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Masters Degrees (Education Studies)

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    Teaching practices and emotions of senior phase teachers during the Covid-19 pandemic : a case study.
    (2024) Ndlovu, Eric Nkosiyephana.; Naidoo, Jaqueline Theresa.; Pennefather, Jane Alexandra Stewart.
    The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa and the declaration of a national lockdown in March 2020 resulted in the closure of schools. Social distancing became an important measure to curb the spread of the pandemic. As a result, learners had to stay at home while embarking on alternative learning. Therefore, this research study examined the experiences and emotions of senior phase teachers in the process of adjusting their teaching practices and curriculum coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study was grounded on Hargreaves’s (2001) theory of emotional geographies of teaching as it the most relevant theoretical framework for this study. Hargreaves’s (2001) five emotional geographies of teaching are sociocultural, moral, physical, political and professional. Furthermore, this study was located within the interpretive research paradigm due to its appropriateness in helping the researcher to obtain an in-depth understanding of the reality of teachers’ circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Mack (2010), interpretive studies focus on an individuals’ ability to construct meaning. In answering this study’s two research questions, this study adopted two forms of data generation instruments which were semi-structured interviews and collages. Purposive sampling was applied in conducting this study as it allowed a small number of participants to be selected based on a stipulated criterion. Therefore, the researcher purposefully selected six grade seven teachers teaching different subjects in a primary school during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was done to get in-depth knowledge on the experiences of senior phase teachers in the process of adjusting teaching strategies and curriculum coverage during COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of this study indicated that the outbreak of the pandemic compelled teachers to adjust to COVID-19 regulations. In doing so, the implementation of the following actions was in practice: health protocols such as social distancing and sanitising, rotation systems, curriculum trimming, use of digital technology. There were a number of factors that impaired the process of adjustment in many ways. These included scarcity of resources and heavy workloads for teachers, as well as other socio-economic challenges. In addition, the findings of the study revealed that, in adjusting teaching strategies during COVID-19, teachers experienced feelings of fear and anxiety and felt the need for varying degrees of support from different role players such as parents, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and fellow teachers
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    The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on teaching practices and teacher-learner professional relationships in a rural school context.
    (2023) Ngubane, Siphesihle Nomvelo.; Zulu, Free-Queen Bongiwe.
    This study explores the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on teaching practices and teacher-learner professional relationships in a rural school context, examining the lived experiences of teachers. The teaching practices that rural context teachers used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and those they employed during the lockdown begun in March 2020 when schools shut down are examined. Framed by the Hargreaves (2001) conceptual framework of emotional geographies, this study illuminates the subjective experiences of teachers in rural geographical contexts. The study adopted a qualitative approach, grounded within interpretive paradigm and using case study research design. Semi-structured interviews and collages were used as data generation method. A total of eight teachers (four from each school) were sampled to participate in the study. The deductive approach was best suited to analyse the data. The findings of study suggest that teachers in rural context schools adopted various teaching practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily embracing online teaching methods and using social platforms to distribute learning materials. However, these adopted practices encountered significant challenges including limited internet connectivity, teachers' insufficient ICT skills, and the overarching digital divide posed formidable obstacles, impeding the sustained effectiveness of these methods. These challenges worsened the existing disparities in access to education between rural and urban areas. The findings also indicate that the impact of teaching practices amidst the COVID-19 pandemic on the professional relationship between teachers and learners in rural context schools revealed predominantly negative outcomes. It came out from the findings that the lack of communication due to contextual factors strained professional relationships significantly. Furthermore, the introduction of a rotation timetable created emotional voids for teachers, hindering their ability to deliver academic content and maintain previous interaction levels with learners. COVID-19 restrictions prevented teachers from offering pastoral care or engaging in non-curricular discussions, diminishing the overall teacher-learner relationship. Disruptions caused by the pandemic hindered teachers' multifaceted roles, impeding their capacity to identify and address individual learner needs. The physical distance enforced by the pandemic limited teachers' ability to detect struggling learners, eroding the efficacy of a prior learner-centered and interactive teaching approach. This led to emotional strain on teachers, underscoring the importance of a deeper connection beyond curriculum delivery. Contrary to assumptions, emotional bonds couldn't compensate for physical distance, impacting the professional relationships between teachers and learners adversely and leaving teachers questioning their teaching purpose amidst this perplexing period.
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    Complexities of leading the schools in the context of COVID-19 breakout : perspectives from school management team members in East Griqualand Circuit.
    (2023) Nenga, Queerida Sindiswa.; Bhengu, Thamsanqa Thulani.
