A phenomenological investigation into the lived experience of selected accounting teachers in the Western Cape Province

Koopman, Karen Joy (2018-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : This study investigates the lived experiences of selected Further Education and Training Accounting teachers residing in the Western Cape Province in South Africa. The main research question is: What are the lived experiences of selected Accounting teachers in the Western Cape province? The subsidiary research questions are: (i) How do Accounting teachers experience the circumstances (contexts) in which they teach? (ii) How did the various changes in the curriculum over the last two decade impact on their disposition towards the curriculum? (iii) How do the Accounting teachers’ convictions (passion, confidence, certainty, belief) about who they are influence the way in which they experience their work? (iv) What motivates Accounting teachers to do what they do? To answer the main research questions and sub-questions accurately, I purposively selected five research participants. Three of the five participants teach at historically disadvantaged schools with a quintile index rating ranging from 1 to 2, while the other two participants teach at historically advantaged schools with the quintile index rating ranging from 4 to 5. To elicit rich descriptions of the teachers’ subjective experiences, this study conducted in-depth semi-structured phenomenological interviews augmented with field notes for the data construction process. Each interview was divided into two parts. The first part of each interview captured the childhood and early adulthood experiences of the research participants. Their childhood and early adulthood experiences included where they grew up, the influential roles of their parents, their Accounting teachers and their Accounting lecturers at the institutions of higher learning where they acquired their teacher’s training. The second part of each interview focused mainly on their practices as in-service Accounting teachers. The research participants’ experiences as in-service Accounting teachers were captured from four perspectives. First, their challenges, fears and convictions as Accounting teachers were captured as well as the way they cope with the conditions within which they teach. Secondly, their teaching strategies were noted. Thirdly, their experiences of the changing landscape in education in South Africa over the last two decades were recorded. Finally, their drive to remain in the teaching profession despite the daily challenges they are confronted with was documented. Theoretically I drew on Edmund Husserl’s ‘life world’ theory, Martin Heidegger’s notion of Dasein and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s ‘lived body’ theory. These theories formed the essence of the conceptual and data explicitation frameworks. Husserl’s ‘lifeworld theory’ was used to craft a descriptive narrative for each research participant, which laid the foundation for the interpretive narrative based on Heidegger’s notion of Dasein. The descriptive and interpretive narratives guided the construction of the anticipatory interpretive narrative that was based on the ‘lived body theory’ of Merleau-Ponty. The findings revealed that there is a significant match between each research participant’s childhood experiences and teacher training with their professional trajectories as Accounting teachers. This means that their perception of Accounting as a school subject was constructed and shaped by their experiences as learners and as pre-service teachers. Despite all the frustrations and concerns around the subject Accounting, the research participants all agree that they want to remain in the teaching profession. These finding have implications for policy-makers, curriculum designers, teacher educators and phenomenological researchers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie studie ondersoek die geleefde ervaringe van geselekteerde Rekeningkunde-onderwysers in the Verdere Onderrig en Opvoeding fase in die Wes-Kaap provinse, Suid-Afrika. Die sentrale navorsingsvraag wat hierdie studie is: Wat is die geleefde ervaringe van geselekteerde Rekenningkunde-onderwysers in die Wes-Kaap? Die onderliggende vrae wat verder uit die sentrale navorsingsvraag vloei is: (i) Hoe ervaar Rekeningkunde-onderwysers die omstandighede (konteks) waarin hulle werk? (ii) Hoe het die verskillende veranderinge in die kurrikulum oor die laaste twee dekades hulle gesindheid teenoor die vak beinvloed? (iii) Hoe beïnvloed die Rekeningkunde-onderwysers se oortuiginge omtrent hulself die manier waarop hulle hul werk ervaar? (iv) Wat motiveer Rekeningkunde-onderwysers om te doen wat hulle doen? Om die sentrale navorsingsvraag en onderliggende vrae akkuraat te beantwoord, het hierdie studie doelbewus vyf deelnemers geselekteer om aan die studie deel te neem. Drie van die vyf onderrig tans in histories benadeelde skole, terwyl die ander twee in histories bevoordeelde skole onderrig. Die kwantiel indeks gradering van die histories benadeelde skole lȇ tussen 1 en 2, terwyl dit van die bevoordeelde skole tussen 4 en 5 is. Om omvattende beskrywings van die onderwysers se ervaringe vas te vang rondom hoe die Rekenenigkunde-opvoeders onderrig en leer ervaar, het hierdie studie in-diepte semi-gestruktureerde fenomenologiese onderhoude met hulle gevoer. Om meer diepte aan hulle beskrywings in die onderhoude te gee het hierdie studie ook veldnotas gebruik. Die doel van die onderhoud skedule was tweevoudig. Die eerste doel was om hulle ervaringe as kinders en tienerjare vas te vang. Hier was die fokus op die invloedryke rolle wat hul ouers in hul ontwikkeling en groei gespeel het, en hoe hulle Rekeningkunde-onderwysers en dosente hulle vroeë ervaringe met die vak intellektueel gevorm het. Die tweede deel van die onderhoud het slegs op hul praktyke gefokus. In hierdie deel was die invalshoek, eerstens, op hul uitdagings, vrese asook oortuigings en hoe hulle dit baasraak. Tweedens, hulle onderrig strategieë. Derdens, hoe hulle die kurrikulȇre veranderinge die afgelope dekade hanteer en laastens, wat dryf hulle om in die beroep te bly Hierdie studie was gerig deur die werke van Edmund Husserl se ‘lifeworld’ teorie, Martin Heidegger se nosie van ‘Dasein’ en Maurice Merleau-Ponty se ‘lived body’ teorie. Hierdie teorieë het ook die basis van die konseptuele en analitiese raamwerk gevorm. Husserl se ‘lifeworld’ teorie was gebruik om die beskrywende narratief van elke onderwyser te vorm en het ook die grondslag gelȇ om die interpretatiewe narratief te vorm gebaseer op Heidegger se nosie van Dasein. Beide die beskrywende narratief en die interpretatiewe narratief was as basis gebruik om die antisipatoriese interpretatiewe narratief te skryf gebaseer op Merleau-Ponty se ‘lived body’ toerie. Uit hierdie studie blyk dit dat daar ‘n direkte verband is tussen elke deelnemer se ervaringe as kinders en opleiding as prospektiewe onderwyser en hoe hulle hul uitleef as professionele Rekeningkunde-onderwysers. Dit beteken dat hulle persepsie van Rekeningkunde alreeds in hulle vroeë jare as leerders en studente geslyp was. Ten spyte van al hulle frustrasies en besorgdheid rondom Rekeningkunde, dui elke deelnemer aan dat hulle in die beroep wil bly. Hierdie bevindinge het transformerende gevolge vir beleidskeppers, kurrikulȇre ontwerpers, dosente verantwoordelik vir onderwys opleiding asook vir navorsers in fenomenologie.

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