A systems perspective of basic education in South Africa

Venter, Lieschen (2020-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : South Africa has one of the highest measures of economic inequality and one of the worst performing basic education systems in the world. The majority of learners from poorer communities are attending dysfunctional schools, while a minority of learners from richer communities are achieving adequately in a functional system. The economic disparity creates an intuition that allocating more funds can solve low academic performance, but this approach has yielded little return for a number of years. In this dissertation the impact of school leadership on learners' academic performance is considered in the South African context. School management is a systemic concept and elements thereof cannot be analysed in isolation. A series of system dynamics simulation models is developed to understand the effect of various school management interventions on communities, teachers, resources, and learners within the basic education system. The School Effectiveness Model simulates the South African basic education system and reveals that improvement interventions must be made early, continously and in multiple areas for them to be effective. The Teacher Effectiveness Model simulates the career progression of Western Cape public teachers and reveals that the number of the teachers appointed in a primary school has a greater impact on their effectiveness than the quality of the teachers appointed. The Early Childhood Development Model simulates the preschool career of Western Cape children and reveals that improving the quality of Early Childhood Development programmes has a greater impact on their primary school readiness than increasing the number of children enrolled into programmes. The Primary School Model simulates the progression of learners from Grade 1 to Grade 7 in the Western Cape and reveals that improving learners' social circumstance at home has a greater impact on their academic performance than improving their classroom experience. Finally, the expanded School Effectiveness Model brings all the models together to reveal that a combination of interventions is needed to decrease the academic performance gap between poorer and richer communities within the Western Cape.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Suid-Afrika het een van die hoogste vlakke van ekonomiese ongelykheid en een van die swakste basiese onderwysstelsels ter wereld. Die meerderheid leerders vanuit armer gemeenskappe woon disfunksionele skole by, terwyl 'n minderheid leerders vanuit ryker gemeenskappe voldoende presteer in 'n funksionele stelsel. Die ekonomiese ongelykheid skep 'n gevoel dat die toekenning van meer fondse die lae akademiese prestasie kan oplos, maar hierdie benadering het die afgelope aantal jare geen vrugte opgelewer nie. In hierdie verhandeling word die impak van skoolleierskap op die akademiese prestasie van leerders in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks ondersoek. Skoolbestuur is 'n sistemiese konsep wat nie buite 'n stelselkonteks ontleed kan word nie. 'n Reeks stelseldinamikasimulasiemodelle is ontwikkel om die effek van verskillende bestuursintervensies op gemeenskappe, onderwysers, hulpbronne, en leerders binne die basiese onderwysstelsel te verstaan. Die Skooleffektiwiteitsmodel simuleer die Suid-Afrikaanse basiese onderwysstelsel en toon aan dat verbeteringsintervensies vroeg, deurlopend en op verskeie faktore nodig is om doeltreffend te wees. Die Model vir Onderwysersefffektiwiteit simuleer die loopbaanvordering van onderwysers in die Wes-Kaap en toon aan dat die aantal onderwysers wat in 'n laerskool aangestel word, 'n groter impak op hul doeltreffendheid het as die kwaliteit van die onderwysers wat aangestel is. Die Model vir Vroee Kinderjare Ontwikkeling simuleer die voorskoolse loopbaan van kinders in die Wes-Kaap. Dit wys dat die verbetering van die gehalte van die programme 'n groter impak op skoolgereedheid het as om die aantal kinders wat by programme ingeskryf is te vermeerder. Die Laerskoolmodel simuleer die vordering van leerders van Graad 1 tot Graad 7 in die Wes- Kaap en toon aan dat die verbetering van leerders se sosiale omstandighede 'n groter impak op hul akademiese prestasie het as om hul klaskamerervaring te verbeter. Laastens bring die uitgebreide Skooleffektiwiteitsmodel al die modelle bymekaar om aan te toon dat 'n kombinasie van ingrypings nodig is om die akademiese prestasiegaping tussen armer en ryker gemeenskappe in die Wes-Kaap te verminder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108056
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