Obstacles to initiating an action research study at a former Department of Education and Training (DET) school : the case of Kayamandi High School

Mokotso, Bontle Adelaide (1999-12)

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

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The initial aim of the study was to begin a participatory process of teacher involvement in investigating the possibilities of "integrating a local environmental issue (polluted river) into ecology teaching using the Schools' Water Action Project (SWAP) as an environmental education process. I had decided to do this in the form of an action research study with biology and geography teachers at Kayamandi High School. The school is situated in Kayamandi, a black township of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. My decision to do this action research study with teachers of Kayamandi, aimed at adapting ecology teaching to address a local environmental issue, was prompted by my involvement with SWAP at the school from September 1998. Having realised the capacity of the project to stimulate not only an interest in the polluted river but also a broader environmental awareness, I decided to involve teachers in order to make the project accessible to as many pupils as possible. Problems that arose in my efforts to implement the study caused me to change its focus. As my problems turned out to be largely problems of access, I changed the study into an investigation of obstacles to access. The issues that emerged included the relevance of the study to the needs of teachers, the educational background of the teachers (which, in part impacted on the culture of the school), my position as an outsider with no clear understanding of the context, and my flawed assumptions about action research as a change process. My frustrating but rich experiences during this research journey not only contributed to my "understanding of the complex nature of both research and change, but also to my growth and professional development.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die aanvaklike doel van die studie was die stigting van 'n deelnemende proses van betrokke onderwysers in die ondersoek na die moonlikheid van die integrasie van 'n plaaslike omgewingskwessie ('n besoedelde rivier) na ekologiese onderwys, deur die Skool Water Aksie Projek (SWAP) as 'n omgewingsopvoeding proses. Ek het besluit om dit in die vorm van 'n aksie ondersoek studie te doen in samewerking met biologie en aardrykskunde onderwysers van Kayamandi Hoerskool. Die skool is gestasioneer in Kayamandi, die swart woningsarea van Stellenbosch in die Wes-Kaap provinsie in Suid-Afrika. My besluit om hierdie aksie ondersoek met onderwysers in Kayamandi te doen met die doel om ekologiese onderwys aan te pas, sodat die plaaslike omgewingskwessie aangespreek word was aanvanklik gestimuleer deur my betrokkenheid by SWAP by die skool vanaf September 1998. Nadat ek besif het dat die kapasiteit van die projek nie net die belangstelling in die besoedelde rivier stimuleer nie maar ook 'n breer ekologiese bewussyn aanwakker, het ek besluit om onderwysers te betrek sodat die projek vir soveel as moontlik leerlinge toeganklik kan wees. Probleme wat opgeduik het in pogings om hierdie studie te implementeer, het my gedwing om die fokus te verander. Aangesien die grootste probleem 'n toegangs probleem was, het ek die studie verander na In ondersoek van die obstruksies in hierdie toe gang. Die kwessies wat na vore gekom het, het op die volgende gedui: op die relevansie van die studie vir die behoeftes van die onderwysers, die opvoedkundige agtergrond van die onderwysers wat ook op 'n manier die kultuur van die skool beinvloed, my posisie as buitestaander met geen duidelike verstaan van die konteks en my foutiewe aannames rondon beide verandering en aksie ondersoek as 'n proses van verandering. My furstrasies maar ryke ervarings gedurende hierde ondersoek het nie net bygedra . tot my verstaan van die komplekse natuur van beide ondersoek en verandering, maar ook tot my groei en professionele ontwikkeling.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51368
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