Aspects of the learning culture with reference to some high schools in Mitchell's Plain : a philosophical reflection

Arendse, Paul (1998)

Thesis (M.Ed.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1998.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Education in South Africa is at the crossroads. The culture of learning and teaching with reference to black and specifically coloured schools has collapsed. Since 1985 there has been a steady drop in the matric pass rate. In any nation at any given time the wellbeing of its people is measured against the intent and content of the education system. These intents should address the basic needs of the community it serves and at the same time satisfy the highest aspirations of its participants, setting standards as well as immediate and long-term goals in line with the ideals of an ever-developing nation. To maintain the integrity of its intent, the promoters of the system (all the role players) should be dedicated and committed to the spirit of this intent. Should any one of the above be found wanting, this could be expressed by indifference, frustration and possibly unrest. One manifestation of this will be a pupil corps with high expectations unfulfilled. Teachers themselves will be frustrated by the very legislators, promoters and planners and will have to implement this lack of vision. The purpose of this study is to analyse and describe the nature of the learning culture in coloured schools, in particular high schools in Mitchell's Plain. This purpose was realised by undertaking a theoretical investigation in the first place and secondly an empirical investigation into various aspects of the culture of learning. In order to obtain a clear overall picture of the learning culture in these schools, qualitative as well as quantitative methods of research were used. Interviews were also conducted with teachers, pupils and principals. Many of the problems found among the school-going population are deeply embedded in the historical past of South Africa. The result is a painstaking slow healing process to restore a learning culture to satisfy the ideals of an ever-developing nation. This research paper consists of five chapters. The introductory chapter holds as content the introductory orientation to the study. This is followed by the historical evolution of education in South Africa. Chapter 3 focuses on the erosion of the learning culture. This chapter reports on a survey which was conducted of various high schools. The aim of this exercise was to undertake an investigation into the learning culture that prevailed at these schools. Cultural-learning factors and its impact on academic achievement is discussed in chapter four. Chapter five delves into restoring of the learning culture and the roles of the pupil, family, community, teacher and principal are discussed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Opvoeding in Suid-Afrika is op 'n Kruispad. Die leerkultuure met spesiale verwysing na swart en kleurlingonderwys het verval. Sedert 1985, het daar 'n geleidelike afname in die matriek slaagsyfer van genoemde ingetree. By enige volk of nasie, ter enige tyd, word die welvaart van sy mense gemeet teenoor die doelstellings van sy opvoedingstelsel. Daar word aanvaar dat die opvoedingstelsel die basiese benodighede van die breër gemeenskap aanspreek en ook terselfdertyd die hoogste aspirasies van sy deelnemers bevredig. Standaarde om die onmiddelike en lang-termyn doelwitte te bevredig, strook ooreen met die ideale van so 'n gedurig ontwikkellende volk. Om die integriteit van sy voorneme te behou, moet die promoters van so 'n stelsel (al die rolspelers) toegewyd wees teenoor die gees van daardie voorneme. As 'n volle toegewydheid ontbreek, sal frustrasie en onrus aan die orde van die dag wees. Een van hierdie manifestasies sal 'n leerlingkorps wees met hoe verwagtinge wat nie vervvul kan word nie. So ook 'n onderwyserliggaam gefrustreerd deur die promotors en implimenteerders van so 'n kortsigtige onderwysstelsel van wie verwag sal word om hierdie kortsigtige visie te toe te pas. Die doel van hierdie studie is om die aard van 'n leerkultuur by hoërskole in Mitchell's Plain te analiseer en te beskryf. Hierdie doel is gerealiseer nadat 'n teoretiese ondersoek en daarna 'n empiriese studie in hierdie leergebied gedoen is. Ten einde 'n geheelbeeld van 'n leerkultuur in hierdie skole te verkry, is gebruik gemaak van kwalitatiewe sowel as kwantitatiewe navorsingsmetodes. Daar is ook onderhoude met onderwysers, leerlinge en stoolhoofde gevoer. Baie van die probleme wat onder die skoolgaande bevolking gevind word, is diep in die historiese verlede van Suid Afrika gewortel. Die gevolg is dat enige veranderings in die daarstelling van 'n leerkultuur 'n stadige, pynlike proses sal wees ten einde die ideale van 'n ontwikkellende volk daar te stel. Hierdie navorsing beslaan vyf hoofstukke. Die inleidende hoofstuk hou as inhoud die inleidende orientasie tot hierdie studie. 'n Blik op die historiese evolusie van opvoeding in Suid Afrika volg daarna. In Hoofstuk 3 word die erosie van 'n leerkultuur bestudeer. In hierdie hoofstuk is 'n opnamne van die leerkultuur in hoërskole in Mitchell's Plain gedoen. In Hoofstuk 4 word kulturele-leerfaktore bestudeer en hul impak op akademiese prestasie word bespreek. In Hoofstuk 5 word die rol van die leerling, gesin, gemeenskap, die onderwyser en skoolhoof nagevors en bespreek in die herstel van 'n leerkultuur.

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