Doctoral Degrees (Curriculum Studies)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 158
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    Democratic citizenship education in South African schools: Teachers' practices and perspectives
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Rock, Chrischar; Robinson, Maureen; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Curriculum Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Since the advent of democracy in South Africa, policy documents and curriculum guides have attempted to shape and provide a framework for democratic citizenship education in schools. Even with such policies being in place, this research works from the premise that through teachers’ practices, perspectives, and lived experiences in classrooms and schools, policy endeavours and ideals for democratic citizenship education can be given meaning. The study draws on practice theory, where the emphasis lies on examining practices in practice. The study uses the notion of sense-making, which includes the central concepts of individual cognition, situated cognition, and policy signals. Through its findings, the research sheds light on teachers’ conceptualisation of democratic citizenship education and how it is implemented, organised, and practiced across different classrooms in different schools. The study utilized qualitative research methods within an interpretivist framework, and it focused on eight Life Orientation teachers, all in their first five years of teaching. Data-collection methods included lesson observations and semi-structured interviews. The lesson observations offered insight into how these teachers implemented democratic citizenship education in their respective classrooms. Semi-structured interviews allowed the research participants to discuss their perspectives on democratic citizenship education and offer further insights into the pedagogical strategies observed in lessons. This study has identified that, conceptually and empirically, there exists a gap between how curriculum policy in South Africa articulates the values and strategies of democratic citizenship education and teachers’ understanding and interpretations of these ideas. Findings indicate the importance of the relationship between the teacher as the individual sense-maker, the situational context, and external policy representations on teachers’ conceptualisation and implementation of democratic citizenship education. The study showed how teachers are constrained or enabled by their situational context and the different ways in which they take initiative to navigate their individual contexts. Results indicate a need for a better understanding of how teachers themselves make sense of democratic citizenship education in practice and the influence of the situational context on teachers’ classroom pedagogy. As one strategy towards this end, the study argues that teacher education programs, both in their design and implementation, need to create opportunities for pre-service and in-service teachers to develop pedagogical approaches to explore, implement and promote democratic citizenship education. By giving attention to the findings and recommendations of this study, it is argued that we may develop a better understanding of the teacher (self), the profession, and the practice for the realisation of democratic citizenship education in schools in South Africa.
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    'n Poging om die loopbaan vooruitsigte van leerders by ‘n VOO-Landelike skool te verbeter: ‘n Deelnemende aksienavorsingsbenadering
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Klaasen, Danoven; Esau, Omar; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Curriculum Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The disposition within which rural schools function and the challenges it poses to rural learners have significant consequences for the prospects of rural learners (Nelson Mandela Foundation, 2005; Jansen, 2011). In this thesis, I share the participatory action research project I undertook at the school where I teach and the community that it serves. This research was an attempt to improve the career prospects of learners at a rural school. The study was a critical inquiry characterized by democratic processes and principles of empowerment and collaboration, embodying the fundamental characteristics of Participatory Action Research (PAR). This was done with the aim of bringing about transformation by exposing the restrictive factors that undermine positive change and thus improving my general practice in Career guidance within the rural school environment. General practice in this context refer to my practice inside and outside the classroom which also includes formal and informal teaching. In an effort to answer the research questions related to the topic of this study, data were collected through interactions with my cooperative research group, focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, field notes, participant observation, triangulation, and the presentation of lessons. During the recruitment and selection of participants, I used purposeful sampling. When purposeful sampling is combined with Participatory Action Research methods, new opportunities are promoted to engage community members in research on social issues and the use of research findings within community contexts (Palinkas et al., 2015). Data were analysed in an ongoing and iterative process and were informed by theories on which this study was based. The analysis of the study indicates that: - The inherent characteristics of the rural environment leave school, learners, parents and guardians in a disposition, - A strong correlation exists between the socio-economic circumstances of the learner and his/her attitude towards his/her future and academic progress. - The lack of ambition that matriculants demonstrate is fuelled by a lack of positive role models. - Factors such as uninvolved parents, unemployment, low levels of literacy of parents and the community, gang elements, early school leaving, unqualified career guidance teachers and other defective elements of the school and community contribute to a weakened frame of reference, which impacts negatively on the rural learners because the learners operate in an environment of low expectations. The above results seem to contribute to a trajectory of the learner that is consistent with that of the community within which he/she finds himself/herself. This dissertation recommends that there should be closer collaboration between the school and the community. It also suggests that classroom practice becomes more cooperative in nature, so that learners can have greater participation. It also wants to emphasize the sentiment that the rural learner will remain oppressed by the restrictive localized characteristics of the rural environment, if the influences to which the learner is exposed are not managed. Changing the trajectory of the rural learner requires a sustainable intervention that improves the career prospects of the rural learner.
