Doctoral Degrees (Educational Psychology)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 47
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    Exploring the role of employment status on learning support facilitators’ work experiences in a private school
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2024-03) Porter, Gabi; Daniels, Doria; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The educational landscape in South Africa has changed over the years, in line with international trends. The move away from a medical deficit model of approaching education has meant changes in the ways in which schools approach learners with diverse educational needs. A more inclusive educational environment is the goal for all schools, although how they reach this goal may vary. One such method of providing additional support to learners facing barriers to learning is the use of learning support facilitators. These paraprofessionals assist the learners in their academic classes by helping them to maintain focus on the tasks, as well as to scaffold tasks when necessary, or allow for additional explanations to take place. The professional role of the learning support facilitator is not one that is currently accredited or monitored, as it is not a common position in many South African schools. The use of a learning support facilitator comes at an additional cost to the parents of the learner, or to the school itself. Hence, this type of support is most often found in private schools in the county. Learning support facilitators are most often found to be employed directly by the parents, yet they work closely in the school environment with the teachers and management. This type of employment status could lead to possible dissatisfaction and confusion in the workplace surrounding issues of confidentiality and inclusion in the staff activities. This study researched the stories of learning support facilitators who were employed directly by the school itself, and how this employment status affected their workplace experiences positively. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews and a focus group. The analysis process revealed four themes that their school-employee status had on their workplace experiences: access to professional development opportunities, institutional challenges and advantages, power dynamics among the staff, and support structures offered by the school. The findings suggested that being school employees had a positive effect overall on workplace experience for all the participants, both socially and professionally.
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    Teachers and high school learners’ experiences of a diversity programme
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2024-03) Singh, Suzanne Angelique Maria; Dreyer, Lorna; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Post-apartheid democratic South Africa has seen many policies with recommendations and initiatives to promote social justice and inclusion in schools. Desegregated schools have a significant role to play in nation-building and the significance of schools as both a reflection of and a shaping force in society is emphasised. This research aimed to investigate the experiences of teachers and learners in a diversity programme implemented at a former whites-only school in South Africa. The rationale for this programme was that participation in a diversity programme could create and promote opportunities for authentic inter-racial and inter-cultural interaction in a structured way. This qualitative research was guided by the ecological systems theory and cultural-historical activity theory. Participants in this research were purposively selected. Data was collected through the review of documents, individual semi-structured interviews, and focus group discussions. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to generate in-depth accounts of participants’ experiences. The findings revealed that building intercultural awareness and understanding necessitates a multifaceted strategy that considers the diverse cultural-historical backgrounds and experiences of all participants involved. It emphasised the significance of contextual factors such as social class, gender, location, as well as cultural and historical perspectives of participants. Based on the research findings, valuable insights into participants’ lived experiences and personal growth formed the basis for the development of the model of practice presented as a scholarly contribution of this research.
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    Educational and psychosocial experiences of women university students who became teenage mothers whilst at school
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Haufiku, Anneli Ndapandula; Carolissen, Ronelle; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Namibian education policy, emphasising inclusion, has enabled teenage mothers to return to school after giving birth and to complete their schooling. Despite the inclusion policy, there seem to be few studies on teenage parents who completed their schooling and continued their education at university. This qualitative case study focuses on women who became pregnant while at school and who are now university students. It specifically explores the factors that assist women to remain in and complete high school, as well as the factors that assisted them to access university. Through this study, a deeper understanding was sought of what motivates women to succeed despite challenges attached to school pregnancy. This study draws on the integration of three theoretical strands at various levels, namely metatheory (Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory), individual and interpersonal theories (possible selves), and political and social levels (feminist theory), with a focus on Iris Marion Young's five faces of oppression. Based on the pre-established selection criteria, a sample of 12 university students who became pregnant while at school was chosen carefully. Individual semi-structured interviews with the aid of an interview guide were used to gather data. This study adopted a strengths-based approach rather than the deficit approach that is frequently used when researching marginalised groups, in this case, African women who have had teenage pregnancies. The study revealed that changing the policy had a positive impact on women's educational pathways. The NAMCOL programme – the university’s mature-age entry scheme, and NSFAF funding enabled the research participants to access university. Women’s self-motivation and the holistic systemic support they received strengthened their ability to remain in school and access university. The findings contest deficit approaches to teenage pregnancy, which frequently contend that African women who become pregnant while still in their adolescence are doomed to failure in terms of educational success. This is one of the few studies conducted outside of South Africa on young women's educational pathways after having teenage pregnancies in African contexts.
