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of the Western Cape

Faculty of Education
Term Four 2016

Education 423 (EDC423)

Course Convenors
Dr. Neetha Ravjee
Dr. Karen Collett
Sociology of Education
Teacher Well-being Project
Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Studies
Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Studies
Room E18, Education Building
Room 41,Tip Office, Goldfields Building
Tel. 021 959 3337, Email:
Tel. 021 959 3894, Email:
Consultation Times: Wednesdays 11:00 13:00
Consultation Times: Tuesdays 16:00 18:00

Class meeting times and venues
Group 1 (Surnames A M): Tuesdays 08:30 10:30 Prefab OE and Group Tut: own time & venue
Group 2 (Surnames N Z): Wednesdays 08:30 10:30 SC2 and Group Tut: own time & venue


This course explores the meanings of teachers work in relation to the broader societal contexts (social,
economic, cultural, political, historical, etc.) of education and schooling. We ask: How do these wider contexts
influence our educational choices, teaching practices and experiences inside schools? We will draw on insights
from the philosophy of education to understand the epistemological and ethical underpinnings of key documents
informing teachers professional practices (e.g. the Norms and Standards for Educators; the SACE Handbook of
Professional Ethics; the Manifesto on Values, Education and Democracy; and various curriculum guidelines). By the
end of this module you should be able to understand and engage critically with the concepts of ethics,
epistemology, values and virtues and participate in debates around the profession of teaching in South Africa.

Read the prescribed texts before each lecture, actively participate in class discussions and submit your weekly
research/writing tasks and course assignment on time.

A coursework mark of 40% or more is required to qualify to write the final examination.
50% Coursework Mark (Assignment; Group Presentations)
50% Final examination (Take-home Examination)

REQUIRED READINGS [All texts are available online through the UWC Library website.]
Week 1: Introduction and overview of the course (6th Sept & 7th Sept)
Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) (2003) Sink or Swim: Navigating Language in the
Classroom. Documentary. Cape Town: Tomix Productions.
Contributions to shared ikamva folder: Not Only About Hair

Week 2: Teachers and schools (12th Sept & 13th Sept)
Morrow, W. (2007) What is teachers work? Journal of Education Vol. 41: 3-20.
Christie, P. (2008) Opening the doors of learning: Changing schools in South Africa. Johannesburg: Heinemann. [Chapter 7:
Facing the Challenges: a framework of ethics.]

Week 3: Whose Knowledge? Whose values? Who decides? (20th & 21st Sept)
Tabata, I.B. (1960) Education for Barbarism. London: Pall Mall Press.
Waghid, Y. (2004) Deliberation and Citizenship: closing some of the gaps related to the Values in Education initiative in
South Africa. South African Journal of Education 24(4): 278-283.
Du Preez, P. & Roux, C. (2010) Human rights values or cultural values: pursuing values to maintain positive discipline in
multicultural schools. South African Journal of Education Vol. 30: 13-26.

Week 4: Teacher professionalism and professional values (27th & 28th Sept)
Heystek, J. & Lethoko, M. (2001) The contribution of teacher unions in the restoration of teacher professionalism and the
culture of learning and teaching. South African Journal of Education 21(4): 222-228.
De Clercq, F. (2013) Professionalism in South African Education: the challenges of developing teacher professional knowledge,
practice, identity and voice. Journal of Education No. 57: 31-54.

Week 5: Communities of Practice (4th & 5th October)
DuFour, R. (2004) What is a Professional Learning Community? Educational Leadership. May 2004.
Steyn, G.M. (2008) Continuing professional development for teachers in South Africa and social learning systems: conflicting
conceptual frameworks of learning. Koers 73(1): 15-31.
Leithwood, K., Leonard, L., & Sharratt, L. (1998). Conditions fostering organisational learning in schools. Educational
Administration Quarterly, 34(2), pp. 243-276.

Week 6: Teacher identity, values and professionalism (11th & 12th October)
Day C., Sammons P., Stobart G., Kington A., & Gu Q. (2007). Teachers matter. England: Open University Press.

Final deadline for submission of research assignment: Thursday 13th October

Week 7: Student Group Presentations (18th & 19th October)
Review and synthesis; Feedback on Assignments
Student Presentations: Groups 1 to 13

Week 8: Student Group Presentations (25th & 26th October)
Student Presentations: Groups 16 to 26
Examination scope; Course evaluation

Answer two essay questions, one from Section A and one from Section B. Submission guidelines to follow.
Section A
1. There is consensus that basic education in South Africa is in crisis and teachers have played some part in this outcome.
What values have contributed to this crisis and what values need to be introduced, and become part of teacher
professional culture?
2. Morrow claims that teachers work is to teach. For Christie, the goals and purposes of education relate to ethics.
Critically discuss both claims and consider the implications for South African education today.
Section B
3. Post 1994 teacher unions in South Africa have supported and also constrained teaching as a profession. Critically Discuss.
4. My professional identity as a teacher in post-apartheid South Africa will be shaped and enhanced through the following
policies and practices I engage with, and the context of the school community within which I teach. Discuss and
substantiate drawing extensively on the literature and your understanding of what is means to be a professional.

Identify the key challenges facing the teaching profession in South Africa and recommend strategies to address these
challenges in ways that enhance both the teaching profession and the overall experience of schooling.