    The education environment in South Africa is fraught with diverse layers of complexity. The aim of this study was to investigate the complexities that School Management Team members in three primary schools in East Griqualand Circuit in the Harry Gwala District dealt with as they led schools in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, and also to understand how they lead during times of crisis. Given the close interaction of huge numbers of people, schools were declared as high-risk places in terms of transmission. To stop the virus from spreading, the Department of Basic Education instituted severe measures. These measures were presented in the form of new policies and regulations. So, the Department of Basic Education gave some of the responsibilities of enforcing these policies and regulations to the School Management Team members. Enforcing government mandated COVID-19 regulations presented the SMT members with new challenges and complexities, over and above their regular duties. Many insurmountable problems and challenges were encountered in terms of actual situations in schools. This study was located within a qualitative research design and used semi-structured interviews in the production of data. Interviews conducted lasted between 30-60 minutes each and included probing questions which assisted to elicit further information. I conducted interviews with nine SMT members, comprising of principals, deputy principals and departmental heads. Prior to analysis, interviews were recorded and transcribed. Themes were created when data from transcriptions was coded, analysed, and categorised. The replies to the open-ended interview questions were analysed using categorisation and inductive coding to establish themes. The study’s conclusions showed that it was difficult for SMT members to enforce some of the gazetted safety regulations, due to a series of factors their schools were faced with. There was also a lack of support from stakeholders like the Department of Basic Education and parents. And one of the lessons learnt is the importance of sharing and co-construction of solutions to problems.
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    Formative assessment practices of teachers in selected primary schools in Nkomazi in South Africa.
    (2021) Nsingwane, Thobeka Faith.; Maharajh, Lokesh Ramnath.
    The study aims to explore the formative assessment practices of teachers in selected primary schools in Nkomazi in South Africa. The research sought to determine whether teachers practice formative assessment in selected schools in Nkomazi in South Africa. The study was qualitative. A purposive sample of five schools was selected from the Nkomazi West circuit in the Ehlanzeni District. Five teachers (one teacher from each school) were selected to be part of the study. The interpretive paradigm guided the study. The data of the study was generated through interviews and observation. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. The data was generated, analysed, and reported. The study findings indicate that the participants were not able to share their understandings about formative assessment. The participants lacked knowledge of formative assessment. Consequently, they did not plan to practice formative assessment. The participants also indicated that they never attended any training based on formative assessment. Through the study, the participants had elaborated on factors that inhibit them from implementing formative assessment: overcrowding in their classrooms and lack of resources. And other challenges were insufficient feedback to the learners due to excessive workload and learners’ absenteeism. The implication of the study is that schools and districts need to play their vital role in investing in a high-quality, sustained formative assessment professional to develop teachers. The Department of Education in Mpumalanga should train teachers on forms of assessment and types of assessment. They should also provide teachers with relevant resources at school. There is a need to reallocate resources to ensure that teachers have concentrated time and support to build their knowledge of implementing formative assessment in their daily lessons. Teachers need to play their role to be lifelong learners since the system changes through them empowering themselves. Higher education institutions should develop a module on assessment and implement the formative assessment.
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    Teaching english first additional language to grade 4 learners through play: a seasoned teacher's self-study.
    (2023) Ngcongo, Emmaculate Nompumelelo Nokukhanya.; Masinga, Masinga, Lungile.
    My self-study research focused on teaching English First Additional Language to Grade 4 learners through play. This study aimed to improve my teaching practice by exploring new and innovative strategies for effective teaching and learning of English FAL. I undertook this study because I was concerned about my learners' under-performance in English FAL and my unintentional role in continuing this pattern. Adopting a Sociocultural theoretical perspective helped me understand that learning a language is embedded in social and cultural experiences. Thus, it was essential to pay attention to what learners experienced in their social and cultural interactions (prior knowledge level). The first question that guided my research was: What can I learn from my personal history about teaching and learning English First Additional Language through play? This question helped me reflect on my educational journey and engagement with language learning, starting with my family, community, primary and high school, and early school teaching experiences. I identified five significant learnings from my lived experiences that influenced my teaching of language: (a) Learning through playing traditional games, (b) Learning through storytelling, (c) Learning through rhymes and games, (d) Learning through role-playing and (e) Learning through interaction with others. My second research question was: How can I better facilitate the teaching of English First Additional Language through play? In responding to this question, I worked with my Grade 4 class as research participants on various activities I designed for this study. Working with the learners in different activities and my reflective journal helped me understand how learners recognised the teaching and learning of English FAL. In this self-study, I also worked with my two critical friends who are also studying Master's Degree in Curriculum Studies. I generated data using six research methods, namely: collage, artefact retrieval, drawing, audio recording, reflective journal writing and Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) and lesson plans. In engaging with this self-study, I considered five learnings concerning learning and teaching of English FAL: Curiosity and interest to learn stimulated through play, Physical engagement through play encourages class participation, Social interaction through play is an advantage to learning, Play promotes and develops creativity in learners and Play as a teaching technique to improve learner performance. In addition, I learned that learning a language is not an individual activity but a social experience that should be connected to learners' daily experiences.
