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Research Articles (Education Studies)

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Now showing 1 - 14 of 14
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    Opening Address by Prof. Samuel of the Journal of Education.
    (South African Education Research Association., 2015) Samuel, Michael Anthony.
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    The Writing Centre: a site for discursive dialogue in Management studies.
    (University of South Africa., 2015) Samuel, Michael Anthony.; Arbee, Aradhna.
    This article contributes to the ongoing conversation, in the South African Journal of Higher Education (SAJHE) and other journals, about academic literacy development in higher education. It reports on a small-scale quantitative study on the effect of writing centre support on students’ academic performance, in the disciplinary context of management studies. The study generated questions and areas for reflection about how to assess the ways in which writing centres can become more valuable programmatically, institutionally, theoretically and methodologically. Its uniqueness arises from the attempt to look at the development of academic literacy writing competences not during the transition from school to university, but at the exit point of an academic bachelor’s degree programme. It raises questions, such as: Is there a value for academic discourse induction even at this exit stage, and what impact does it have on the development of writing competences? How does this impact become known?
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    Educational leadership: the audience creates the text.
    (University of South Africa., 2014) Samuel, Michael Anthony.
    Alternative conceptions of educational leadership that challenge the performativity culture do not appear substantively to alter the trajectory of practitioner’s everyday choices. This article uses as data the responses from three different audiences to a presentation on such alternative conceptions. The three groups were academics attending an educational leadership conference, circuit managers as part of a post-project workshop, and a group of aspirant school rectors in a training diploma programme. The first two groups were South African and the third a Mauritian audience. The audience responses show how they subverted, re-interpreted and jettisoned the message of the presentation. Three vignettes constitute the analysis of the audiences’ foregrounding of the lived complexities of making alternative leadership choices. The article suggests we need to be aware of how and why practitioners will choose or not to become alternative proponents of the dominant discourses around ‘educational quality’.
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    Critical dialogues with self: developing teacher identities and role.
    (Pergamon., 2000) Samuel, Michael Anthony.; Stephens, David.
    Abstract available in PDF file.
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    African Students who Excel in South African Higher Education: Retro(Pro)Spectivity and Co-Regulation of Learning.
    (University of KwaZulu-Natal., 2015) Samuel, Michael Anthony.; Munro, Nicholas.
    In addition to being more likely to fail and dropout, African students are also less likely to succeed academically, let alone excel while doing so. In a critical move against a dominant deficit, failure, and drop-out discourse that surrounds African students in South African higher education, this paper reports on a study that explored exceptional academic achievement in African students. Specifically, using the data production strategies of auto-photography and photo-elicitation, eight academically exceptional undergraduate African students in a South African university explored the (academic) activities that were associated with their academically exceptional outcomes. Interpretative thematic analyses of the auto-photographical accounts highlighted not only how the participants excelled academically, but also who they were becoming in the process. Data from three of the eight participants is drawn upon in this paper to introduce the notion of retro(pro)spectivity, and to show how co-regulation of learning can be centralised when explaining an exceptional academic achievement trajectory for African students in South African higher education.
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    De-colonising international collaboration: the University of KwaZulu-Natal-Mauritius Institute Education Cohort PhD Programme.
    (Routledge., 2014) Samuel, Michael Anthony.; Mariayeb, Hyleen.
    This paper explores the setting up of the partnership across the Mauritian and South African higher education contexts with respect to the development of a postgraduate PhD doctoral studies programme. The Mauritian Institute of Education (MIE) aims to develop staffing capacities through engagement with doctoral studies, especially in the context of limited experience in doctoral supervision. The South African model of doctoral cohort supervision at The University of KwaZulu- Natal (UKZN) School of Education is a recent alternative model of delivery in the building of these student and staff capacities through shared ownership of the process and products of doctoral education and development. This paper highlights the expectations, constraints and enabling features of the setting up of the UKZN-MIE PhD programme across international boundaries, driven by mutual reciprocity through valuing of indigenous local knowledges, a non-colonising engagement and innovative methodologies for postgraduate education. Adapting the UKZN cohort model for the international context is the subject of this paper. The paper draws on the experiences of the designers and deliverers as well as users of this programme. The paper explores what drives this form of international collaboration for both contracting partners in the context of shifting conceptions of a teacher education institution.
