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TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa
Number of Followers: 0  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1817-4434 - ISSN (Online) 2415-2005
Published by AOSIS Publishing Homepage  [32 journals]
  • University students’ perspectives on an English-only language policy
           in Higher Education

    • Authors: Sizakele A. Ngidi, Elliot M. Mncwango
      First page: 5
      Abstract: The study aimed to determine students’ perspectives on a shift from a dual-medium (English and Afrikaans) language policy to a monolingual (English-only) language policy at a University of Technology in South Africa and to establish whether the shift had any impact on student learning at the institution. The study used a quantitative method of inquiry, with a questionnaire used for data collection. The findings revealed that language-related challenges vary amongst students, and these can be categorised as low, medium and high language learning problems. The article concludes that the language policy shift does not reflect the multilingual nature of the c ountry, student demographics or their language needs at the institution. Instead of addressing the real challenge facing the majority of students who speak Sesotho, it merely dropped a second medium of instruction (MOI), Afrikaans, instead of developing a dominant indigenous language (Sesotho) for educational use alongside English and Afrikaans.Transdisciplinarity Contribution: The article lays bare the access paradox in higher education owing to the misalignment between the country’s progressive language policies and learning institutions’ language policies. The students’ perspectives bring a much-needed dimension to the ongoing debate on the use of the learners’ home languages as languages of learning and teaching.
      PubDate: 2022-11-01
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1189
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
  • An investigation into the knowledge–sharing practices for innovation in
           higher education institutions of developing countries

    • Authors: Alfred H. Mazorodze, Peter Mkhize
      First page: 7
      Abstract: The adoption of knowledge-sharing practices in higher education result in improved decision-making, improved access to information and increased collaboration. A knowledge-sharing culture enables the free exchange of knowledge amongst academics and this drives institutions towards innovation.This study examines the extent to which knowledge-sharing practices have been adopted at higher education institutions (HEIs) of developing countries.The article reports on an inquiry conducted at HEIs in Zimbabwe to determine the knowledge-sharing practices in place.A survey was used to collect quantitative data from 240 purposefully selected academics at the HEIs. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics.This study established that HEIs have not fully implemented the knowledge-sharing practices. Empirical evidence confirms that attendance of conferences is important for knowledge sharing where 43% of the participants approved the proposition. Coaching and mentoring improve academic skills such that 21.7% of the participants approved the premise. Subscribing to international journals increases the visibility of scientific research work and only 18.3% of the participants confirmed that their institutions subscribe to internationally recognised journals. Surprisingly, 60% of the participants confirmed that their institutions do not offer knowledge-sharing workshops. Unremarkably, 23.3% of the participants confirmed that their institutions do not have a knowledge-sharing culture.Transdisciplinarity Contribution: Higher education institutions have not fully exploited the knowledge-sharing practices that could make them more innovative. The institutions are still at the trial stage of adopting knowledge-sharing practices. This study therefore recommends the creation of communities of practice (COPs) specifically for knowledge sharing.
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1230
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
  • Use of information and communication technologies in mathematics education
           lecturers: Implications for preservice teachers

    • Authors: Alton Dewa, Nokulunga S. Ndlovu
      First page: 8
      Abstract: The availability and use of educational resources in classrooms has increased remarkably; however, preservice teachers graduate from initial teacher education institutions (ITEIs) and join the profession without the skills for teaching in these new learning environments. This qualitative study was conducted in four South African public ITEIs. It is aimed at examining mathematics lecturers’ integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) into teaching and its implications for preservice teachers’ readiness to teach in contemporary classrooms. Individual interviews were conducted with 12 mathematics education lecturers and 20 fourth-year students in five focus groups. The findings revealed that whilst the lecturers had some knowledge of how to teach with digital technologies in lecture rooms, they did not model specialised mathematics teaching skills to their students. Informed by activity theory, this study identified institutional gaps in the implementation of digital technologies for teaching. Institutions seemed to view access to technology as sufficient for effective use by lecturers. Initial teacher education institutions should therefore establish and regulate structures that equip and support lecturers with desired ICT pedagogical skills if preservice teachers are to be prepared for the modern classrooms.Transdisciplinarity Contribution: This research contributes to literature on the use of ICTs in Initial Teacher Education. Although it focuses on Mathematics Education, its findings demonstrate the importance of Professional Development if the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) of lecturers in these institutions will adequately prepare preservice teachers for the modern classroom.
      PubDate: 2022-10-31
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1165
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
  • Reimagining systems that support early childhood development centres in
           offering quality education