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    Are we there yet? exploring Black women academics’ experiences of navigating their belonging at a South African university.
    (2022) Ngcobo, Bongiwe Mayibongwe.; Hlatshwayo, Mlamuli Nkosingphile.
    In this research project, I explored and theorized women academics’ experiences of navigating and negotiating their belonging in a South African university. Through an exploratory case study, I purposely recruited 10 Black women academics to explore their experiences in higher education. To gain in-depth data and to respond to research questions, I used 25 qualitative semi-structured interview questions. I relied on intersectionality as a theoretical frame for analyzing and making sense of women academics’ experiences in the academy. The findings of this project reveal that women academics often must navigate and negotiate a deeply entrenched environment in colonization and micro-politics. The findings also show that women academics’ career progression is further negatively delayed by other factors such as the double burden of womanhood, marginalization, gender inequality, race, and inequality in higher education. I argue that there is need for some sector and institution-wide implementation, and possible policy interventions, for helping women academics enter, negotiate, and succeed at university. I also recommended that higher education institutions further draw attention to implementation and possible policies to have more women academics in an environment, which allows them to further their academic endeavors.
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    Mitigating violence directed at teachers: a narrative inquiry.
    (2022) Khanyase, Siphelele Fortunate.; Hlalele, Dipane Joseph.
    Violence directed at teachers has become a pervasive problem with long-term consequences for teachers and educational outcomes. The issue of violence directed at teachers warrants urgent attention. All those within the school environment, learners, teachers, heads of departments, deputy principals, principals, and support personnel, should feel safe when they are in the school environment. In the same way, learner safety is prioritised within the school environment, teachers’ safety within the classroom and school should also be prioritised so that they can confidently perform their duties. This study is a collective case study of two schools couched within the interpretivist paradigm. This paradigm was suitable for understanding teachers' experiences of violence that is directed at them and the consequences thereof. The study adopted qualitative data generation methods, which included narrative interviews. For the interviews, a purposive sampling of the participants was adopted; there was no set formula rigidly applied to determine the sample size. The study adopted the social cognitive theory. Findings provide evidence of the high rate of violence directed at teachers, especially when accounting for both physical and non-physical forms of violence. The findings established that verbal violence was the most common form of violence that is directed at teachers. Furthermore, it was found that most of the teachers were negatively affected by the violence directed at them, with significant repercussions for their wellbeing. Recommendations made were that there should be a comprehensive approach to addressing violence directed at teachers. Teachers should be trained in classroom management and crisis intervention. Individual intervention strategies should be recommended for learners with serious behavioural problems. Furthermore, there should be an explicit school policy and effective strategy to handle issues of violence directed at teachers. The study concluded that violence directed at teachers is exceptionally prevalent. Moreover, it is complex, multi-dimensional, and dynamic, and it also negatively affects educational outcomes. Mitigating violence directed at teachers should a critical component of school violence programs.
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    Izindlela namasu okufundisa ukulalela nokukhuluma kubafundi bamabanga 10-11 abenza isiZulu ulimi lokuqala lokwengeza ezikoleni zasesifundeni saseMlazi ezixube izinhlanga.
    (2023) Ngcongo, Noluthando Guglethu Felicity.; Ntshangase, Sicelo Ziphozonke.
    IQOQA Lolu wucwaningo lwesimo oluyikhwalithethivu oluqhutshwe ngenhloso yokukhiqiza imininingo mayelana nezindlela namasu okufundisa ukulalela nokukhuluma kubafundi bamabanga 10-11 abenza isiZulu uLimi Lokuqala Lokwengeza ezikoleni zasesiFundeni saseMlazi ezixube izinhlanga. Lolu cwaningo lusebenzise izindlela zokukhiqiza imininingo bukhoma noma ubuso nobuso kubahlanganyeli abayisihlanu, kusetshenziswa izingxoxo ezisakuhleleka, ukwethamela kanye nokuhlaziya amadokhumenti. Lolu cwaningo belulawulwa yinjulalwazi kaVygotsky (1978) i-Social constructivism. Le njulalwazi iphakamisa ukuthi ukufunda kwenzeka uma abantu besebenza ngokubambisana futhi ikhuthaza abafundi ukuba babambe iqhaza ekwakheni ulwazi olusha. Le njulalwazi igcizelela ukusebenzisana okunxantathu lapho abafundi bakwazi khona ukufunda ulimi kothisha babo, kontanga kanye nakumalungu omphakathi ukuze kuthuthuke izinga lokukhuluma ulimi. Nokho, imiphumela yalolu cwaningo iveza ukuthi nakuba othisha abafundisa isiZulu uLimi Lokuqala Lokwengeza emabangeni10-11 bezisebenzisa izindlela namasu ahlukene ukufundisa ikhono lokulalela nokukhuluma kodwa abafundi bazithola besabhekene nenkinga yokukwazi ukukhuluma lolu limi ngenxa yokuthi ukusebenzisana okunxantathu lapho abafundi abafunda khona kothisha, kontanga nasemiphakathini yabo akuphelele kahle. Akuphelele ngoba isiZulu asikhulunywa emiphakathini laba bafundi abaqhamuka kuyona ngoba akulona lolu ulimi abavamise ukuxhumana ngalo emakhayo. Ngaleso sizathu, laba bafundi bazithola bengakwazi ukusebenzisa ulimi lwesiZulu njalo uma sebephumile ekilasini. Ngakho-ke, lolu cwaningo luthole ukuthi izinhlobo ezahlukene zezindlela namasu okufundisa okusetshenziswa ngothisha besiZulu uLimi Lokuqala Lokwengeza ngeke zibe impumelelo uma ukusebenzisana okunxantathu kungaphelele, lapho abafundi bakwazi khona ukulalela nokukhuluma ngokukhululeka ulimi lwesiZulu nothisha, ontanga namalungu omphakathi, ngaphakathi nangaphandle kwamagceke esikole. Amatemu anqala: Ikhono lokulalela nokukhuluma, isiZulu uLimi Lokuqala Lokwengeza, I-Social constructivism; izindlela namasu okufundisa; ukufunda okunxantathu
