Assessing learners' reading skills : a development of an in-service training programme for Junior Primary teachers

Bunding, Mark Gordon (1999-09)

Thesis (D.Ed.)--University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: Most learners in South Africa are only taught knowledge-based skills, and reading skills are assessed according to a prescribed curriculum. The emphasis seems to be on what the learner cannot do, instead of what the learner can do. South African educational system is currently in a transitional phase, where teachers are required to assess learners on their critical outcomes. This transitional phase demands that teachers make a mindshift from the old traditional, deductive teaching approaches to literacy to the more inductive, cognitive, social and sociopolitical constructions of literacy. Against this background, the study investigated first of all the beliefs of teachers concerning their teaching reading approaches and reading assessment. This information was then used as a point of departure in the development of a framework for an in-service training programme in order to provide teachers with the skills and confidence that will enable them not only to identify and assess reading problems in the Junior Primary phase, but also to teach reading effectively. To achieve the objectives, a qualitative research approach was used. Data collection methods included a literature review, a semi-structured questionnaire and three in-depth interviews with Junior Primary teachers at six primary schools (exHOR and ex-model C) in the Bellville area, near Cape Town. Although the results of the semi-structured questionnnaires provide a reasonably clear picture of the beliefs of teachers pertaining to learners reading skills, more information was gathered by means of the in-depth interviews. From the analysis of data, it became apparent that there is a need for further training and support regarding the implementation of Outcomes Based Education; teachers are currently focusing on reductionistic teaching approaches and are not knowledgeable about how to assess and rectify reading problems. In spite of these problems, most teachers expressed a willingness to learn new teaching reading approaches. The framework for an in-service training programme focused, as a result of the literature review and qualitative data analysis of the questionnaire and in-depth interviews, on a holistic teaching and assessment approach to reading within an ecosystemic framework. The active involvement of teachers and learners in the teaching and assessment of reading was stressed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die meeste leerders in Suid Afrika word slegs volgens kennisgebaseerde vaardighede onderrig, terwyl hulleesvaardighede volgens 'n voorgeskrewe kurrikulum geevalueer word. Die klem blyk geplaas te word op wat die leerder nie instaat is om te vermag nie, in plaas van wat die leerder instaat is om te vermag. Suid Afrika se onderrigstelsel is tans in In oorgangsfase, waar daar van onderwysers verwag word om leerders volgens hul kritiese uitkomste te evalueer. Hierdie oorgangsfase vereis dat onderwysers 'n denkpatroon verandering moet ondergaan vanaf die ou tradisionele, deduktiewe onderrigbenaderings ten opsigte van geletterdheid na 'n meer induktiewe, kognitiewe, sosiale en sosiopolitiese verwysingsraamwerk met betrekking tot geletterdheid. Teen hierdie agtergrond, poog hierdie navorsing eerstens om 'n ondersoek in te stel na die oortuigings van onderwysers rakende hul leesonderrig- en leesevalueringbenaderings. Hierdie inligting word dan benut as vertrekpunt vir die ontwikkeling van In raamwerk vir 'n indiensopleidingsprogram om aan onderwysers die nodige vaardighede en selfvertroue te bied, wat hulle instaat sal stel om nie net leesprobleme te identifiseer en te evalueer in die Junior Primere fase nie, maar om lees meer effektief te onderrig. Kwalitatiewe navorsing is gebruik om hierdie doelwitte te bereik. Data insamelingsmetodes het 'n semi-gestruktueerde vraelys en drie in-diepte onderhoude met Junior Primere onderwysers van ses skole (ex-RW en ex-model C) in die Bellville area naby Kaapstad, ingesluit. Alhoewel die resultate van die semi-gestruktueerde vraelys redelike inligting oor die oortuigings van onderwysers oor leerders se leesvaardighede na vore gebring het, is daar meer inligting deur middel van die indiepte onderhoude ingesamel. Inligting verkry vamiit die data analise het aangedui dat onderwysers 'n behoefte het aan verdere opleiding en ondersteuning ten opsigte van Uitkoms Gebaseerde Onderig; onderwysers gebruik tans reduksionistiese onderrigbenaderings en hulle beskik ook nie oor die nodige kennis en vaardighede om leesprobleme te identifiseer en korrigeer nie. Ten spyte van hierdie probleme, het baie onderwysers hulle bereidwilligheid verklaar om nuwe onderrigbenaderings aan te leer. Die raamwerk vir 'n indiensopleidinsprogram het op grond van die literatuur studie en kwalitatiewe data analise van die vraelys en in-diepte onderhoude gevolglik gefokus op 'n holistiese onderrig en evalueringsbenadering ten opsigte van lees binne 'n ekosistemiese raamwerk. Die aktiewe betrokkenheid van die onderwysers en leerders in die onderrig en evaluering van lees is beklemtoon.

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