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Change management in TVET colleges: Lessons learnt from the field of practice

The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college environment is marked by increasingly stark juxtapositions between what needs to be achieved in the post-school education sector and the increasing difficulty of current conditions. The ‘triple challenge’ of poverty, inequality and unemployment weighs heavily on the social, political and economic fabric of the country and expectations are high that the TVET colleges can make a pivotal contribution to counter these challenges. Despite laudable increases in TVET enrolment, the education system needs to work harder to accommodate the weight of demand for post school further education and training (FET) band qualifications from young people not in education, employment or training. At the same time, it is vital to secure adequate quality in TVET programmes which depend so much on the competence and commitment of college lecturers. This collection offers a set of research papers that provide new analytic and empirical material on:

• The political economy of TVET types in different countries which, by comparison, illuminate the South African case; • A periodisation of government interventions in the TVET sector over the last three decades;

• The unsettled state and status of TVET lecturers in relation to their job requirements and conditions of service;

• The halting evolution of collegial relationships between college lecturers towards higher collegiality;

• Employer expectations of college graduates and how colleges are responding; and

• An analysis of the outcomes of a college improvement intervention in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.

This book will offer valuable information and insights for decision-makers as well as analysts of institutional change concerning links between education and economic growth, with particular regard to TVET graduates’ employment rates.

Student Politics in Africa: Representation and Activism

The second volume of the African Higher Education Dynamics Series brings together the research of an international network of higher education scholars with interest in higher education and student politics in Africa. Most authors are early career academics who teach and conduct research in universities across the continent and came together for a research project, and related workshops and a symposium on student representation in African higher education governance.

The book includes theoretical chapters on student organising, student activism and representation; chapters on historical and current developments in student politics in Anglophone and Francophone Africa, and in-depth case studies on student representation and activism in a cross-section of universities and countries.

The book provides a unique resource for academics, university leaders and student affairs professionals as well as student leaders and policy-makers in Africa and elsewhere.

Boundaries of the Educational Imagination

The educational imagination is the capacity to think critically beyond our located, daily experiences of education. It breaks away from the immediacy of personal understanding by placing education within wider, deeper and longer contexts. Boundaries of the Educational Imagination develops the educational imagination by answering six questions:

What happens when we expand continuously outwards from one school to all the schools of the world?
What happens if we go inside a school and explore how its material equipment has changed over the past 300 years?
What is the smallest educational unit in our brain and how does it allow an almost infinite expansion of knowledge?
What is the highest level of individual development we can teach students to aspire towards?
What role does education play in a world that is producing more and more complex knowledge increasingly quickly?
How do small knowledge elements combine to produce increasingly complex knowledge forms?
Each question goes on a journey towards limit points in education so that educational processes can be placed within a bigger framework that allows new possibilities, fresh options and more critical engagement. These questions are then pulled together into a structuring framework enabling the reader to grasp how this complex subject works.

Twenty Years of Education Transformation in Gauteng 1994 to 2014

Twenty Years of Education Transformation in Gauteng 1994 to 2014: An Independent Review presents a collection of 15 important essays on different aspects of education in Gauteng since the advent of democracy in 1994. These essays talk to what a provincial education department does and how and why it does these things – whether it be about policy, resourcing or implementing projects. Each essay is written by one or more specialist in the relevant focus area.

The book is written to be accessible to the general reader as well as being informative and an essential resource for the specialist reader. It sheds light on aspects of how a provincial department operates and why and with what consequences certain decisions have been made in education over the last 20 turbulent years, both nationally and provincially.

There has been no attempt to fit the book’s chapters into a particular ideological or educational paradigm, and as a result the reader will find differing views on various aspects of the Gauteng Department of Education’s present and past. We leave the reader to decide to what extent the GDE has fulfilled its educational mandate over the last 20 years.

Perspectives on Student Affairs

The goal of Perspectives on Student Affairs in South Africa is to generate interest in student affairs in South Africa. The papers contained herein are based on best practice, local experience and well-researched international and local theories.

The papers in this book deal with matters pertaining to international and national trends in student affairs: academic development, access and retention, counselling, and material support for students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are linked to national and international developments, as described in the first two papers.

This publication will assist both young and experienced practitioners as they grow into their task of developing the students entrusted to them.

All contributors are South Africans with a great deal of experience in student affairs, and all are committed to the advancement of student affairs in South Africa. The editors are former heads of student affairs portfolios at two leading South African universities.

Systemic School Improvement Interventions in South Africa: Some Practical Lessons from Development Practitioners

Looking at two smaller-scale systemic school improvement projects implemented in selected district circuits in the North West and Eastern Cape by partnerships between government, JET Education Services, and private sector organisations, this book captures and reflects on the experiences of the practitioners involved.

 

The Systemic School Improvement Model developed by JET to address an identified range of interconnected challenges at district, school, classroom and household level, is made up of seven components. In reflecting on what worked and what did not in the implementation of these different components, the different chapters set out some of the practical lessons learnt, which could be used to improve the design and implementation of similar education improvement projects.

 

Many of the lessons in this field that remain under-recorded to date relate to the step-by-step processes followed, the relationship dynamics encountered at different levels of the education system, and the local realities confronting schools and districts in South Africa’s rural areas. Drawing on field data that is often not available to researchers, the book endeavours to address this gap and record these lessons.

 

It is not intended to provide an academic review of the systemic school improvement projects. It is presented rather to offer other development practitioners working to improve the quality of education in South African schools, an understanding of the some of the real practical and logistical challenges that arise and how these may be resolved to take further school improvement projects forward at a wider district, provincial and national scale.