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    An exploration of novice teachers’ experiences of induction and mentoring in a secondary school in the Umzinyathi District.
    (2023) Dlongolo, Zimiso Qiniso.; Pennefather, Jane Alexandra Stewart.
    The significance of induction and mentorship as key components of novice teachers' professional development has regularly been underlined in various studies. The role of induction and mentoring within organisations ensures that newly appointed members of staff are quickly adapted to their new roles and how these institutions function. This indicates that it is crucial to introduce a new employee to their new workplace. In South Africa, many schools face challenges of large classes, few resources, and remote locations, leading to novice teachers feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. This makes the role of induction and mentoring even more significant. The purpose of this research was to examine the lived experiences of selected novice teachers concerning induction and mentoring in the early years of their teaching profession in a rural Secondary School in uMsinga, KwaZulu-Natal. Hudson’s Five-Factor Model for Effective Mentoring was used as the conceptual framework in the study. This qualitative study was located in the interpretative paradigm, using semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Although there was evidence of induction and mentoring, the findings revealed that the induction and mentoring received was not consistent across participants, which would suggest a lack of a formally designed programme. This also suggests that mentors did not fully understand their roles and as a result, the five key factors of effective mentoring outlined by Hudson were not applied equally. This led to gaps in the induction and mentoring received. Secondly, the study revealed that there was no formal structure to the induction and mentoring provided in the school, as evidenced by the lack of minutes of meetings on induction and mentoring. There was no policy on induction and mentoring other than the DOE mandated QMS policy for schools, and the QMS policy document was not shared with novice teachers. The study found that mentoring support could be strengthened if mentors understood their roles more fully and if there was a clearly developed programme in place. In addition, there was a need for the SMT to lead the process and use the system of QMS to develop effective induction and mentoring. Finally, it was recommended that the DOE play a key role to ensure full implementation of the QMS in schools.
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    An exploration of foundation phase teachers’ learning in a professional learning community.
    (2023) Nyathi, Thembisile Racheal.; Zulu, Free-Queen Bongiwe.
    In the South African context, the Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development (ISPFTED) Department of Basic Education and Department of Higher Education and Training, regard Professional Learning Communities as an effective model for teacher professional development at a local level (Department of Basic Education, 2011). The purpose of this research study was to explore the nature of teacher learning activities for teachers in the Foundation Phase PLC and the kinds of teacher knowledge they could acquire through their participation in the selected PLC. The study was located within an interpretive paradigm and adopted a qualitative case study design. Semi-structured interviews and participant observations were used to generate the data to respond to the key research questions of the study. The participants comprised five (5) Foundation Phase teachers, who were members of the PLC. This study adopted Kwakman’s (2003) categories of professional learning activities and Grossman’s (1990) domains of teacher knowledge as conceptual frameworks. The findings of the study revealed that the Foundation Phase teachers participating in the Professional Learning Community (PLC) activities learned through interacting with facilitators and sharing experiences with their colleagues and peers. It was also found that teachers learned through modelling as Foundation Phase (FP) learners. Furthermore, the study revealed that teacher learning and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) also occurred outside workshops through WhatsApp group platforms. However, the findings revealed several challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, inadequate internet connection, lack of resources, lack of support in some schools, and heavy teaching workloads, which impacted the teachers’ participation in the activities of their PLC. Nevertheless, the findings of the study reveal that subject matter knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, general pedagogic knowledge and knowledge of the context were learnt. The findings show that there was more emphasis on pedagogical content knowledge. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that the teacher learning activities should include concepts from all four FP subjects. This will enhance teachers’ ability to teach all learning areas with confidence. The facilitation roles should be rotated amongst all members of the PLC for the effective functioning of the PLC. Members of the PLC should agree on the time and venue for meetings to allow members to attend meetings regularly.
