Research and Evaluation
Knowledge Management at the Core of CASME's Operations
Strengthening Digital Learning in South African Schools: Improving Subject Advisors’ Digital Literacy through Professional Development
Strengthening digital learning has many benefits and is becoming increasingly important within the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to maximise the potential of digital learning, educators need to be empowered to use transformative pedagogies supported by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), online tools and resources. Given the critical role that Subject Advisors play in supporting educators and curriculum delivery, it is vital that they have access to high quality professional development initiatives focused on improving their digital literacy. This policy brief explores Subject Advisors’ digital literacy and ways in which this could be strengthened. The brief suggests that an ICT and Digital Learning Framework for Subject Advisors be developed to guide their professional development in this area. Subject Advisor Professional Learning Communities (PLC) should also be established with a specific focus on digital learning. Finally, the ongoing monitoring and building of digital literacy skills for advisors and educators is recommended.
Resourcing the Curriculum Support Core for District Impact: Policy and Practice in Subject Advisor Post Provisioning
Human capacity constraints in district education offices can negatively affect the ability of advisors to fulfil their mandate. This policy brief draws on research on the post-provisioning, daily responsibilities, and workloads of all General Education and Training (GET) Phase Mathematics and English First Additional Language (EFAL) advisors. An analysis of the research data reveals staff shortages at this level, uneven post-provisioning across provinces and phases, and that advisors’ time could be used more effectively. Given the context of decreased real spending in education, it is important to find ways to maximise efficiencies and impact, as well as relieve some of the pressure placed on existing advisors. The research puts forward some suggestions, including encouraging a more strategic application of post-provisioning norms, improving the utilisation of advisors’ time by removing duties assigned to them that are beyond their job scope, and through better work coordination, and leveraging technology. At a policy level, this brief recommends that the Amended Policy on the Organisation, Roles and Responsibilities of Education Districts (DBE, 2018) be revisited to provide clarity on Intersen appointments; a phase revealed to be particularly burdened. The brief also calls for further investigation into potential inefficiencies of other sub-directorates/divisions that have focus areas that overlap with the work of advisors. This investigation will help strengthen relevant Departmental job descriptions and policy.
This study, commissioned by NECT for the DBE (DDG: Curriculum), funded by the Zenex Foundation, was conducted between July 2019 to October 2020.
Quantitative data (national)
Qualitative data (6 districts across 3 provinces – KZN, WC & FS)
The Research Study aimed to:
Two Policy Briefs have been written following the recommendations of the study. These will be published soon. Watch this space.