One of the daunting challenges facing South Africa in the contemporary period is that of achieving social cohesion. Educational institutions should be at the cutting edge of the project to weave a common identity whilst promoting respect for difference. It was this challenge that motivated us to convene colloquia in 2003 and 2006 to discuss the current state of school desegregation and innovative ways to forge ahead in the complex processes of dismantling the legacies of the past and creating inclusive paradigms for our classrooms.This monograph represents an attempt to record what could be regarded as nascent events in a few schools that have the potential to grow into models of best practice in managing diversity. These fledgling efforts always coexist with powerful contrary traditions that may retard their fruition, and to witness their growth in slow motion is both enlightening and instructive.
A small survey of stakeholders' perceptions about what constitutes 'best practice' in a desegregated school environment, supported by classroom observation, interviews and focus groups form the basis for this analysis of emergent patterns in the practices which foster healthy identities in our learners, both as individuals and as members of South African society. Concise and written in an accessible style, the study is important reading for educationists at every level, policymakers and all involved in teacher education.
Prof Mokubung Nkomo is currently professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria. Dr Saloshna Vandeyar is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria. Her research interests include teacher education, school integration institutional cultures and assessment practices.
Background and context. Theoretical and conceptual framework: Customisation of the teaching and learning process; contextualised teaching process. Research methodology: The survey - perceptions of 'best practice' in desegregated South African schools; sampling procedure; sampling and selection of schools; response rates; data analysis; the case studies - peering into the desegregated classroom; data analysis; profiles of the case-study schools; teacher profiles for the case-study phase; a synthesis of school profiles. Research findings: The survey - perceptions of 'best practice' in desegregated South African schools; responses of teachers; responses of learners; responses of parents; responses of members of school governing bodies; responses of members of school management teams; the case studies - peering into the desegregated classroom; setting the scene - classroom climate curriculum delivery; interactions in a class of diverse learners; management of a class of diverse learners; the teacher as a role model; conclusion - effective practices for teaching a class of diverse learners. Analysis and discussion of findings: The survey - perceptions of 'best practice' in desegregated South African schools; transcending the theory/praxis nexus; teacher capacity development in multicultural and diverse classrooms; teaching and learning material; the nature and extent of social interaction in the school; school support; the case studies - peering into the desegregated classroom; the teaching and learning environment; pedagogy - how learning takes place social interaction and diversity management.
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- ID: 9780796922243
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