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    An investigation of the post-school educational experiences of black, poor students with disabilities in one Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
    (2023) Nkosi, Thabani Comfort.; Sader, Saajidha Bibi.
    Section 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) emphasises that the state "must make gradually available and accessible" the right to higher education by reasonable methods. Despite wide pledges indicated in policies and legislation addressing the needs of formerly disadvantaged students with disabilities, the literature from the field of social justice education reveals that many of them continue to experience problems in higher education. This study aimed to explore the post-school educational experiences of Black students with disabilities from low socio-economic backgrounds at one Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in Northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The study further aimed to investigate the factors that facilitate or impede their participation and success, as well as how they navigate these factors. A qualitative narrative approach was employed to explore seven students’ personal and college experiences from diverse rural District Municipalities. In-depth, semi structured narrative interviews, together with photo-voice, was used to generate data that explored their positioning. Three main themes emerged from the analysis which revealed elements that either restrict or promote the experience of access, participation, and success of students with disabilities. These are academic, sociocultural, and access. According to information obtained from the seven students, these three areas have a significant impact on how the majority of the TVET College's students with disabilities perceive their educational experience. A thorough investigation into the experiences of students with disabilities revealed that factors such as their social position, class status, the college's infrastructure, peers and faculty support, self-motivation, the college's proximity, the influence of their families or friends, the nature of the curriculum, and the attitudes of peers or /and college staff toward their disabilities all played a role in whether they had a positive or negative experience at TVET college. The significant impact of these findings is that… Findings reveal that the college must implement measures that facilitate [inclusive] experiences [for] students with disabilities. The findings also reveal what helps them navigate these impeding factors is their self-motivation.
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    Exploring the experiences and challenges of adult learners employed as Correctional Officials in the context of COVID-19.
    (2023) Shezi, Vitalis Kwazikwakhe.; John, Vaughn Mitchell.
    According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), “most governments around the world temporarily closed education and training institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic” (ILO, 2020, p. 1). Literature argues that “COVID- 19 has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents” (United Nations, 2020, p. 2). This study explores the experiences and challenges encountered by adult learners who, during the COVID-19 pandemic, were employed as Correctional Officials (COs) in the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) at Durban-Westville Correctional Centre, South Africa. In other words, while continuing to be rehabilitation facilitators and carers within their families they were also enrolled in as part-time students in different institutions of higher learning. The qualitative research tradition was used to explore the COs' interpretation of COVID-19 experiences and challenges in relation to their circumstances. Purposive sampling was employed, and data were generated using an online survey and in-depth interviews with six participants. Demographic and Thematic Analysis were employed respectively in analysing the raw data and generated themes that became key findings of the study Findings revealed that studying COs had challenges that related to internal, external and program-related factors indicating the interrelated nature of these challenges. Findings further indicated that the challenges experienced by the studying COs varied depending on age, gender, skills as well as the context of the study. Findings also revealed that the pandemic has had significant impacts on the COs' personal and professional lives, with challenges such as limited resources and lack of support systems. However, the COs' personal circumstances and resilience have also shaped the pandemic's impact, leading to some positive coping mechanisms. The study recommends support systems for adult learners with multiple responsibilities and highlights the need for further research on the impact of COVID-19 on Correctional Officials. Overall, the study contributes to the understanding of the experiences and challenges encountered by adult learners with multiple roles during the pandemic in a correctional setting.
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    Teachers’ perceptions of effective teaching and learning in poor primary schools in the uMgungundlovu district.
    (2023) Zuma, Zanele Prisca.; Sader, Saajidha Bibi.