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    A professional development framework for teaching mathematics meaningfully with technology in Namibian secondary schools: A design-based research study
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Kanandjebo, Leena Ngonyofi; Lampen, C. E.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Curriculum Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this Design-Based Research (DBR) was to design a professional development framework for teaching Mathematics meaningfully with technology in Namibian secondary schools. The definition of the concept of meaning was modelled on Vygotsky's (1978) description of meaningful learning as that which arouses an intrinsic need and is incorporated into tasks that are relevant and necessary for life. As such, Kilpatrick, Swafford, and Findell's (2001) five strands of mathematical proficiency informed the interpretation of goals for teaching Mathematics meaningfully with technology. The study was situated within the pragmatic paradigm, with the goal to build artefacts to produce change. Three design stages were conducted. Stage one involved a literature survey related to technology and Mathematics education, learning theories including adult professional learning, a comprehensive framework of Mathematics teaching goals, and frameworks related to professional development for teaching Mathematics with technology. The findings revealed that Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) based frameworks have no actionable guidelines for professional development and neglect the ethical dimension of professional development to teach Mathematics with technology in a developing country like Namibia. The second design stage had two phases: one, the analysis of affordances and constraints of the Namibian secondary school Mathematics curriculum in terms of teaching Mathematics meaningfully with technology; and two, had five iterative data collection cycles with technologically adept Mathematics teachers. The findings revealed that only conceptual understanding and procedural fluency are described explicitly in the Namibian curriculum. The curriculum does not provide adequate goals for the strands of strategic competence and adaptive reasoning. The objective of the development of a productive disposition is relegated to learners’ attitudes to Mathematics and does not feature explicitly in the guidelines for teaching. In terms of teaching with technology, the calculator is the only technological tool explicitly mentioned and meant for efficiency and accuracy in mathematical calculations. Further, the Namibian curriculum aligns. Mathematics teachers at the substitution level and the tasks level in terms of technology integration. In addition, the findings of Stage 2, phase 2 were that: participating teachers view technology as a tool to improve the speed and accuracy of mathematical calculations. Yet, they view teaching Mathematics meaningfully with technology as promoting strategic competence, conceptual understanding, and productive disposition. The participating teachers reported very limited access to professional development that integrates the use of technology and subject knowledge. The findings of Design Stage 3 filled a gap in the literature on the professional development of teachers to teach Mathematics with technology, by designing a culturally responsive professional development framework with holistic and actionable design principles for goals and progression. Due to COVID-19 constraints on the study the principles and framework that are the designed products of the research, have tentative status and must be strengthened by empirical application in future research. The study recommends that the professional development of Mathematics teachers to teach Mathematics with technology should be grounded in Mathematics content didactics and should be based on the notion of meaningful learning and teaching of Mathematics which develop and change as professional developers and teachers work together to better understand the possibilities and constraints of cognitive technologies.
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    Narrative writing and language biographies on English language learning: the case of Hifikepunye Pohamba Campus
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Shiweda, Meameno Aileen; Van der Walt, Christa; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Curriculum Studies.
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    Narratives of black women academics in South African Higher Education: An autoethnography
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Farmer, Jean Lee; Carolissen, Ronelle; Leibowitz, Brenda; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Curriculum Studies.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This is an autoethnography of a Black woman who tracks her educational trajectory through and beyond Apartheid South Africa. In addition to the formal educational journey, the inseparable cultural education is included. For comparison, she employs the stories of other Black women in similar academic positions and institutions in South Africa, to depict an inclusive, yet often exclusive, reality of being a Black (Black, mixed, Indian) woman academic in South Africa. Deconstructing the academic experiences in these spaces aims at “unsettling [white occupation] the grip over mundane as well as high stakes decisions” (Arday & Mirza, 2018). In South Africa, more Black women acquire undergraduate degrees than any other group, yet they remain underrepresented in the acquisition of postgraduate degrees, senior academic and top management positions. Currently working in academia in South Africa, the author aims to understand the development of sense of identity and show how this influences the interplay, and thus the progression, of the individual within the higher education context. Previous studies investigating Black women academics’ positions and perspectives of social, cultural, and educational experiences are relevant. However, this thesis addresses the role of experiences and perceptions as vital influencing factors in the interplay between individual and institution. This thesis takes on a role adding to the “polyphony” of voices and perspectives from Black academics. It aims to contribute to “loosening the grip of positivism on theory and practice in the human sciences” (Lather, 2017). As theorists, we do not automatically reflect deeply on the political influences on our professional lives. Reflection is, however, key, not only to connecting past and present, but in improving future experiences for ourselves and others. The act of re-collecting past experiences can be cathartic and educational. It allows us to “weave” and connect the dots between who and where we were as opposed to the world we aspire to (Lather, 2007). The purpose of this “weave” is to identify and examine patterns, to make sense of and improve the world we inhabit. Framed theoretically within critical and intersectional feminism (Crenshaw, 1989; hooks, 1994), this study is grounded in experiential storytelling. Stories which are seldom taught as History address issues which are often rather avoided. Using a unique methodology, the collected data is assigned thematically for analysis and to show that the centrality to understanding why Black women remain on the lower rungs of academia, is the interplay between individual and context. The results of this study signify problematic avoidance and silences around the need of a caring environment for all academics, but especially for Black women. It shows that due to historical, societal, and cultural silencing of Black women, there is a need to centre their voices and develop a vocabulary for Black women in academia to describe their experiences. Cultural capital, or lack thereof, influences a sense of belonging and inflicts other “micro-aggressions” upon the Black woman academic (Sue, 2015; Henkeman, 2016). Relevant transformational features cannot adequately be addressed, much less achieved, if the spaces to navigate these discussions are not radically owned equally by all but also accepting that it is time for the amplified voices of Black woman.