Masters Degrees (Education Policy Studies)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 164
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    An exploration of automatic learner promotion at three schools in Namibia: Implications for quality education.
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Mbudhi, Liina Frieda; Davids, Nuraan, 1970-; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Education Policy Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study aimed to explore the implications of the automatic learner promotion (ALP) policy on the quality of education at three primary schools in the Erongo region of Namibia. The study employed a qualitative, phenomenological case study design. The objectives of the study were as follows: to gain insights into teachers’ understanding and implementation of the ALP policy; to ascertain the effects of ALP on learners and teachers, and hence, learning and teaching; and to determine the implications of the ALP policy on the quality education at the three schools. The data for this study was constructed from a purposively selected sample of six teachers, six heads of department and three school principals drawn from three state primary schools. In addition to conducting semi-structured interviews with a total of fifteen participants, the ‘National Promotion Policy Guide for Junior and Senior Primary School Phase’ (National Institute for Educational Development (NIED)) (2015) was analysed. The study found that only one of the three primary schools implemented the policy as required and stipulated in the ‘National Promotion Policy Guide for Junior and Senior Primary School Phase’ (NIED, 2015). Although the teachers and principals shared a common conceptual understanding of the policy, they had different understandings of how to implement it or whether to implement it at all. They also differed in terms of who was responsible for implementing the policy and the additional support required by learners who had been automatically promoted. Nevertheless, there seemed to be agreement that the negatives of ALP outweighed the positives. This perception was informed by several key factors, which included a lack of support from the Ministry of Education; unpreparedness and unwillingness by teachers to provide the extra support required by learners who had been automatically promoted; and the tensions between learners who had met the minimum grade requirements and those who had not but were promoted regardless. The study found that most participants viewed the ALP practice as compromising the education quality. Instead of assisting learners who struggled academically, such learners continued to struggle in the next grade. Their lack of competencies in their previous grade meant they were continually compromised and disadvantaged in acquiring new competencies. The difficulties experienced by these learners were compounded by a lack of interest, support, and motivation from teachers. The study recommends extra support to the teachers to eliminate the challenges they face. Policymakers are encouraged to consult teachers when developing the policies and conduct workshops sharing the meaning and significance of the policy. Policymakers are also encouraged to implement mechanisms that encourage all schools to implement national policies. The study encourages more parental involvement in the implementation of the ALP policy.
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    A hermeneutic inquiry of school improvement in an independent and public school
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) Adze, Emmanuel Tebe; Van Wyk, Berte; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Education Policy Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: School improvement is one of the fields in education policy studies that enjoy a significant degree of academic debates. Given that most schools are still in the process of development, a school improvement plan is regarded as one of the key tools that each school must have. The two schools that participated in this study witness tremendous progress in every area of school life. Drawing from my own personal experience in the education arena, and having seen these schools flourish in person, I was prompted to find out why these schools that were termed as dysfunctional schools had miraculously become great. My key purpose then was to ensure that such findings will open a completely new discourse about school improvement. I therefore decided to use hermeneutics as the philosophical lens through which I would study, interpret, analyse, and understand the key factors that catapulted the schools under study to such heights. Two schools in the Western Cape that had been branded dysfunctional schools by the Department of Basic Education were selected for this study because of their dramatic growth. Findings have shown that these schools made noticeable changes in the governance, fiscal management, parental involvement and the quality of education. It emerged from the research that progressive schools are not necessarily those that select the best learners, but those schools that support even weaker learners to achieve academic excellence and moral rectitude. The support is done without any regard for race, colour, or creed. The literature revealed that most learners in township schools also come from poverty-stricken homes. To most educators, investing in such learners translates into changing the community. This work bears great significance because it has brought to the fore some of the hidden truths which the Department of Education could not uncover during its investigation at one of the schools. These findings can be used to inform or encourage the school improvement plans of other schools in similar situations.
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    The role of principals in cultivating a positive school culture.
