Dialogue as facilitation strategy : infusing the classroom with a culture of human rights

Du Preez, Petro (2008-12)

Thesis(PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this dissertation the proposals made by the Department of Education towards the infusion of a culture of human rights and using dialogue as a facilitation strategy are problematised. It is argued that the lack of professional development programmes to assist educators in dealing with these proposals is one of the reasons why the infusion of a culture of human rights and dialogue as a facilitation strategy have not transpired as desired. Another apparent reason for the non-realisation of these ideals is that the classroom is not generally seen as an ethical community that has the propensity to anthropomorphise the ideal of infusing a culture of human rights through dialogue. The main focus of this enquiry was therefore to propose a normative theory of dialogue as a facilitation strategy as constitutive to the infusion of a culture of human rights in the context of an ethical community, aiming towards applying this theory in the form of an intervention research programme for selected in-service educators in the Mafikeng/Mmabatho area. The application assisted in determining the viability of the programme, specifically in terms of its theoretical underpinning, and the possibility of further developing it for the purpose of professional development of in-service educators beyond the scope of this target group. The theoretical underpinning of the intervention research programme consisted of a normative theory of dialogue as facilitation strategy characterised by: providing a dialogic stimulus, allowing for moments of deconstruction, critique and reconstruction, and finishing with debriefing and reflection. With regard to the human rights components, the focus was more on the infusion of a culture of human rights on a moral level than on an epistemological level. The intervention research process revealed how diverse groups of educator-participants responded to the intervention research programme. In addition, the research process demonstrated how and why the intervention research process could serve as a possible methodological framework for the design and development of professional development that is inclusive to a variety of education stakeholders. From this study it seems that the participating educators approved of and assimilated the intervention research programme and its underlying theory, albeit in different stages of the research process and with different concerns in mind. The work presented in this dissertation contributes firstly to a refined understanding of dialogue as a facilitation strategy in the South African context and secondly to an understanding of the frequently used notion of infusing the classroom with a culture of human rights in terms of its moral significance. Finally, it also focuses on and addresses the challenge of educator development and the organisation of facilitation strategies that are required to prevent human rights from being assimilated in inept educational paradigms.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie proefskrif poog om die voorstelle van die Departement van Onderwys rakende die infusie van ʼn kultuur van menseregte in die klaskamer en die gebruik van dialoog as fasiliteringstrategie te bevraagteken. Daar is geargumenteer dat die tekort aan professionele ontwikkelingsprogramme ter ondersteuning van onderwysers om hierdie voorstelle te implementeer een van die redes is waarom die infusie van ʼn kultuur van menseregte in die klaskamer en die gebruik van dialoog as fasiliteringstrategie nie tot sy reg kom nie. Die feit dat die klaskamer meestal nie gesien word as ʼn etiese gemeenskap wat oor die potensiaal beskik om die ideaal van die infusie van ʼn kultuur van menseregte in die klaskamer en die gebruik van dialoog as fasiliteringstrategie te verwesenlik nie, is nog ’n rede waarom hierdie voorstelle oënskynlik geen effek het nie. Die hooffokus van hierdie ondersoek was dus om ʼn normatiewe teorie ter ondersteuning van dialoog as fasiliteringstrategie wat bevorderlik is vir die infusie van ʼn kultuur van menseregte in die konteks van ’n etiese gemeenskap te ontwikkel. Hierdie teorie is toegepas in die konteks van ’n intervensie-navorsingsprogram vir geselekteerde indiens-onderwysers in die Mafikeng/ Mmabatho-omgewing. Die toepassing het gehelp om vas te stel wat die praktiese waarde van die program is, veral ten opsigte van die program se teoretiese onderbou. Die moontlikheid om die program verder te ontwikkel as ’n professionele ontwikkelingsprogram vir indiens-onderwysers buite die bereik van die studie, is sodoende ook ondersoek. Die teoretiese onderbou van die intervensie-navorsingsprogram het bestaan uit ʼn normatiewe teorie van dialoog as fasiliteringstrategie wat gekenmerk word deur ’n dialogiese stimulus, wat ruimte laat vir oomblikke soos dekonstruksie, kritiek en rekonstruksie, asook vir ontlonting en refleksie. Met betrekking tot die menseregtekomponent, was die fokus meer op die morele infusie van ʼn menseregtekultuur as op die epistemologiese infusie daarvan. Die intervensie-navorsingsproses het openbaar hoe diverse onderwyser-deelnemers op die intervensie-navorsingsprogram reageer. Die navorsingsproses het ook gewys hoe en waarom intervensie-navorsingsprosesse kan dien as ʼn moontlike metodologiese raamwerk vir die ontwerp en ontwikkeling van professionele ontwikkelingsprogramme wat ʼn verskeidenheid van onderwysbelanghebbendes in ag neem. Van die resultate kon daar afgelei word dat die deelnemende onderwysers die intervensie-navorsingsprogram en onderliggende teorie goedgekeur en geassimileer het. Dit was egter duidelik dat elke groep deelnemers die program verskillend geassimileer het en dat hul verskillende probleemareas ervaar het. Die werk wat in hierdie proefskrif weergegee word het eerstens ʼn bydrae gemaak tot die begrip van dialoog as fasiliteringstrategie in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, en tweedens tot die verstaan van die idee rakende die infusie van ’n menseregtekultuur in die klaskamer waarna telkens verwys word. Laastens het dit ook gefokus op die uitdaging van onderwyserontwikkeling en die organisering van fasiliteringstrategieë wat benodig word om te verhoed dat menseregte geassimileer word in paradigmas wat onvanpas is vir die onderwys.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/19516
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