Literacy Crisis: A Realist Approach to the Acquisition and Development of Literacy in Primary Education in KwaZulu-Natal

By Wendy Govender.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper deals with doctoral research into literacy acquisition and development Primary level, and reviews work in progress. The research has personal as well as social relevance for the author, a Senior Trainer for the DoE, as it is her perception that teachers at all levels are being blamed for the current “literacy crisis” in South Africa. Previous studies in literacy acquisition and development have tended to focus on classroom practices. However, as this study sets out to show, teachers are just one small component of the overall problem, and in fact coping as best they can with very little training, support and resources. This study, then, investigates the complex systems in which the teaching and learning process takes place, including those governing teaching training, which has often been found to be inadequate to the task. After a brief review of some key literature on literacy acquisition and development, an overview will be given on the research orientation used for this study, namely critical realism, and the methodology to be used.

Keywords: Literacy Crisis, South African Intermediate Phase, Orientation Is Realist Approach, Teacher Training and Support, Inadequate Skills and Resources

International Journal of the Book, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.287MB).

Wendy Govender

Senior Education Specialist, Department of Education, Ikhwezi In-Service Training Institute, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Presently I capacitate educators from all grades with in-service training in the following: Continuing Professional Development i.e. assisting them with professional personal training, Behaviour and Classroom Management : Legislation, corporal punishment, alternative to corporal punishment etc, Facilitation Skills - training to assist them with skills in classroom, I am a qualified Assessor, Assess FET Lecturers and educators for summative evaluation. Co-ordinate research workshops, conference and seminars for educators. Provide monitoring, mentoring and coaching for educators in KZN.


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