An investigation of teachers’ experiences in relation to junior secondary school (JSS) social science curriculum in the Kharas Region, Namibia

Negumbo, Theopolina Anna Ndahekelekwa (2018-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : This phenomenological study explored social science teachers' experiences of the implementation of the Junior Secondary School (JSS) curriculum in the Kharas region of Namibia. The research design was qualitative and descriptive in nature. A qualitative phenomenological research design, guided by an interpretive research paradigm, was employed to answer the research question and to achieve the aims and objectives of the study. The main question was: How do social science teachers experience the implementation of the Junior Secondary School (JSS) social science curriculum in the Kharas region, Namibia? To answer the main question and sub-questions accurately, the researcher purposely selected eight participants to investigate the lived experiences of teachers in a particular setting. The participants were selected based on their experiences and knowledge of the phenomenon. The phenomenology methodology was guided by the ideas of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. The main aim in choosing this methodology was to search for the subjective truth of the participants' daily realities and not merely facts, as is done in positivist studies research. Hermeneutics was another approach employed so that the researcher could understand each participant's individual experiences With reference to their narrative. The researcher aimed to discover meaning within the lived experiences as described by the participants. To investigate teachers' experience, the researcher conducted the study using three in-depth semi-structured phenomenological interviews, together with field notes and narratives. The semi-structured interview format was based on Seidman's three series: focused in life history, the details of experience, and reflection on the meaning. The first interview aimed to explore the meanings of the participants' experiences in the context of their personal experience, including their educational lives. The second interview concentrated on the concrete details of their current experiences of the phenomenon. It focused mainly on their practices as In-service social science teachers. The final interview required that they look at their present experience in detail and within the context in which it occurred. Its aim was to encourage the participants to reflect on the meaning that their experience holds for them. Data covered the participants' lived experiences, challenges experienced as social science teachers at JSS, as well as the way they coped with the situation in which they teach, and their teaching and learning strategies. At the time that this study was conducted, the JSS curriculum was the current curriculum that was being revised in 2016 for implementation. The social science teachers' awareness of the new JSS curriculum when it was being implemented was explored. The participants shared their experiences of the implementation of the new JSS curriculum. The findings reveal that the participants did experience various challenges in implementing the JSS curriculum: for example, lack of teaching and learning materials, lack of training, and insufficient time to complete the syllabus. Despite all the challenges and concerns, most of them showed an interest in remaining in the teaching profession. Based on the findings, educational recommendations are made. The study underscores the successes and challenges experienced by social science teachers during the new curriculum implementation. The findings of the study have implications for teachers, education officials, policy-makers, pre-service and in-service education providers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie fenomenologiese studie het sosiale wetenskaponderwysers se ervarings tydens die implementering van die Junior Sekondére Skoolkurrikulum in die Karasstreek van Namibié verken. Die navorsingsontwerp was kwalitatief en beskrywend van aard. 'n Kwalitatiewe fenomenologiese navorsingsontwerp, gerig deur 'n verklarende navorsingsparadigma, is Ingespan om die navorsingsvraag te beantwoord en om die doelwitte en mikpunte van hierdie studie te bereik. Die hoofvraag was: Hoe ervaar sosiale wetenskaponderwysers die implementering van die Jumor Sekondére Skool (JSS) se sosiale wetenskapkurrikulum in die Karasstreek, Namibié? 0m die hoofvraag en sub-vrae akkuraat te beantwoord, het die navorser doelbewus agt deelnemers gekies om die belewenisse van onderwysers in 'n bepaalde opset te ondersoek. Die deelnemers is gekies gebaseer op hul ondervindings en kennis van die bepaalde fenomeen. Die fenomenologiese metodologie is gelei deur die idees van Edmund Husserl en Martin Heidegger. Die hoofdoel vir die keuse van dié metodologie was om na subjektiewe waarhede van die deelnemers se daaglikse realiteite en nie bloot na feite, soos in positivistiese navorsingstudies gedoen word nie, te soek. Die hermeneutiek (uitlegkunde) is nog 'n benadering wat die navorser gebruik het om elke deelnemer se indiwiduele ervarings te verstaan in samehang met hul narratief. Daar is verder gepoog om betekenis te vind in die soos die geleefde ervaring eelnemers beskryf het. 0m kleurryke beskrywings van onderwysers se ervarings te ondersoek, het die navorser dne in-diepte semi-gestmktureerde fenomenologiese onderhoude gevoer en aangevul met praktiese notas en narratiewe. Die semi-gestruktureerde formaat is gebaseer op Seidman se drie fases: gefokusde lewe, die detail van die ervaring, en besinning oor die betekenis. Die eerste onderhoud het ten doel gehad om die betekenis van die deelnemers se ervarings in die konteks van hul persoonlike ervarings te ondersoek; insluitend hul lewens in die onderwys. Die tweede onderhoud het op die konkrete detail van hul huidige ervarings van die fenomeen gekonsentreer. Dit het hoofsaaklik gefokus op hul praktyke as in-diens sosiale wetenskap onderwysers. Die laaste onderhoud het vereis dat hulle in detail na hul huidige ervarings kyk binne die konteks waarin dit gebeur het. Die doel was om die deelnemers aan te moedig om te besin oor wat hul ervarmgs vir hulle inhou. Die deelnemers se geleefde ervaring, die uitdagings wat hulle as sosiale wetenskaponderwysers by JSS ervaar het, die wyse waarop hulle die situasie waaronder hulle onderrig gegee het, hanteer het en hul onderrigstrategieé, is deur die data gedek. Ten tyde van hierdie studie was die kurrikulum wat by JSS onderrig is die kurrikulum wat in 2016 hersien is met die oog op implementering. Die bewustheid van die sosiale wetenskaponderwysers gedurende die implementering van die nuwe kurrikulum by JSS is verken. Die deelnemers het hul ervarings oor/met die implementering van die nuwe JSS kurrikulum gedeel. Die bevindings het bewys dat die deelnemers wél verskeie uitdagings in die implementering van die JSS kurrikulum ervaar het. Voorbeelde van hierdie uitdagings was: 'n tekort aan leer- en onderrigmateriaal; 'n tekort aan opleiding; en 'n tekort aan tyd om die sillabus te voltooi. Ten spyte van al die uitdagings en kommer het die meeste 'n belangstelling getoon om in die onderwysprofessie te bly. Gebaseer op die bevindings, word opvoedkundige aanbevelings gemaak. Die studie beklemtoon die suksesse en uitdagings wat deur sosiale wetenskapondenvysers ervaar is gedurende die implementering van die nuwe kurrikulum. Die bevindings van hierdie studie het implikasies vir onderwysers, onderwys-amptenare, beleidmakers, voor-diens en in-diens onderrig verskaffers.

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