HOPE VERSUS DESPONDENCY: EXPLORING THE LITERACY PROSPECTS OF SOUTH AFRICAN EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNERS
University of the Free State (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract: The South African Constitution and Bill of Rights, emphasises a culture of civil liberties and the democratic values of liberty, equality and human rights. Focusing on South Africa, this implies that our education system should be capable of meeting the diverse needs of every learner in our country. However, reviewing the outcomes of numerous literacy assessments, it is evident that the South African education system fails to address the literacy needs of many South African learners. As we move forward to better comprehend the outcomes of these assessments and to view them in context, it is imperative to understand the challenges teachers experience in their daily quests to create responsive literacy environments for early childhood learners. The current study employed a qualitative, interpretive research design, interviewing 30 teacher participants from both urban and rural schools in South Africa, to determine the daily challenges they experience in teaching literacy to early childhood learners. This research attempts to identify and address the inequalities that still exist with regard to the literacy development of the vast number of South African learners who are still at risk of developing literacy and scholastic problems. Results from the literacy project have already made a significant contribution to the inadequate corpus of empirically validated research into the literacy challenges facing South African children. With this article, the researcher intends to stimulate debate on a topic of critical importance to the country’s education system.
Keywords: Literacy, Early literacy learners, South Africa.