Die klassifikasie van onderprestering en die implikasies daarvan op skoolkultuur

Arnolds, David (2013-03)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Bibliography

Thesis

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die interpretering van beleid en die toepassing daarvan in die werkplek was nog altyd ’n aanvegbare aspek, omdat beleid nie ’n geslote entiteit is nie en dus oop is vir verskillende interpretasies deur die toepassers van beleid. Die aanvegbaarheid van beleid kan duidelik waargeneem word met die toepassing van die Nasionale Assesserings Beleid van 1998 op die Suid-Afrikaanse skoolgemeenskap. In hierdie trant is die hoofdoel van my studie om ondersoek in te stel na die implikasie wat die toepassing van beleid rakende die klassifikasie van primêre skole as onderpresterende skole op die skole se skoolkultuur,het en hoe sommige onderwysers teenoor so ‘n klassifikasie reageer. Met hierdie studie wil ek ’n interpreterende ondersoek loods na die vraag: “Hoe beleef onderwysers hul skoolkultuur nadat hul skole deur die Wes-Kaapse Onderwys Departement as onderpresterende skole klassifiseer is. Ek beskou dit as ’n belangrike vraag vir ondersoek omdat die literatuur rakende skoolkultuur en skool prestasie daarop dui dat hierdie twee aspekte as kritieke elemente beskou word in die skoolopset. Om hierdie rede ondersoek ek hierdie verskynsel in my onmiddelike skool omgewing om begrip te toon vir die wedersydse invloed wat hierdie elemente op mekaar het. Hierdie vraag word beredeneer teen die agtergrond van Suid-Afrika se deelname aan toetse van die ligame van internasionale akademiese prestasies en die onbevredigende uitlae wat tydens die deelname aan hierdie toetse verwerf is. Vanuit nege en dertig deelnemende lande het Suid -Afrika laaste geëindig. Ek loods my studie vanuit ’n kwalitatiewe interpreterende ondersoek aan drie laerskole en nege geselekteerde opvoeders oor die prestasie wat die Intermediëre Fase (graad ses) verwerf het in die aanname en inwerkingstelling van die Sistemiese Evalueringstoetse vanaf 2007 tot 2010 in Geletterdheid en Wiskunde as ’n uitvloeisel van die Nasionale Assesserings Beleid van 1998. Ek doen ’n beleidsanalise voortspruitend uit ’n historiese oorsig en konteks van skool en prestasie verskille wat in die onderwysopset aangetref word. My fokus is egter op die onderwysers se respons as gevolg van die klassifikasie van hul skool as ’n onderpresterende skool. Hierdie ondersoek word ingestel deur gebruik te maak van semi gestruktureerde onderhoudvoering met respondente van drie steekproefskole en ’n vergelyking van sistemiese toets uitslae en interne evaluerings uitslae. Vanuit die verkennende analises en die literatuur is gevind dat skoolkultuur ’n deurslaggewende bepaler in terme van leerderprestasie is. Waar skoolkultuur in presterende skole positief bydra tot die prestasie en werklewering van die skool, is dit ’n negatiewe determinant by die onderpresterende skole. Dit volgens Fleisch dui daarop dat die Suid- Afrikaanse onderwysopset nog steeds in twee afdelings fungeer naamlik die presterende voorheen bevoordeelde skole en aan die anderkant die onderpresterende voorheen benadeelde skole. Die onderwysers het ook gevoel dat hierdie aspek buite rekening is gelaat met die implementering van die sistemiese toetse en die gevolglike klassifikasie van die skole. Tydens die uitvoering van die studie het ek gevind dat die respondente van die deelnemende skole saamgestem dat ’n positiewe skoolkultuur leerderprestasie positief kan beïnvloed. Hulle het erken dat hulle in gebreke gebly het om ‘n positiewe skoolkultuur te ontwikkel en te handhaaf. Ek eksploreer die respondente se uitleef van hul skoolkultuur, magsverhoudinge en konseptualisering van hul identiteit aan die hand van hul gegewe klassifikasie. In die ondersoek het ek bevind dat daar ’n negatiewe skoolkultuur heers by skole wat as onderpresterende skole geklassifiseer is. Hierdie negatiewe skoolkultuur het ook veroorsaak dat onderwysers ’n probleem ondervind het met die magsverhouding wat daar bestaan het tussen hulle en die Onderwys Department. Hulle het dit gesien as ’n “top down” verhouding waarin hulle geen inspraak het nie. ’n Verdere uitspruitsel uit die negatiewe klassifikasie van die skool het daartoe gelei dat die onderwysers ’n negatiewe siening van hul identiteit as onderwysers ontwikkel het. Vanuit die literatuur wat handel oor die herstel van onderpresterende skole, stel ek die moontlikheid van die toepassing van transformasionele leierskap wat geimplementeer kan word in die bestuur van die deelnemenende skole as een van die strategieë om vanuit hul klassifikasie van onderprestering te kom. Hierdie navorsing het ten doel om die onderwysers se belewenis van hul skoolkultuur te weergee nadat hul skole geklassfiseer is as onderpresterend as gevolg van beleidstoepassing deur die Wes – Kaapse Onderwys Departement.