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    An analysis of critical thinking skills and democratic citizenship education in the South African higher education system and its implications for teaching and learning
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Pullen, Elton; Waghid, Yusef; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine the extent to which critical thinking (CT) skills are being developed in the accounting programmes accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) at South African universities. The study is situated within the South African Higher Education (SAHE) accounting landscape, which in recent years (2013 to 2020) has suffered declining student success rates despite increased access to higher education. Specifically, the study aimed to evaluate whether a pedagogy aimed at cultivating democratic values of equality within the SAHE accounting landscape can enhance the development of critical thinking skills in students. Secondary research questions focused on the related meanings of CT and democratic citizenship education (DCE), as well as on how the concept of CT has been advanced (or not) in the SAHE policies, the SAICA competency framework and the pedagogical practices within the accounting programmes at SAICA-accredited universities (SAUs). In particular, the focus was on evaluating the extent of CT development within the pedagogical activities conducted by SAICA-accredited programmes. These pedagogical activities were evaluated along a continuum, where activities regarded as more indicative of critical thinking were regarded as more critical thinking (MCT), and those less indicative of critical thinking were regarded as less critical thinking (LCT). The research approach used was a conceptual-deconstructive analysis approach, with an overarching eclectic paradigm incorporating interpretivism’s broad philosophical perspectives, critical theory, and deconstruction. This research approach evaluated the pedagogical activities at accounting programmes accredited by SAICA as LCT overall. This evaluation of LCT was due mainly to the focus on assessment which mimics the SAICA Initial Test of Competence (ITC) exam. This exam essentially assesses ‘what the student does on their own’ instead of ‘what the student co-constructs with their teachers and/or peers’, with the latter being indicative of MCT. Furthermore, the analyses revealed a lack of learner-centred pedagogical practices, deliberative encounters in the classroom, and pedagogical expertise by accounting academics. In response to the above-mentioned findings, the study proposes Foucault’s notion of rupturing in the dominant mimicked SAICA ITC assessment practices reminiscent of assessment of learning and instead argues for assessment within learning as coined by Waghid and Davids (2017). Furthermore, the study argues for the adoption of problem-based learning (PBL) within the pedagogy instead of the current prevalent instructional modes of teaching at SAUs. Furthermore, the study suggests pedagogical training and the practice of critical reflection for chartered accountant (CA) academics who tend to enter the academe as technically skilled accounting experts rather than as pedagogically trained teachers. In general, the study urges CA academics to continuously critically reflect on how notions of DCE and CT can be fostered within the pedagogy without ignoring the technical competencies.
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    Deliberative democratic theory in relation to private general and further education and training
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Forster, Megan; Waghid, Yusef
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Quality equal education is not available to everyone in South Africa. Our country has a traumatic history that continues to have significant implications for the development and implementation of educational legislation. In addition, the perceived inadequacies of a contextualised approach to deliberative democratic engagement have resulted in poor policy development for private general and further education and training (GFET). This contributes to regulatory barriers that render it virtually impossible for private providers to contribute much needed resources where the state continues to fail. This dissertation, which is located within the discipline of education policy studies, provides a historical evaluation of education legislation enacted within the Southern African education sector. An evaluation of deliberative democratic engagement concerning private GFET required a critical educational theory approach. In addition, a qualitative evaluation of relevant literature, policies, regulations, Acts, and reports, was employed. The dissertation reviewed the theory that emerges from this literature in relation to a contextualisation of deliberative democracy for South Africa. This included a measure of critical realism required by deliberative democracy to acknowledge the historical injustices within the education sector. Unless we undertake this task, we may repeat aspects of past injustices. To begin with, the dissertation provides a historical overview of the successive sets of policy implementation that have negatively impacted upon the development of an equitable, quality, basic education system in South Africa. This overview provides an account of an education system that has a history of inequality, discrimination, neglect, and inferiority, that will take years to overcome. Two distinct historical periods that shaped our education sector are discussed. Firstly, the discussion includes a review of the colonial and apartheid eras. During this period education and religion were used to socially engineer a segregated, unequal society, based on race, gender and language. The dissertation argues that education was used as a tool for disenfranchisement. Secondly, the discussion provides a review of post-apartheid educational policies and legislation that continue to propagate the cycle of discrimination and inequality within the education sector. The dissertation then facilitates a critical engagement with the theory of deliberative democracy in relation to the pervasive problems with policy development and implementation in the private GFET sector in contemporary South Africa. Having conducted this critical conversation it is argued that to address the inadequacies in policy formation and implementation in contemporary GFET in South Africa, a contextually appropriate form of deliberative democracy is required that considers the complexity of our history and embraces the rich cultural diversity that makes South Africa unique. The dissertation presents the recommendations for a form of deliberative democracy that embraces the principles of ubuntu and encourages communities of care that are built on mutual trust. The recommendations include the need for a politics of reconciliation and unhindered communicative freedom for the achievement of liberty rights within the South African focus on communal identity. The study offers two unique and novel contributions to the field of educational policy studies. Firstly, it offers proposals for an amended approach to deliberative democracy for the South African context that focuses on the impact of policy studies in private GFET. Secondly, this study offers a thorough critical reflection on the ways in which policy development and implementation in the South African GFET sector were shaped and misshaped by political ideology and social actors (such as religious movements during the colonial era, politicians, political movements, and unions in the democratic era). This research adds a further necessary contribution towards research that seeks to understand the complexity of policy development and implementation within the private GFET. While it is not possible for a single dissertation to solve such a complex problem, it does offer some novel and unique insights that help us to understand the challenges we face, while offering some constructive proposals for how we can move forward.