The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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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.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 280mm x 210mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 168
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2224-1
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2224-3
Publish Year : 2008
Rights : World Rights



Customisation of the teaching and learning process
Contextualised teaching process

Phase 1 The survey: Perceptions of 'best practice' in desegregated South African schools
Sampling procedure
Sampling and selection of schools
Response rates
Data analysis
Phase 2 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

Phase 1 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
Phase 2 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

Phase 1 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
Phase 2 The case studies: Peering into the desegregated classroom
The teaching and learning environment
Pedagogy: How learning takes place
Social interaction and diversity management



Prof Mokubung Nkomo is currently professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria. Formerly Executive Director of Education Policy at the Human Sciences Research Council, he has also taught at the University of North Carolina and at the University of Massachusetts. He holds a D.Ed from the University of Massachusetts and has published widely in the field of education and development. He has recently co-edited Within the realm of possibility: From disadvantage to development at the University of Fort Hare and the University of the North (HSRC Press).

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.

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