About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 4269
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

USING METAPHORS IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH: A SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOL MANAGEMENT TEAM’S APPROACH TO THE IMPLEMENTATION AND MAINTENANCE OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

J. Geldenhuys, D. Geduld

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (SOUTH AFRICA)
Soon after the new democracy emerged in South Africa (SA) in 1994, Outcomes Based Education was implemented as the country’s new curriculum to facilitate the transformation of the education system. The Constitution, White Paper on Education and Training (1of 1995) and the SA Schools Act (84 of 1996) recognise diversity and the provision of quality education for all learners within a single system of education and create a framework for Inclusive Education (IE). However, fourteen years later most schools are still not fully inclusive, denying all learners the right to a proper education. This led the question as to what role the school management teams (SMTs) play in the implementation and maintenance of IE in schools.

In the first phase of an action research conducted at a primary school in the northern areas of the Nelson Mandela Metropole to investigate the role that STMs play in the implementation and maintenance of in IE, it was found that the teachers were not supportive of IE and this impact negatively on effective implementation. An important reason for this was the fact that many teachers were near retirement age and found the challenges faced in implementing a new inclusive curriculum overwhelming. The teachers felt that they lack the necessary coping skills, that the workload is too heavy, that they are isolated in their classrooms with little or no support from the Education Department and that all of these impacted negatively on their self-esteem and confidence. Excessive behavioural and disciplinary problems and the learners’ lack of motivation to achieve learning outcomes also contributed to teachers’ pessimistic outlook. The present appraisal system was also problematic.

The poster will however, focus on the second phase of the research where metaphors were use to assist the six participants to re-evaluate their position about IE and in changing their perceptions and to identify areas in which they could develop themselves more.

Metaphors originated from the Greek word “metaphora” meaning “transference”. A metaphor has generally been understood as a figurative expression which interprets a thing or action through an implied comparison with something else.

During a focus group session each participant was ask to draw a picture and write a very detailed metaphor on how they experience IE within their classrooms. The aim was to change the teachers’ culture of working with inclusivity. The metaphors of all the participants were discussed in detail on completion. The participants identified the following areas for development: formulating their own vision for IE; the required skills to implemented IC; the incentives they could expect from their involvement with IE; what resources (assets) were already available; and an action plan for implementation.

The use of metaphors was a very powerful and emotional revelation. The team used metaphors for reflection and dialogue as a tool for their own learning. The challenge for the participants was to look intensely at their beliefs and find commonalities that could served as motivation for the group to adopt and to build on to. Doing this exercise required enormous energy, concerning the teaching culture at the school. However, doing this project has contributed to the effectiveness of all the participants as teachers. Using metaphors created the structure needed to examine the most important factors in facilitating the effective implementation of IE.

@InProceedings{GELDENHUYS2009USI,
author = {Geldenhuys, J. and Geduld, D.},
title = {USING METAPHORS IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH: A SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOL MANAGEMENT TEAM’S APPROACH TO THE IMPLEMENTATION AND MAINTENANCE OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION },
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4269}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Geldenhuys AU - D. Geduld
TI - USING METAPHORS IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH: A SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOL MANAGEMENT TEAM’S APPROACH TO THE IMPLEMENTATION AND MAINTENANCE OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 4269
EP - 4269
ER -
J. Geldenhuys, D. Geduld (2009) USING METAPHORS IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH: A SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOL MANAGEMENT TEAM’S APPROACH TO THE IMPLEMENTATION AND MAINTENANCE OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION , INTED2009 Proceedings, p. 4269.
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