An exploration of the effective educator in the KwaZulu-Natal context.
Educators are currently faced with numerous challenges, among them the prospect of working with OBE as well as dealing with growing class sizes and diminishing resources. Educators can no longer survive by using the text book, but are having to rely on a far greater range of resources both within themselves and in the world outside. In dealing with the injustices of the past, and in an attempt to move forward, it was recognised that a study exploring the impact of educators on the learners that they teach, was warranted - with particular emphasis on the facilitation of learning (as recommended within the new OBE system) . This particular study set out to discover whether there was a KwaZulu-Natal profile of the 'effective educator' as commonly agreed upon by learners and educators from different learning environments. In a partial replication of a study by Burns (1987), 237 participants (comprising educators and learners from a former 'DEC' and a former 'Model C' school) completed the 30-item Effective Educator Questionnaire which was then analysed in order to explore the patterns which might emerge. Responses were grouped into 11 areas of educator effectiveness and responses were compared between (i) former 'DEC' and former 'Model C' participants and (ii) educators and learners for each of the 30 questions which were grouped into the 11 areas as used by Burns in his original study. The study revealed similar findings to Burns' original study, and also found that there is a broad concept of the effective educator in the KwaZulu-Natal context - with the effective educator possessing both skills and qualities which facilitate learning. As a result of the findings, future research was recommended in the field in order to assist in educator selection programmes as well as action-research conducted by educators themselves in order to facilitate educational development within the country.