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    Beyond Narcissism and Hero-worshipping: life history research and narrative inquiry.
    (University of KwaZulu-Natal., 2015) Samuel, Michael Anthony.
    Available in pdf article.
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    The Other and I : Turkish teachers in South Africa.
    (Routledge, 2013) Samuel, Michael Anthony.
    Traditionally the analysis of school curriculum draws from the literature of ‘policy implementation analysis’. Instead, this paper focuses on a humanistic and socially responsive philosophy guiding curriculum action, especially where policies are seen to be unable to dent the educational outcomes or emancipate schooling from the stranglehold of performativity. The paper draws on the life histories of teachers teaching in a case study school inspired by the Gülen philosophy of Hizmet (serving humanity), indicating how their philosophical orientation to the subject matter, to learners, to colleagues, to parents and to the community, is yielding a qualitative impact on the school curriculum. The paper draws from interviews with the managers, teachers and student teachers employed within the school. The philosophical constructs of respect, understanding, dialogue and tolerance are the underpinning principles of this secondary school. The school draws on the philosophical dialogue between the inner sense of self (‘I’) and the outward projection towards serving humanity (‘the other’). It works consciously to erase the boundaries between ‘others’ and ‘I’. It fosters dialogue across historical divides of ‘race’, religion and class towards service of each one to the other.
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    Emergent frameworks of research teaching and learning in a cohort-based doctoral programme.
    (University of the Free State, 2011) Samuel, Michael Anthony.; Vithal, Renuka.
    This article argues that alternate models of doctoral research teaching and learning pedagogy could address the challenge of under-productivity of doctoral graduands in the South African higher education system. Present literature tends not to focus on the models of research teaching and learning as a form of pedagogy. The article presents a case study of a doctoral cohort model programme where attention to both quantity and quality of doctoral “production” are engaged in the curriculum design and methodological approaches employed. In this alternate to the traditional “master-apprenticeship”, epistemologies that the programme creates are influenced by its pedagogical methodologies. This reflective theoretical exploration draws on the experiences of supervisors, staff and students as co-producers of knowledge involved in the research pedagogical process. The doctoral graduands that emerge are able to embrace the roles and responsibilities as researchers and knowledge makers. Rather than the PhD being about individualistic learning, the programme attempts to infuse multi- and interdisciplinary notions of responsiveness to knowledge production in community. It concludes with emergent frameworks for doctoral pedagogies –“democratic teaching/learning participation”, “structured scaffolding”, “Ubuntu” and “serendipity”– as useful explanatory shaping influences which underpin and frame the model promoting a contextually relevant and appropriate doctoral research teaching and learning pedagogy.
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    Accountability to whom? For what? : teacher identity and the Force Field Model of teacher development.
    (University of the Free State, 2008) Samuel, Michael Anthony.
    The rise of fundamentalism in the sphere of teacher education points to a swing back towards teachers as service workers for State agendas. Increasingly, teachers are expected to account for the outcomes of their practices. This article traces the trajectory of trends in teacher education over the past five decades arguing that this "new conservative trend" is but one of the many forces that characterise present interpretations of the goals of teacher education and development. A de-professionalisation of teaching as a career looms on the horizon. Each era has progressively provided new insights into what the goals for teacher education could and should be. These have become increasingly layered into expanding roles and responsibilities being foisted on teachers. The article argues that this could threaten teaching as a career and fewer individuals now willingly choose the teaching profession. If they do, their accountability is seldom to quality teaching and learning as professional teachers find themselves threatened on a number of fronts by contradictory and often competing forces. The article presents a model for understanding the complexity of forces influencing teachers' identities, and shows why there is a need for creative discursive spaces for the coexistence of these many forces. Rather than capitulate to the forces of conservatism, the article argues that teacher professional growth can flourish when it is able to understand deeply the biographical, contextual, institutional and programmatic forces that impinge on teacher identity. The Force Field Model of Teacher Development thus provides stimulus for creative dialogue and renewal.