    All South African children have a right to access teaching and learning with equal educational opportunities and adequate teaching and learning resources. As much as all children have this right, a number of rural schools are faced with challenges as rural schools are characterized with inequalities and inequities in relation to teaching and learning resources. This study examines teacher perceptions of effective teaching and learning in poor rural schools in two schools in the uMgungundlovu District. The focus of this study was to explore and understand teachers’ perceptions of the factors that influence effective teaching and learning in their schools as well as the ways in which they negotiate the barriers to effective teaching and learning. It seeks to construct an understanding of effective teaching and learning in poor rural primary schools in relation to Sens’s (1999) Capability Approach (cited in Rajapakse, 2016). Sen’s (1999) Capability Approach was used as a framework for understanding. Working within the critical paradigm, this study aimed to understand, interrogate and critique issues of oppression and inequality in the schooling system. The case study research style was used as the study aimed to gain in-depth understating of teacher perceptions of effective teaching and learning in poor primary schools. Purposive sampling was used in two state primary schools in the uMgungundlovu district. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews with five teachers teaching in the two schools which were the research sites. These teachers were interviewed individually. Using this data collection method allowed the researcher to generate rich data in relation to participants’ understanding of effective teaching and learning drawing on their experiences of teaching in poor rural schools. Thematic analysis was used to analyse data as the study collected qualitative data in the form of words. Findings of this study suggest that rural schools are still characterised with inequalities and inequities in relation to resources, teacher shortages leading to ineffective teaching and learning and poor education outcomes. Teachers in rural schools are faced with a number of challenges which hinder them to produce effective teaching and learning. As much as they are faced with these challenges, they try their best to negotiate these challenges and strive to produce effective teaching and learning. To help teachers in poor rural schools be able to provide effective teaching and learning, they need to be provided with the support and resources they need. They also have to be constantly trained and motivated. When they have this support and motivation, they will become effective teachers who will be able to motivate and engage all learners in their teaching effectively, helping them to reach their full potential.
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    The learning involved in the path of becoming a traditional healer in an African context.
    (2023) Mdletshe, Muziwendoda Patrick.; Mkhize, Jeffery Siphiwe.
    Traditional healing practices are generally utilised by black South Africans from different socio-economic backgrounds. These practices are highly valued by most, while disapproved by others. Scholars have drowned in various debates about the effectiveness of traditional healing practices, and some have recommended their inclusion in mainstream health care. It is claimed that merging Western forms of healing with African traditional healing practices could provide the best health care for African people as the African cosmology of health and illness strongly influences help-seeking patterns among South Africans. This study sought to understand the learning involved in the path of becoming a traditional healer in an African context. Furthermore, it sought to understand the role of the mentor and finally explore the extent to which learning variations exist in each of the three forms of practices investigated in this study: the Diviner’s practice, the Herbalist’s practice, and the Faith Healer’s practice. The study is located within a constructivist paradigm and uses key constructs from social learning theories as a conceptual framework. This exploratory research employed semi-structured interviews to gather the data from four participants: i.e., the mentor and mentee of the diviner, and the mentor of both the herbalist and faith healer who were purposefully sampled because of the knowledge they have. Collected data were translated into English and then thematically analysed. The key finding of this study indicated that the ancestral calling of the initiate precedes any form of training in certain forms of traditional healing practices. Also, it was found that some of the participants became traditional healers after either experiencing an illness or having certain dreams which upon in-depth analyses and interpretation by others, were understood to be the calling from the ancestors for one to become a healer. The study further revealed that one is called to become a traditional healer because someone in the ancestral lineage was a traditional healer when they were alive. Gobela at some stage happened to liaise with the ancestors through dreams during training sessions and the completion of the course is predominantly determined by the ancestors. In this study, I argue that learning to become a traditional healer is informal, not time-bound, and not structured.
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    Learning to care: nurses’ experiences of learning in a quality improvement intervention in uMgungundlovu District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2023) Khumalo, Eugenia Thandeka.; John, Vaughn Mitchell.; Mbatha, Lulama.
    This study examined nurses' experiences of a quality improvement (QI) intervention to increase the identification and treatment of children and adolescents with HIV in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Despite the high prevalence of HIV in the country, progress in the paediatric population lags behind that of adults. The study employed a basic qualitative research design within the interpretivist paradigm to understand nurses' perceptions of QI in nursing care. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and the photovoice method and analysed using a data-driven inductive approach and deductive analysis. The study adopted Kolb’s experiential learning theory to theorise the findings that revealed that although the QI training was successful, the layout and mentoring processes did not facilitate the sustainability of the developed skills. Barriers to providing good clinical management of children and adolescents with HIV included a lack of institutionalisation and sustainability of the QI intervention and a non-conducive environment. This study highlights the importance of equipping healthcare workers with QI skills to improve healthcare quality and contribute to good health outcomes in the paediatric population. Based on the findings, the project was recommended to revise the training layout and adopt mentoring processes to develop sustainable interventions.
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    Narratives of English home language teachers’ personal and professional identities at two secondary schools in the Wembezi Circuit of the Uthukela District.
    (2022) Woodraj, Aresh.; Naidoo, Jaqueline Theresa.
