Curriculum recontextualising using gardens for the health promotion in the life orientation learning area of the senior phase
Author(s)Jenkins, Msawenkosi Wiseman
KeywordsEnvironmental education--South Africa--Eastern Cape--Case studies
School gardens--South Africa--Eastern Cape
Gardening--Study and teaching (Secondary)--South Africa--Eastern Cape
Environmental education--Curricula--South Africa--Eastern Cape
Environmental education--Curricula--Case studies
Environmental policy--South Africa--Eastern Cape
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AbstractWith a view to understanding how curriculum is interpreted at classroom practice level, the study examined three stories of how the environmental discourse of the National Curriculum Statements (R-9) was recontextualised using school gardens in the Life Orientation Learning Area for the Senior Phase. To understand how the curriculum is recontextualised, I used Bernstein's theory of recontexutalisation where he explained how official pedagogic discourse (OPD) (in this case the environmental discourse is first delocated once it is transferred from the field of production (FOP) and relocated in the recontextualising field (where teacher educators and departmental officials mediate the discourse) and in the field of reproduction (FOR) which is the classroom and school. Bernstein explained that as the discourse is delocated and relocated it undergoes transformation. This transformation is influenced by practitioners' prior-knowledge, experience, culture and beliefs and other factors. To understand how transformation of the environmental discourse takes place, Bernstein's conceptual constructs of selective appropriation and ideological transformation were applied to an interpretation of three lesson processes, to explain how the discourse was changed. Each lesson was reviewed in terms of the selective appropriations and ideological transformations which took place. All three of the lessons observed took place in one school, and as such the study is designed as an interpretive case study where I have tried to make meaning from a rich, thick description of a specific case context. The school is located in Bizana, one of the villages in the O.R. Tambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province,, and is currently in the process of implementing South Africa’s new National Curriculum Statement (NCS) like all other schools in South Africa. In conducting the research I observed lessons, interviewed the learners and teachers, and a community member and the manager of the SANBI greening project, and I also analysed documents which included the NCS for Life Orientation, and teachers planning documents and learners work produced in the lessons. I started the study by conducting a document analysis of the NCS, through which I identified dimensions of the Official Pedagogic Discourse. This was used as a framework to review the lessons to understand how the OPD was being recontextualised. The study concludes by discussing the key findings of the study in the form of a set of analytical statements. Some of the findings indicate that teachers have not been given adequate training for understanding and implementing the NCS which affects the recontextualisation process. The study shows that there is a dire need for professional development if the OPD is to be interpreted adequately by teachers so that its implementation at the meso and micro- levels becomes clear and effective.
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Assessing household assets to understand vulnerability to HIV/Aids and climate change in the Eastern Cape, South AfricaShackleton, Sheona; Luckert, Marty; Stadler, Leigh Tessa (Rhodes UniversityFaculty of Science, Environmental Science, 2012-06-15)Livelihood stressors in southern Africa, such as HIV/Aids and climate change, do not act in isolation but rather interact concurrently in complex socio-ecological systems with diverse, interrelated and compounded affects. Households experience differential vulnerability to such stressors based on contextual factors such as geographical location, income level and the gender and age of its members. Households’ differential experiences of vulnerability are further defined by the households’ use of their capital stocks: the human, social, natural, financial and physical capital available to the household to form livelihoods and resist the detrimental effects of a stressor. The capital stocks of 340 households were measured in two sites in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, using a household survey. These data were analysed to determine differences between the sites, households with heads of different gender and households of different income levels. Further data relating to the drivers and interactions of stressors over temporal and spatial scales, as well as the perceived value of various forms of capital by different social groups in the two sites, were collected via Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) methods including timelines, mental modelling and pair-wise ranking. Although the two sites have similar levels of income and fall within the same province, many significant differences emerged. The two sites showed different distributions of household head genders and different stressors and perceptions of vulnerability, perhaps owing to differences in their capital stocks, acting alongside the influence of culture and access on a shifting rural-urban continuum. These discrepancies further transpired to reflect crucial differential experiences along gender lines and income levels in each site. Vulnerability was often context specific, not only because of unique drivers of stress in different areas, but also because socio-economic groups and localities often had characteristics that could potentially exacerbate vulnerability, as well as characteristics that can potentially facilitate adaptive capacity. Stressors were found to have depleted multiple forms of capital over time, while new stressors were emerging, raising concerns over the most appropriate means of social protection within these contexts.
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An exploration into self-extending systems in early literacy in English of Grade One isiXhosa speaking learnersMurray, Sarah; O'Donoghue, Elizabeth Lindsay (Rhodes UniversityFaculty of Education, 2012)The purpose of this research was to explore the ways in which a small, purposefully sampled group of Grade One isiXhosa-speaking children began the process of becoming literate in English as their second language. The research looked specifically for evidence of strategic behaviours in reading and writing which, according to Clay (200 I, 2005), form the foundation for self-extending systems and have the potential to accelerate learning. The research was guided by the principles of Clay's early intervention Reading and Writing Recovery. By Clay's definition, self-extending systems are literacy processing systems that work, that is, they enable children to continue to learn to read by reading and to write by writing. Within this context, the research explored the role of oral language in learning to read and write in English. Consideration was given to the potential for transfer of the principles that underlie Reading Recovery to South African mainstream classrooms in an attempt to raise literacy outcomes for all. This is a particularly urgent need in South Africa where many attempts to tum around poor trajectories of literacy learning do not seem to have the desired long term effects. The results of the research showed that the children began to actively engage in their English literacy learning within a network of strategies, primarily motivated by making meaning of their texts. The findings of the research suggested that a mismatch of needs and instructional procedures was evident here in this formative stage of second language literacy learning. The results suggested that children who were already educationally at risk for a multitude of reasons, were being set back even further by instructional approaches that were unresponsive to their linguistic needs.