Educators’ knowledge of teaching isiZulu within Ugu Cluster.
Mbele, Siyakudumisa Abednigo.
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This study presents a qualitative, interpretivist case study of five isiZulu educators from two primary schools in the Umkomaas circuit in the Ugu Cluster, in KwaZulu-Natal. The purpose of this study was to explore educators’ knowledge of teaching isiZulu, and the study sought to understand what informs their knowledge. The data was generated by means of semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussion, and purposive and convenience sampling were utilised to select the most accessible isiZulu educators. The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework was used to guide the exploration of teaching and learning strategies that are used in isiZulu classrooms. The findings of this study revealed various contextual factors that pose challenges for isiZulu educators, especially those who teach in rural schools. Some of these factors are present within the school environment, and some are elements of the broader social environment. The study found that educators’ lack of content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge had a negative impact on their teaching and assessment strategies, on their implementation of certain aspects of the isiZulu curriculum, and on their ability to accommodate learners with special needs effectively. The study recommends that isiZulu educators be provided with regular and ongoing professional development, in order to empower them with the content knowledge that will equip them to teach isiZulu effectively. IsiZulu educators need to understand the importance of developing their learners’ oral communication and reading skills, of conducting informal assessments, and of recognising and incorporating their learners’ socio-cultural (indigenous) knowledge. It is imperative that isiZulu educators be provided with the knowledge, support and resources necessary for instilling discipline in learners, and for teaching learners with special needs in an inclusive classroom environment. IsiZulu educators need one-on-one support from subject advisors, but in the absence of available subject advisors’ educators need to form constructive teaching clusters that meet regularly to share content and pedagogical knowledge and provide support.