'A search for educational relevance': an investigation into the teaching of the rural settlement component of the secondary school syllabus with special reference to Venda

Mphaphuli, Shonisani Eunice (1993) 'A search for educational relevance': an investigation into the teaching of the rural settlement component of the secondary school syllabus with special reference to Venda. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

School geography has been identified as the one subject which has the most potential to develop pupils' ability to identify with their community and with their environment. Through the development of a sense of place pupils are encouraged to become effective perceivers, users, appreciators, evaluators and developers of their environment (Catling 1987. This approach to the teaching of geography implies that the content and the teaching strategies need to be perceived as relevant. Relevance in this study is taken to incorporate not only the needs of the pupils and the community but also of the subject. The location of this study in Venda, an area which is predominantly rural in nature sought to emphasise the important role which rural settlement geography can play in aiding the development of these pupils' sense of place and social identity. The research therefore concentrated on the approaches and teaching strategies used in the teaching of rural settlement in Venda secondary schools. This was achieved through a survey which involved geography teachers and pupils in the Thohoyandou inspection area. The place of rural settlement in the current geography curriculum was established through an analysis of the relevant syllabuses, textbooks and senior certificate examination papers. This analysis was primarily undertaken to illuminate the extent to which rural settlement geography in the South African curriculum complies with accepted criteria for relevance. The study revealed that the teaching of rural settlement in Venda is textbook-related and teacher- directed with no attempt to capitalise upon the pupils' experience of their rural environment. This was largely ascribed to the constraints of the syllabus and the demands of the examination system. When allied to the problems teachers have concerning syllabus development, the validity and relevance of this aspect of the syllabus is reduced. More importantly, because the local environment is not perceived as having value in the teaching of geography, the Venda pupils' perception of the value of their environment is diminished.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Geography, Secondary schools, Subject, Curriculum, Environment, Teaching, Strategies, Relevance, Pupils, Learners, Thoyandou, Venda, South Africa, Rural settlement, Problems
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Supervisors:Clark, E.A.G. and Van Harmelen, Ms
ID Code:4121
Deposited By: Philip Clarke
Deposited On:23 Nov 2012 09:50
Last Modified:23 Nov 2012 09:50
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