    English Home Language is a medium of instruction in schools. The manner in which learners adapt to the subject is dependent on English teachers. This study explored the personal and professional identities of teachers of English Home Language, in the Senior Phase (Grades 7-9) and Further Education and Training Phase (Grades 10-12). Additionally, the personal and professional identities of English Home Language teachers in the Senior Phase (Grades 7-9) and Further Education and Training Phase (FET) at different stages of their careers were explored. This study adopted Day and Gu’s (2007) dimensions of teacher identity and professional life phases as a conceptual framework. The study was located within the interpretative paradigm and a qualitative approach was adopted. The narratives of this study were constructed through poetry, collages and semi-structured interviews. Five English Home Language teachers from two secondary schools participated in this study. The findings of this study indicated that teachers had multiple identities and their identities were influenced and constructed by different factors. These factors were relationships, religion, complexities of teaching English as a Home Language and emotions. Data showed that the situated, professional and personal dimensions of teacher identity overlapped and influenced each other. Furthermore, it indicated that in order to have a strong identity, all the dimensions must be in balance. Additionally, it was revealed that teachers believed that the curriculum was not designed for a holistic education, especially since most learners had a language barrier that affected the identities of teachers, making them feel despondent. In line with this, the emotions of teachers were affected as they were unable to judge whether the concepts taught were understood by learners. In this regard, teachers lost confidence, felt frustrated and only did the bare minimum. The 0-3, 8-15, 16-23- and 24-30-years’ career phases of teachers were explored in line with Day and Gu’s (2007) professional life phases. Teachers required support throughout their careers. Despite facing numerous challenges, teachers were positive and hoped to remain in the profession. Teachers also required professional development. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic this was not possible. Contrary to Day and Gu (2007), data revealed that teachers did not require validation in the early phases only but throughout their careers. A factor not considered by Day and Gu (2007) was also identified. Data revealed that an increase in salary was a contributing factor towards teachers remaining in the profession. A major recommendation of this study was that the contextual factors that teachers work under be considered in the design and implementation of workshops.
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    For the love of teaching!: narratives of teacher identity and teacher emotion of learning support teachers.
    (2021) Moodliar, Selina.; Naidoo, Jaqueline Theresa.
    There is a growing need to develop teachers in the field of inclusive education. This thesis presents an exploration and understanding of the stories and lived experiences of learning support teachers. Given that this qualitative study aimed to unearth the multiplicity of teacher identity and deep-rooted nature of teacher emotion through narrative inquiry; and how these relate to career phases and inclusive pedagogical choices, a tree metaphor is used to present this dissertation. Embedded in an interpretive paradigm, the narratives of seven learning support teachers in Pietermaritzburg were constructed. Semi-structured interviews, self-boxes, Tree-of –Life drawings and vignettes were used as data generating instruments. Thematic data analysis resulted in the construction of rich and thick narratives of participants which enabled a glimpse of their lives in order to understand their teacher identities as learning support teachers. The frameworks that informed this study were Day and Kington’s (2008) structure on the dimensions of teacher identity which analysed the personal and professional identities of learning support teachers, Zembylas’ (2002) theory on the genealogies of teacher emotion which was used to locate participants’ emotions within an individual, social or socio-political context; and Day and Gu’s (2007) framework on Professional Life Phases of teachers which was used to compare and contrast the narratives of participants against typical teacher profiles by career age. The findings of this study show that not only do the identities of learning support teachers fluctuate within the personal, professional and situated dimensions of teacher identity, but they are also deeply interconnected, shaped by critical influences and are resilient in nature. This study revealed a fourth dimension of teacher identity: a counter-narrative that described elements of a concealed or fragmented identity. With regards to teacher emotion, learning support teachers were found to be emotionally invested in their work and they therefore reported feeling either positively motivated or negatively disempowered in the workplace as a result of this emotional investment. Furthermore, the constant need for learning support teachers to negotiate emotional boundaries stimulated reflective practice and the formation of emotional relationships (‘bonds’) between themselves and others at school. Largely-negative emotional experiences made learning support teachers feel vulnerable and inhibited their willingness to adapt and improve their teaching practice, whilst largely-positive emotional experiences made them feel self-confident and encouraged learning support teachers’ to adapt and improve their teaching practice. Weak emotional bonds demotivated learning support teachers and made them less productive whilst strong emotional bonds promoted higher work engagement and productivity. The findings from applying Day and Gu’s (2007) framework on the professional life phases of teachers to the participants’ narratives resulted in a common theme. The narratives indicated that being a learning support teacher is ultimately, a journey of self-discovery. Additionally, learning support teachers identified ‘teamwork and collaboration’ as fundamental to their productivity irrespective of their professional life phase. The resulting effect of teacher identity and teacher emotions on learning support teachers’ work engagement and productivity highlights the dynamic nature of inclusive education and hence that, the future of inclusive education lies in the hands of teachers. The findings of this study will hopefully contribute positively to studies on professional teacher development in the field of learning support. Moreover, in light of Continuous Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) which is compulsory for South African teachers, to maintain their teaching accreditation, a deeper understanding of teacher identity and teacher emotion - and their inextricable influence on teaching practice and teacher productivity - is crucial to the improvement of professional teacher development programs.