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    Beyond the Garden of Eden: deep teacher professional development.
    (Taylor & Francis., 2009) Samuel, Michael Anthony.
    Becoming a professional teacher is falsely understood to be a simple process: usually consisting of a transference of skills to execute classroom pedagogy or classroom management. This article begins by exploring the many forces which influence the curriculum of teacher education in higher education, signaling the complexity of the practice of teaching and the expected roles of teachers within a charged socio-political, ideological as well as educational research arena. It offers a definition of the scope of deep teacher professional development which embraces the complexities of these forces. It particularly addresses the theoretical underpinning that could inform the design and delivery of Initial Professional Education of Teacher (IPET) higher education curricula. The article draws on the experiences of enacting a reconceptualized teacher education curriculum at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Faculty of Education showing the translation of these theoretical conceptions within a curriculum geared towards deep professional learning.
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    Interrogating inclusionary and exclusionary practices : learners of war and flight.
    (Perspectives in Education, 2005) Sookrajh, Reshma.; Gopal, Nirmala Devi.; Maharaj, Bridgemohan.
    There has been a significant increase in the number of undocumented people entering South Africa. A number of them include refugees. Many refugees are destitute and often denied basic needs such as health and education. Besides intentional exclusion by citizens and authorities, some immigrant children are precluded from education because they cannot gain access to schooling. This article captures the possibilities and constraints that are experienced by a selected group of refugee learners, in a school in which these children find themselves.The methodology derives from powerful narratives which are used as tools to analyse exclusionary and inclusionary practices, the relationship between which is presented as bi-directional. It is argued that the notion of exclusion and inclusion is multilayered. Different constructs of inclusion are developed around the thought, practices and experiences of refugee learners within the hosting school community. It is argued that what is offered by the school is a strikingly conservative discourse of perceived inclusion in the ways in which refugee learner practices get constructed. A theory of enforced humanitarianism emerges on the part of the school. It is only when we change this perspective on vulnerability that we are able to accept a more creative and effective way of including refugee learners who constantly believe that they are present in one place, but belong somewhere else.
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    Exploring alternative assessment strategies in science classrooms.
    (ESASA, 2010) Stears, Michele.; Gopal, Nirmala Devi.
    The knowledge children bring to the classroom or construct in the classroom may find expression in a variety of activities and is often not measurable with the traditional assessment instruments used in science classrooms. Different approaches to assessment are required to accommodate the various ways in which learners construct knowledge in social settings. In our research we attempted to determine the types of outcomes achieved in a Grade 6 classroom where alternative strategies such as interactive assessments were implemented. Analyses of these outcomes show that the learners learned much more than the tests indicate, although what they learnt was not necessarily science. The implications for assessment are clear: strategies that assess knowledge of science concepts, as well as assessment of outcomes other than science outcomes, are required if we wish to gain a holistic understanding of the learning that occurs in science classrooms.
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    What mathematics learners say about the new South African curriculum reform.
    (2005) Vithal, Renuka.; Gopal, Nirmala Devi.
    In this article we report on what Grade 8 learners say about the new curriculum reforms in South Africa – Outcomes-based Education (OBE) and Curriculum 2005 (C2005) – that were introduced into their mathematics classrooms. The article begins by addressing what is argued to be a gap in reform research in mathematics education. It draws primarily on focus group interviews conducted with learners after having observed a series of consecutive lessons in three different previously racially segregated schools in the Durban region from the international study on mathematics learners' perspectives. The analysis is organised in five broad themes that emerged from the data, some of which resonate with the design features of the curriculum reforms: a strong focus on group work; the attempt to forge relations between mathematics and context; changes in the use of learning-teaching materials such as worksheets; issues of assessment; and learners' take-up of the discourse of the new curriculum approach. Learners' views seem to be linked to their teachers' explicit (non)engagement with the new curriculum, and they appear to be aware of the tensions and trade-offs for themselves in the enactment of the new curriculum.