    • Authors: Adebunmi Y. Aina, Keshni Bipath
      First page: 8
      Abstract: AbstractSystems ensure the attainment of goals at any educational level, including quality early childhood education. Various studies focus on the benefits and components of quality early childhood education, yet none emphasise systems that will support early childhood development (ECD) centres in offering quality education. This study explored existing systems that support ECD centres in providing quality education to young children. The study adopted a qualitative research approach and collected data through document analysis and face-to-face interviews with eight participants purposively selected from four ECD centres situated in Pretoria. The data were analysed thematically. The findings revealed that national policies, internally generated policies and financial systems support the participating centres in offering quality education. However, many of the participants did not know the existing national policies. The findings also revealed that ECD centres in the township area do not have financial systems to help them provide quality education. The study recommends effective implementation strategies to foster awareness and enforce strict adherence to government policies at ECD centres. The study contributes to awareness and adherence to quality early childhood education by suggesting that ECD centres, principals and teachers should engage in relevant and practical training on effectively establishing systems from the available national education policies that will help them offer quality education.Contribution: This study adds to the body of knowledge by filling in the gaps on how ECD principals and teachers understand national policies and translate them into systems that assist them in managing their centres on a daily basis. The novelty of this study is the empirical input from different disciplines (Early Childhood Education and Management and Policies Studies), in a way that enables one to comprehend the role of educational management and policies studies at the early childhood learning centres in South Africa, which is the emphasis of the Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1107
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
  • The use of English to offer learner support and enhance perceptual skills
           development in South African township schools

    • Authors: Nkhensani S. Thuketana, Mmamoyahabo C. Makgabo
      First page: 8
      Abstract: Research has identified the underdevelopment of perceptual skills as a cause of lifelong learning struggles and the restriction of developmental progress in learners. The literature also indicates that early intervention is one strategy that effectively mitigates the long-term effects thereof through learner support. However, the inadequacy of in-service teachers’ skills to assess perceptual skills development, coupled with the implementation of the teaching and learning language policy, are issues for concern, particularly in South African schools.This article reports on a module-aligned community engagement project conducted with 87 pre-service teachers to assess the perceptual skills development of Foundation Phase learners as part of their work-integrated learning (WIL). The two selected schools used English as their language of teaching and learning. Two lecturers and eight Grade 2 and Grade 3 in-service teachers from Pretoria East schools participated in the project. Play-based pedagogy was used as a resource for assessment as a qualitative approach, thus inspiring in-service teachers’ and learners’ creativity and enjoyment at the schools.Kolb’s cyclic theoretical framework consisting of four cycles underpinned the project. Firstly, the project confirmed literature findings of teachers’ lack of skills to assess perceptual skills development using English in Foundation Phase learners. Secondly, the use of non-mother tongue language as a medium of instruction in early learning centres affected learners’ knowledge acquisition. Thirdly, the use of the foreign medium of instruction affected the learners’ speaking and listening skills, thus impacting language and cognitive development essential for learning.
      PubDate: 2022-06-27
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1209
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
  • Examining information and communication technology use in public primary
           schools in South Africa from the capability approach

    • Authors: Lebohang Mahlo, Zayd Waghid
      First page: 9
      Abstract: In 2015 the Western Cape Government (WCG) in South Africa introduced the e-Learning Game Changer initiative to offer teachers in public schools information and communications technology (ICT) resources to improve their pedagogy. Despite the efforts by the WCG to improve ICT use for teaching in public schools, successful ICT integration hardly takes place in several historically disadvantaged (albeit affluent) schools, which constitute a minority of schools in the Western Cape. The primary aim of this study was to investigate those conversion factors allowing or impeding teachers in two public primary schools in the Western Cape from attaining the potential capabilities required for successful ICT integration. Amartya Sen’s capability approach was used as the study’s theoretical framework. The study employed a qualitative research method involving 10 educators observed during their lessons and interviewed. The findings confirmed that only a few conversion factors, such as the attainment of ICT skills through a community of practice and university training by the teachers, provided them with capabilities to use ICT to deliver curriculum content and perform basic ICT skills effectively. Several conversion factors, including teachers’ age, provincial and school policies, infrastructure and resources, prevented these teachers from realising their ICT potential. This study contends that the White Paper on e-Education (2004) policy might benefit from the results, which could help to build or rethink programmes that encourage continual teacher training.Transdisciplinarity Contribution: This research shows that policymakers need to take into consideration the conversion factors that may impact teachers’ capabilities to deliver curriculum utilising ICTs. This study’s findings provide new light on how these conversion factors limit or expand teachers’ ICT capabilities.
      PubDate: 2022-09-21
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1201
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
  • Considering the Basotho indigenous education and school system as
           resources for peace-building education in Lesotho

    • Authors: Rasebate I. Mokotso
      First page: 10
      Abstract: Lesotho faces political, economic, social, cultural, religious, institutional and interpersonal violence, a situation that prompted the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to introduce a peace-building education program. This indigenous auto-ethnography inquiry arose as the result of the investigator’s realisation that the UNESCO strategy to establish peace education in Lesotho is an exclusive, narrow approach based on the formal Western education system. While UNESCO’s initiative to instil a culture of peace via education is commendable considering the seriousness of the violence in Lesotho, the article contends that the approach excludes many out-of-school youth from learning about developing a culture of peace. The article also reveals some characteristics associated with the Western educational system that contribute to its inability to incorporate all eligible groups in peace-building education. Guided by the theoretical framework of critical interculturality, this article highlighted the Basotho lebollo education system as having the ability to extend peace-building education beyond the confines of Western schooling and education to include out-of-school adolescents. The compatibility of the lebollo school system with peace-building education was proved by its indigenous epistemology and pedagogy. The article recommends a nonviolent strategy devoid of colonial violence and based on mutual respect that can bring lebollo on board for peace-building education, as has happened in response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic.Transdisciplinarity Contribution: This paper contributes to the broad debate that Western formal education ensnared in colonial power structures, has difficulty meeting the educational needs of the African child, despite its noble intentions. Using Basotho indigenous education system as a framework for calling for recognition of indigenous education, the paper makes the case for peacebuilding education as a potential model for indigenous education.
      PubDate: 2022-08-31
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1213
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
  • Systematic review: Decentralised health information systems implementation
           in sub-Saharan Africa