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-11-11) Ambrose, Edmund Daries; Joorst, J. P.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Policy Education Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study investigated the role of four principals in creating a positive school culture in their respective schools. The study adopted a qualitative case study approach, with data from document analysis, observations and semi-structured interviews. The study is situated in a primary school context of the Department of Education of the Western Cape. The participants were purposely selected based on a set of criteria to ensure actively participating principals who could contribute to providing a rich description of the research question. The study was premised on the assumption that principals played a crucial role in the creation of a positive culture at schools. The participants’ creation of a positive school culture was investigated through four policy expectations on school principals namely, time management, resource management, financial management, and curriculum management. This study used Schein's notion of three levels of culture, namely observable artifacts, espoused values, and basic underlying assumptions to address the study's main research question, which is: What is the role of principals in cultivating a positive school culture? The study was approached from an interpretive phenomenological perspective. This approach is distinguished by its emphasis on the research of participants' lived experiences. As a result, it was selected as most appropriate to understanding the nuanced educational roles of the participants in establishing a positive school culture. The data was finally processed using Schein’s model of institutional culture as a lens, which brought an interesting dynamic to the study in framing the analysis and findings. The most important findings of this study are that the participant principals were resilient despite the restrictive cultural influences around them and made time available to engage with colleagues on non-academic issues. They also managed resources effectively and created skills development opportunities This grounded their ability to use their roles to recognise and utilise the opportunities for creating a positive school environment inside the school. Although the study was limited to four principals, the insights generated can inform and motivate the next generation of principals who will serve in our schools and communities.
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    The 'place-attachment' practices of student residence leaders at their Stellenbosch University residences.
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Davids, Delecia Allison; Fataar, Aslam; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Education Policy Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores the immersion of 15 student leaders into their residences at Stellenbosch University. Concepts of place and agency form the theoretical underpinnings of this study. The investigation focussed on how they develop their place attachments in the residences and how their attachment practices, in turn, impacted their identities. This thesis is presented via the thesis-by-articles mode. It consists of two wraparound chapters: the Introduction and Conclusion chapters (Chapter 1 and 4, respectively). The thesis also has two research-based chapters: an article (Chapter 2) and a book chapter (Chapter 3). The theoretical framework of the thesis is based on a combination of Scannel and Gifford's (2010) multifaceted conceptualisation of place attachment and Archer's theory of morphogenesis (1982). The study used a qualitative and reflective research approach to produce qualitative data findings. The data collection methods assisted in gaining individual and shared meanings and experiences of place attachment in the residences. The main analytical findings reveal that student leaders develop their place attachment practices at their SU residences through adaptive behavioural responses, which 'speak back' to an institutional culture that conditions and positions them based on their emergent identities. By drawing on their aspirations and assistance from others, the students developed the capacity to act differently, even when their belonging was at risk. Importantly, as they secured their attachment, they became concerned with the experiences of others. This led them, to contribute significantly to micro- transformations in the residence cultures of the university.
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    Exploring the curriculum implementation experiences of TVET college lecturers
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Brand, Monice; Fataar, Aslam; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Education Policy Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Curriculum implementation at TVET colleges is not a simple process. College lecturers are implementing agents and have to receive, interpret, and make sense of the policy before they can implement it successfully. The college lecturers must know and understand what the national TVET curriculum entails and requires before the implementation thereof. Therefore, there must be consultation and cooperation between the college lecturers as implementing agents and the department as policymakers. Implementation of the college curriculum also takes place at a time that staff are grappling with many challenges, such as changing organisational structures, administration requirements and other practical challenges Methodologically, the thesis is based on a qualitative study that focused on the curriculum experiences of selected TVET college lecturers at one College. Conceptually, the study uses a combination of Elmore’s (1979-1980) approach policy implementation and Matland’s (1995) ‘policy ambiguity’ model to interpret the lecturers’ curriculum implementation experiences. The study focused on how lecturers deal with college and curriculum expectations and how this impacts their curriculum implementation at the college. It also considers how they receive and interpret the curriculum and how they position themselves to interact with various dimensions, such as administration of the curriculum, subject knowledge, pedagogy in the classroom and assessment. The research shows that the curriculum implementation practices of college lecturers are different and diverse, considering the pre-packaged curriculum that must be implemented and the lack of clear directives in how to implement it.