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- ItemEarly career foundation phase teachers’ experiences of learning support in schools of the low socioeconomic area(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Van der Rheede, Lucia; Dreyer, Lorna M.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Support.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Inclusive Education (IE) policy outlined in Education White Paper 6 (2001) recognises that, with appropriate assistance, every child has the potential to acquire knowledge. The practical implementation of learning support poses a significant challenge for many teachers. However, the most substantial challenges emerge when managing learning support within a diverse, low-resourced, overcrowded classroom. This research aims to investigate the experiences of how early career Foundation Phase teachers experience the implementation of inclusivity in low socioeconomic schools. The study adopts a qualitative approach and employs an illustrative case study research design. This research is further grounded in the social constructivist theory, focusing on how early career teachers perceive and engage with learning support and inclusive education. The study involved five Foundation Phase teachers purposefully selected from low socio-economic schools in the Western Cape Province. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and were complemented by document analysis to ensure data reliability. Thematic content analysis was employed to make sense of the data and findings. Four themes appeared from data analysis, i.e., implementation of teaching practices, support structures, and proactive and early career teacher requirements. The findings revealed that while learning support and inclusive education are acknowledged in South African schools, numerous challenges remain to be surmounted. These challenges encompass understanding diversity among learners, an absence of infrastructure and resources, lack of teacher training and overcrowded classes. These factors can be regarded as hindering the facilitation of adequate learner support and advancement. The challenges mentioned were confirmed by the findings in the data collected for this research. Teachers expressed concerns about limited resources, the excessive student-to-teacher ratio, and language instruction hinder adequate learning support. The recommendations stemming from the discoveries made in the study primarily revolve around empowering teachers and encouraging them to work together based on the principles of social constructivism.
- ItemThe psycho-social wellbeing of early childhood development teachers(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Wessels-Maluleke, Maria; Moen, Melanie; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The psycho-social wellbeing of early childhood development (ECD) teachers has been a source of concern in both current research and national and international news because their wellbeing has been shown to impact the wellbeing of the whole school community. This thesis sought to explore ECD teachers’ conceptualisation of their psycho-social wellbeing through the lens of positive psychology, a theoretical framework that aims to help individuals flourish in everyday life. Within the theoretical framework of positive psychology, the circle of courage, which is a resilience model grounded in positive psychology, was used as a guide to explore these teachers’ conceptualisation of their wellbeing. The circle of courage is a native American model that has been adapted for use in therapeutic settings since its constructs has shown to increase the wellbeing of individuals. The rationale for this study was to contribute to educational stakeholders’ understanding of the subject with the aim to enhance the educational psychology support services that can be offered to ECD teachers. This study was positioned within the social constructivist paradigm as it sought to gain an in-depth understanding of the participants’ realities within their specific context. By emerging myself in the lives of the participants, I hoped to gain insight into their conceptualisation of their psycho-social wellbeing. Furthermore, the constructivist view allowed me to place the voices of the teachers at the forefront of the research. The study was qualitative in nature, and a case study research method was used that allowed an in-depth investigation of the psycho-social wellbeing of ECD teachers within their natural context. Through purposeful sampling, which allowed me to focus on information-rich cases, a sample of seven participants were obtained to take part in this study. Data were collected through four focus group discussions that included the construction of a visual artefact during each focus group. Each focus group explored one of the four constructs of the circle of courage, namely belonging, generosity, independence, and mastery. Through qualitative thematic analysis, themes and subthemes were revealed that made up the ECD teachers’ conceptualisation of their psycho-social wellbeing. The findings identified two themes. Theme 1 was aspects that aid in the psycho-social wellbeing of ECD teachers, and the five subthemes identified under Theme 1 were family as a support structure, a positive attitude, purpose in the workplace, positive relations with colleagues, and community involvement. Theme 2 was aspects that may detract from the psycho-social wellbeing of ECD teachers, and two subthemes, namely emotional exhaustion, and a lack of resources, were identified under Theme 2. An understanding of the aspects which aid in, and aspects which detract from the psycho-social wellbeing of ECD teachers may allow for targeted interventions by educational psychologists to promote their psycho-social wellbeing.
- ItemFormatiewe assesseringspraktyke gedurende Covid-19 afstandsonderrig: laerskool wiskunde-onderwysers se ervarings(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Deetlefs, Pauline; Conradie, Karlien; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.
- ItemDigital technology in the classroom: reflective practice informing primary school teachers' pedagogies(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Saunders, Tamryn; Conradie, Karlien; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has ignited a transformative era, characterised by the rapid integration of advanced technologies into various spheres of human existence. In the realm of education, this technological revolution has paved the way for innovative approaches to teaching and learning, prompting an increased utilisation of digital technology within the classroom environment. As traditional educational paradigms evolve to embrace the digital age, educators find themselves navigating a dynamic landscape where pedagogical practices are filled with the potentialities of technology. Grounded in the interpretive paradigm, this qualitative research used a single exploratory case study to delve into the reflective practices and pedagogical strategies used by primary school educators as they navigated the ever-evolving landscape of education in the digital era. Furthermore, in the hopes of exploring their reflective practices, the study aims to glean insights into the dynamic interplay between technology, pedagogy, and the frameworks that shape educators' instructional decisions. These frameworks include constructivist teaching and learning theories, and various models of incorporating digital technology into the classroom. The researcher made use of purposive sampling to recruit six primary school teachers from two independent schools in the Western Cape. These teachers made use of and had access to digital technology in their classrooms. Data was generated through semi-structured interviews and teachers' reflective journals. Thematic analysis was used to reveal the themes and narratives from these sources. Through this process, the educators demonstrated adeptness in leveraging digital tools, aligned with their pedagogical ideals. Challenges, including distractions to learning and the negative impacts of using digital media, underscored the need for careful integration. Amidst these, gamification and project-based learning stood out, fostering engagement and critical thinking. This delicate interplay between technology and pedagogy emphasised the need for reflective practices when incorporating digital technology into education. Navigating the technology-pedagogy interface demands nuanced understanding and purposeful application. This research contributes to the discourse on digital technology's role in education, advocating a harmonious synthesis of innovation and pedagogical intent.
- ItemEducation interrupted: experiences of teenage mothers returning as adult students(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-12) Baird, Cathryne; Daniels, Doria; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Women represent more than half of the world’s population and, as such, their education is paramount to societal development worldwide. High pregnancy rates among South African school learners persist, with over 136,000 births recorded in 2020 among girls aged 10 to 19. A third of these young mothers do not resume their education after pregnancy and birth. This study sought to explore the lived experiences of teenage mothers whose education was disrupted by pregnancy and subsequently resumed and continued as adult students. This qualitative research is grounded in a social constructivist approach and uncovers the narratives of five South African cis female women enrolled in the Adult Education and Training (AET) programme as second-chance adult students. Purposive sampling was employed for participant selection and the data collection methods included individual narrative interviews, a planned focus group session, and an autobiographical mapping tool. The narratives uncovered the complexities of their educational trajectories and introduced themes that included contextual education, teenage pregnancy, educational continuity, and their envisioned future. The data were analysed through open coding and revealed the intricate dynamics embedded in the experiences of teenage mothers’ exit from formal schooling, and their re-entry into the education system as second-chance adult learners. These women encounter persistent systemic and societal barriers as they balance multiple roles and responsibilities while navigating adult education. This study advocates for an educational landscape that empowers these women to attain their educational aspirations despite the challenges they face.