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The interpretation and application of policy in the workplace will always be a contentious issue, because policy is not a closed entity but is open to different interpretations by its users. This contentiousness of policy is clearly illustrated with the application of the National Assessment Policy of 1998 on the education community of South – Africa. Along these lines my study will try to address the question: “How do teachers in underperforming schools give meaning to their school culture after their schools have been classified as underperforming schools by the Western Cape Education Department?” I see it as a very important question as it explores the interrelationships between school culture and school performance. These two elements are regarded as critical elements that can either create a positive or a negative school environment. And in that sense I want to have an understanding of its influence in my immediate school environment. This question is being argued against the backdrop of South - Africa’s participation in the tests of international bodies of academic performance where the country performed poorly. From thirty nine participating countries, South Africa achieved the lowest mean test score. My study is piloted in a qualitative interpretive enquiry at three different primary schools and nine pre- selected teachers in connection with the results obtained from the systemic evaluation tests which was administered in the intermediate phase (grade six) from 2007 up to 2010 in the learning areas Literacy and Numeracy. The Systemic Evaluation Tests stems from the National Assessment Policy of 1998 and was conducted as a measure to ensure the success of the learning centers and to improve learning systems. In this study I am conducting an analysis of education policy and also giving a historical overview of educational differences of schooling in South Africa. The focus however is on the teachers’ response as a result of their schools’’ being classified as underperforming schools. I am employing semi - structured interviews and do a comparison of the systemic results and the results obtained from the continuous assessment of the different schools. From the analyses and a study of the literature I found that school culture plays a defining role in learner performance. I also found that school culture can act as a positive enhancer in performing schools and can also act as a deterrent in underperforming schools. The results obtained from the systemic evaluation also shows that the South African education system still comprises of two separate education systems according to Fleisch. He holds the notion that there are the performing previously advantaged schools and the underperforming previously disadvantaged schools. The teachers felt that no consideration was given to the impact that the negative school culture and the impact of the environment could bear on the performances of the learners from the underperforming schools. My respondents acknowledged that a positive school culture could enhance learner performances and also conceded that they neglected to build and maintain a positive school culture. I then explore how my respondents gave meaning to their school culture, conceptualize power relations and identity formation after being classified as underperforming schools. In my study I found that there is a negative culture present in the underperforming schools. And it negatively influences the conceptualization of the teachers of the power relationship between them and the Education Department. They see the power relation as “top down” and something in which they have no say in. Due to the negative relationship between the teachers and the Education Department, the teachers also experiencing difficulties in dealing with their own identity as they view themselves as underperforming teachers as a result of the classification of their schools. Dealing with the literature regarding the rehabilitation of underperforming schools, I explore the possibility of employing Transformational Leadership as a strategy to deconstruct their image of underperformance. This research aims to show how teachers give meaning to their school culture after their schools were classified as underperforming due to policy applications by the Western Cape Education Department.

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