    • Authors: Oluwamayowa O. Ogundaini, Mourine S. Achieng
      First page: 10
      Abstract: Globally the health space is being revolutionised by rapid digital transformation to support care activities, promote healthier lifestyles and ensure informed decision making to improve service delivery. However, many health systems in sub-Saharan Africa are yet to realise the full potential of health information systems (HIS) as a digital transformation initiative. The objective of this article is to establish how the sociotechnical challenges in Africa’s health systems can be addressed by recommending a fitting approach to implement HIS relevant to the context of the continent. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) technique was applied to search, identify and filter articles over a 10-year period by applying inclusion and exclusion criteria accordingly. Only 42 articles satisfied the objective of this article. The emergent themes include contextual factors, coordination and collaboration, data complexity, organisation structure, accountability and stakeholders’ perspectives. The results indicated that less attention has been given to how the implementation approach could impact the output of health systems. In conclusion, the authors argue that a decentralised approach to the implementation of HIS is more appropriate for Africa’s health systems. The premise of the authors’ argument is informed by the tiered structure of health systems, varying levels of infrastructural development and use of large volumes of health-related data for resources allocation at the national level. Future studies should investigate the processes for formulation and evaluation of health policies to actively redress the administrative issues associated with the current functional HIS in each African country.Transdisciplinarity Contribution: The paper contributes to the practical implications of implementing HIS in sub-Saharan African health systems by highlighting the contextual realities and data governance complexities that support a decentralised approach towards ensuring resilience and health security.
      PubDate: 2022-08-30
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1216
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
  • Government communication in times of crisis: The priorities and trends in
           South Africa’s response to COVID-19

    • Authors: Sokfa F. John, Haruna Maama, Oluwaseun T. Ojogiwa, Betty C. Mubangizi
      First page: 10
      Abstract: The effectiveness of a government’s communication, especially in times of crisis, is crucial to its legitimacy, reputation, disaster management and its ability to ensure the wellbeing of its people. This paper examines the focus and trends in press statements published on South Africa’s official coronavirus website during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Government decisions, successes and challenges were frequently communicated to the public through these statements. The study aimed to understand what was communicated regarding government’s priorities and the factors that shaped them. Data were extracted from 483 press statements published between 05 March 2020 and 15 January 2021. Thematic analysis and mean scores were used to identify the focus and trends in the messages, while the Wilcoxon signed rank test (WSRT) was used to identify the significance of the changes in the mean scores. The results showed a coordinated and persistent effort to inform the public with credible, accurate, timely and empowering information. The most persistent priority of the government was to control the spread of the virus, while several issues relating to the socio-economic wellbeing of the people were prioritised at different stages of the pandemic. There was a parallel movement between the trajectory of the disease and government decisions, suggesting that government response was mostly reactive to the behaviour of the pandemic. The South African government needs to be more proactive in its disaster response and demonstrate a nuanced understanding of its citizens and their challenges.
      PubDate: 2022-07-15
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1146
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
  • Immigrant entrepreneurship in South Africa: A review and research agenda

    • Authors: Clavis N. Fubah, Menisha N. Moos
      First page: 13
      Abstract: Immigrant entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon that has recently attracted the interest of South African academics. The goal of this article was to conduct a systematic review of the literature on immigrant entrepreneurship in South African (SA) between 2009 and 2021. This systematic review was especially important because it synthesised the current literature on immigrant entrepreneurship in SA as well as proposing new avenues for research. The review included 48 articles, with an emphasis on publication trends, methodological and theoretical approaches, provincial focus, networks used by immigrant entrepreneurs and the barriers faced by immigrant entrepreneurs in SA. The findings indicate that scholarly interest in the concept has increased in SA since 2016–2018, which recorded the highest number of publications (16). The majority of studies in the review employed a quantitative approach; thus, further theorisation of the concept is required, and immigrant entrepreneurs are encouraged to explore other networks such as family, business, managerial and interorganisational networks.This article contributes to immigrant entrepreneurship literature in the South African context by synthesising the findings on immigrant entrepreneurship published within the designated timeframe. In addition, the article also identifies areas of future research on immigrant entrepreneurship in SA.
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.4102/td.v18i1.1160
      Issue No: Vol. 18, No. 1 (2022)
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