Educational-psychological practice framework for the personal and professional development of life-orientation teachers in the Gauteng Province : a mixed method study
- Authors: Diale, Boitumelo Molebogeng
- Date: 2012-07-31
- Subjects: Educational psychology , Life orientation , Life orientation - Study and teaching , Career development , Curriculum change
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:8878 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5346
- Description: D.Phil. , Since the inception of democracy in 1994 the country’s educational system has radically changed as one reform rapidly succeeded another. The changing curriculum meant an end to the sole emphasis on academic achievement. Instead, the introduction of Life Orientation (LO) meant that schools had to be concerned with the development of the whole person, placing personal and individual needs in a social context to encourage acceptance of diversity and promote the quality of life for all. Whilst the transformation and curriculum changes have brought about a breakthrough in the education system, LO teachers in the Gauteng Province were presented with new challenges as they found themselves faced with multiple moral and emotional problems that learners brought to school and yet they were not professionally prepared for nor were they trained to deal with. Such problems brought about ambiguity and created confusion in their roles, raising personal and professional dilemmas such as their limited knowledge of the curriculum and specific tools and practice skills needed to teach Life Orientation meaningfully. It is in context of the above that I decided to conduct a study focusing on what should be entailed in the personal and professional development (PPD) of LO teachers in the Gauteng province. I also considered how their personal and professional experiences contributed to the meaningful teaching of LO. Furthermore, these experiences would be used to develop an Educational-Psychological Practice Framework for the PPD of LO teachers in the Gauteng Province. LO teachers and provincial coordinators in Gauteng were identified as study participants. A three-phased sequential explanatory mixed methods design was used in this study. Phase one of the study was quantitative in nature and data was collected using a questionnaire distributed to 154 LO teachers in the province. The main aim of this phase was to obtain descriptive data that would be used to enhance the qualitative data in phase two of the study. Of the total distribution, 130 questionnaires were returned and analysed using the SPSS software package. Synopsis vi In phase two of the study a qualitative approach was used with the aim of obtaining LO teachers’ experiences of their personal and professional development. Individual and focus group interviews were held with a total of 18 participants. In addition, two participants took part through creating collages. The study yielded eight themes namely: 1) LO teachers’ life experiences; 2) Attitudes towards LO; 3) LO curriculum delivery; 4) complex roles of LO teachers; 5) essential characteristics of LO teachers; 6) LO teachers’ needs; 7) dealing with challenging social issues; and finally, 8) support circle for LO teachers. In the third phase of the study an educational-psychological practice framework for the personal and professional development of LO teachers in the Gauteng Province was described. Empowerment and support were identified as key aspects of that should be used in the development of LO teachers in the Gauteng province. As such, the Life (L) Orientation (O) Teacher (T) Empowerment (E) and Support (S) practice framework was designed. Subsequently the framework was called the LOTES Practice Framework. The framework comprised of four interrelated systemic levels which relate to specific forms of empowerment and support for LO teachers at each level. Finally, to ensure successful implementation of this practice framework, key role-players for each level were identified and recommendations for the implementation were set out.
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Selected Gauteng secondary school learners’ lived experiences of Life Orientation and the fulfilment of its outcomes as a school subject
- Authors: Wasielewski, Tanya Natasha
- Date: 2013-05-06
- Subjects: Life orientation - Study and teaching , Life skills - Study and teaching
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:7515 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8372
- Description: D.Ed. (Educational Psychology) , Through quality education for all, learners will be able to reach their full potential and will be able to “meaningfully contribute to and participate in that society throughout their lives” (Department of Education, 1997, p.11). To facilitate this process, Life Orientation (LO) has been introduced as a compulsory subject in grades 8 to 12 and, according to the National Curriculum Statement, it will be “guiding learners to develop their full potential in all spheres of life (i.e. holistic development)”, and focusing on “skills that empower learners to relate positively and make a contribution to family, community and society life in South Africa” (Department of Education, 2003, p.19). This implies that those responsible for teaching this subject would require specific qualities and characteristics, as they face many challenges in terms of what learners bring to school, such as the effects of violence, HIV, abuse, divorce, poverty and teenage pregnancy. The expectations of the learning outcomes are high, and as yet little is known about the experience of LO within schools. This research therefore aimed to explore the learners’ lived experiences of LO within secondary schools in Gauteng, in order to understand their perspectives of LO and LO teachers in the first phase, so that intervention strategies could be developed in the second phase to enhance its implementation. The research utilised a qualitative paradigm and included a literature review, focus group interviews with six to eight learners in each grade of four secondary schools, five individual interviews with learners, four individual interviews with LO teachers, and open-ended questionnaires completed by one class in each grade in secondary school. Data analysis was deductive and themes identified focused on the relevancy of LO, the attitude to LO, the acquisition of life skills, LO teachers and their teaching methods, and the LO needs of learners. Several gaps were identified between learners’ experiences and the learning outcomes of LO. Intervention strategies, based on the findings of the study in phase one, were developed in phase two in order to address these gaps, to further develop LO as a learning area, and to facilitate the acquisition of life skills by secondary school learners. The overall principles of the intervention programme focused on improving the practical applicability of LO for learners, making it more relevant to adolescents, linking it to the community, assisting with the necessary teacher selection criteria and teaching qualities, and highlighting the necessity for more health promotion in schools.
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