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    Teachers’ visualisation of the mathematics curriculum.
    (2022) Kowlesar, Roshini.; Amin, Nyna.
    This study explores how teachers in a suburb of Durban visualise the Mathematics curriculum. The inquiry is predicated on the assumption that teachers’ visualisations make visible their foci on aspects of the Mathematics curriculum which is often not explicit. The study also aims to explain the different types of visualisations each participant held and the implications thereof for practice. This was a qualitative study conducted at a private school in Durban. Six teachers participated in the study. The data was generated by asking teachers to produce an image of their visualisation and conducting semi structured interviews. An interpretivist paradigm framed the study. Six visuals were generated by participants (tree, pizza, toolbox, jigsaw puzzle, germinating seed and 4-tiered cake). Based on its findings, the study identifies an understanding of the teachers’ thoughts of the Mathematics curriculum. New teachers begin by following the curriculum at hand very closely. Over time, as they learn more about both learners and curriculum, they adapt and adjust their interpretation and implementation of the curriculum. Finally, the study shows that new and aspiring teachers need opportunities to analyse and critique curriculum, beginning during teacher education and continuing in the in-service period in the company of their more experienced colleagues and mentors.
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    Exploring teacher learning through the use of PILO toolkits in Grade 8 and 9 mathematics classrooms in the Pinetown district.
    (2022) Xulu, Revival Priscilla Nompumelelo.; Xulu, Free-Queen Bongiwe.
    Curriculum coverage in mathematics has been an ongoing concern in South African schools. The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Education in partnership with National Education Collaborative Trust (NECT) initiated the Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes (PILO) aiming at developing and implementing learning improvement programmes to address curriculum coverage at district level. This case study explores teacher learning though the use of Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes toolkits in grade 8 and 9 mathematics classrooms in the Pinetown District. This study adopted Desimone’s (2009) model of professional development features and Illeris’s (2009) theory of learning. Five grade 8 and 9 mathematics teachers were purposively sampled to participate in this study. This case study was located within the interpretive paradigm. Data was generated using the semi- structured interviews and document analysis. Inductive approach was used to analyse the data. The findings of this study reveal that mathematics teachers were involved in Jika Imfundo and PILO workshops. The findings indicate that during the workshops the mathematics teachers learn how to creating a link between mathematics textbooks, learners’ workbooks and the trackers. They also learn different methods of teaching content and curriculum coverage for grade 8 and 9. While one experienced teacher was not in favour of using PILO toolkit, four teachers in this study value PILO toolkits and training because it has introduced them to better curriculum planning which had a positive impact on the teaching and learning which resulted in the change in their teaching practices in mathematics classrooms. However, teachers encountered several challenges such as lack of resources when they were using PILO toolkits. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that PILO programme should be reviewed and be implemented across all nine provinces in South Africa. The Department of Education should provide the resources to support teaching and learning of mathematics in schools. The PILO toolkits should be designed for all grades and subjects and the number of mathematics activities per week should be reduced in order to accommodate learners with learning difficulties and special activities for slow learners should be considered. Key words: teacher learning, professional development, Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes (PILO), curriculum coverage, curriculum coverage
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    Violence against teachers: an investigation of teachers’ experiences of school-based violence in the Umzinyathi District, KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2022) Sithole, Thinasi Phelele.; Sader, Saajidha Bibi.
    Protecting learners from harm as well as promoting a safe and caring environment for learners are imbedded in teachers’ core duty of providing learners with an enabling teaching and learning environment (Segalo & Rambuda, 2018). However, with teachers experiencing violence at the hands of learners, the teachers’ duty to care for learners and create safe learning spaces has been significantly compromised. This study sought to investigate the teachers’ experiences of school-based violence of selected teachers in the Umzinyathi District, province of KwaZulu-Natal. A qualitative, narrative research approach, located within the critical paradigm, was used to address the aim and objectives of the study. The data to respond to the key research questions of the study was generated through conflict mapping and focus group interviews with the selected teachers. The participants of the study were five (two male and three female) teachers from two rural secondary schools, who were selected through purposive sampling. The data generated were analysed using thematic analysis. The study found that school-based violence perpetrated by learners against teachers was the most common form of violence, with institutional, interpersonal, and structural factors contributing to its prevalence. It also revealed that the experiences of violence make teachers feel unsafe and negatively affect their relationships with learners. The findings pointed to the fact that the development of safe schools was a collective responsibility, requiring the involvement of a range of stakeholders. The findings of the study point to the fact that school-based violence against teachers is cancer to the education system. Thus, the perpetration of school-based violence against teachers by learners will see the demise of the South African education system if left unchecked. There is, therefore, an urgent need to address school-based violence and redirect the path of young people to that which will empower them to contribute to a socially just and peaceful society.