vir triangulasie met ander datastelle verskaf, wat die ondersoek na die verskynsel verryk het. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie dui daarop dat daar ‘n groot verskil is tussen wat onderwysers wel oor die onderrig van skryfvaardighede weet en wat hulle, volgens die kurrikulum, veronderstel is om te weet. Die KABV plaas klem op sekere konsepte, strategieë en algemene terminologie vir die onderrig van skryfvaardighede, en onderwysers moet vervolgens ten minste vir die minimum vereistes van die kurrikulum voorbereid wees. Onderwysers se tekort aan selfvertroue het veral in die onderrig van akademiese (formele) en transaksionele skryfwerk, asook in die aanvangsfase van die skryfproses gemanifesteer. Baie onderwysers voel wel vertroud met die ontwikkeling van die finale weergawe van die skryfproses, maar die onderrig van die aanvangsfase van die skryfproses – om leerders se skryfvermoë in die eerste weergawe te ontwikkel, of om ‘n skryftaak volgens ‘n spesifieke formaat en doel te ontwerp en te struktureer – is ‘n area waarvoor onderwysers onvoorbereid voel. Daar is bewyse dat onderwysers nie 100% voorbereid voel om enige van die 29 voorgeskrewe skryfgenres suksesvol te onderrig nie. ‘n Beduidende patroon wat opgemerk is, het getoon dat onderwysers meer voorbereid voel vir die onderrig van informele skryfwerk in teenstelling met transaksionele skryfwerk wat neig om formeel in professionele kontekste te wees. Hierdie inligting is waardevol, nie net vir navorsers nie, maar ook vir belanghebbendes in Suid-Afrikaanse opvoedkunde met betrekking tot die huidige vlak van voorbereidheid van onderwysers wat Engels Addisionele Taal in die intermediêre fase onderrig. Hierdie studie wys nie bloot ‘n probleem uit nie, maar bied eerder ‘n aanduiding vir waar en hoe onderwysergehalte verbeter kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102663
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