How can schools become more ‘’people-ceentred’?


Additional Guidelines – Assignments 02 and 03

Assignment 02 Part A How can schools become more ‘’people-ceentred’?

 

ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES:

 

1. Your response must be presented in the form of an academic essay. The content part of the essay must contain a brief summary of the ideas and constructs related to people centred schools as an approach to improve school effectiveness. These ideas and constructs are taken from the readings in Creating People-Centred Schools: School Organisation and Change in South Africa. Edited by Gultig, Ndhlovu and Bertram (1999). Your summary of THREE of these ideas or constructs should also include a reflection or contextualisation on the relevance of the idea or construct to your school context. Here is the list of constructs from which you have to choose three:

· Changing management to manage change: a new plan for South African schools (Department of Education in Gultig et al. 1999: 3-8)

· Structures: flow, not boxes by McLagan & Nel in Gultig et al. (1999:19 – 23)

· Why bureaucracy no longer works by Pinchot & Pinchot in Gultig et al. (1999:24 – 31)

· The five disciplines of a learning organisation (Senge in Gultig et al. 1999:32-38)

· The spirit of African management by L. Mbigi in Gultig et al. (1999: 39 – 47)

· Leadership and management in building ‘learning’ schools by Davidoff & Lazarus in Gultig et al. (1999: 64 – 72)

· Why reform fails in Getting school reform right by Fullen & Miles in (Gultig et al. 1999:74-77)

· The complexity of the change process by Fullen & Miles in (Gultig et al. 1999:78 – 92)

· Resilient schools: a South African study by Christie & Potterton in Gultig et al. (1999: 93 – 98)

· Organization development: an argument for South African schools by Davidoff, Kaplan and Lazarus in Gultig et al. (1999: 100 – 109)

· It takes a community to educate a child: a school-as-community strategy by Schofield in Gultig et al. (1999:110 -118)

· Managing personal change by Marris in Gultig et al. (1999:85 – 90)

 

2. Your response to the task will therefor include the following sub-headings for every idea or construct in the list:

· A sub-heading identifying and contextualising the particular construct

· A very brief summary of the main ideas contained in the construct focused on making schools more ‘’people-centred’’ and therefor more effective

· A brief reflection / contextualisation indicating the relevance of the construct to the school context

 

3. You would have to describe the context of the school / schools in your area to provide the background against which your responses to the task can be interpreted. This description of the school context should be presented before you present the literature study, and include the following:

 

· Describe a few (3) school/s in the area where you live and / or teach / would teach

· Please use fictitious names for the schools for confidentiality reasons. Also do not use the names of any office-bearer or employee at these schools for the same reason.

· Primary / Secondary / other

· Size of the school in terms of learner numbers and staffing

· Facilities (buildings) and educational resources

· Community it serves (predominant socio-economic status)

Please note that your responses to these descriptors should be concise and factual

· General comment on current effectiveness including pass rates, cultures of learning and teaching, management styles and typical concerns / challenges

Please note that this part may be more qualitative and descriptive and would include your opinion of the schools effectiveness, rather than substantiated statements of fact. Bear in mind in this regard that Part B of the assignment would be focused on finding the facts rather than stating unsubstantiated opinions, not so?

 

4. Write the essay in line with the requirements of academic convention, including the following:

 

· Provide the essay with an appropriate topic / title

· Provide a table of contents reflecting FIVE main headings only

· Show the relevance of the topic / title in a concise introduction

· Structure the essay along a logical argument, using sub-headings and proper paraphrasing

· Refer to sources EVERY time such sources are used in the text of the report, using the Harvard method

· Draft a concise conclusion to your arguments presented and refer specifically to using the literature study done in conducting limited research related to school effectiveness in your context.

· Provide the essay with a detailed list of references

 

5. Length requirements:

Your response (essay) should be about 15 – 17 pages in length and should meet the following requirements. Using 11pt. letter size using Arial font the following apply:

Title page One page

Table of contents 1/3 of a page One page

Introduction 1/3 of a page

Description of the school contexts 2/3 of a page to 2 pages Two pages

An overview of constructs:

Summary about ½ a page

Reflection / contextualisation about ½ a page One page per construct

X 12 (Twelve pages)

Conclusion ½ a page One page

List of references One page

Maximum 20 pages

Please note that length requirements may not be exceeded.

No hand-written responses will be accepted.

 

Remember: Your ability to read academic literature with insight is assessed here. You have to identify the essence of every reading / article in the list. Once you have done this, you have to reflect on how relevant the idea or construct (theory) is with regard to the reality of the schools in your context (practice). All of this will provide evidence of your understanding and your ability to apply such understanding.

 

Also bear in mind that every idea / construct may contribute to improving school effectiveness if applied properly, and some or all of them collectively would result in what is understood as ‘’people-centred schools’’ – an approach to improve school effectiveness in schools in the South African context where change is an imperative.

 

 

6. Assessment criteria for Part A

 

Your response will be assessed against the following criteria using the assessment grid (adapted from Murray a& Johanson 1989:iv; DoE 2003:47).

 

In this grid the following concepts are key:

 

Content

This refers to your mastery of the content (topic / title). Insight and the ability to apply theory / research to other contexts are crucial here.

 

Form

This refers to the structure and organisation of your response as reflected in a logical set of headings and sub-headings. Logic and academic convention is crucial here.

 

Language, vocabulary and style

This refers to use of spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and grammar in English is crucial here.

 

Please bear in mind that the assessor of your work will use these standards in awarding marks to your response. This means that you have to bear these criteria in mind when you draft your response to the assignment to make sure you present work that is appropriate to post-graduate academic work.

 

When you receive the marked assignment from the marker interpret the mark awarded for your efforts in terms of the grid as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Outstanding

40 – 50

Content: Excellent critical and conceptual analysis. Subject matter (topic / title) comprehensively and accurately presented. Well argued. Relevant reading effectively incorporated. Form: Excellently organised and presented. Argument concisely and systematically developed with an extremely well-thought out introduction and conclusion. Language, vocabulary, style: Standards of spelling, punctuation, vocabulary use and grammar are extremely high. Mistakes are rare. Handwriting is legible/ word-processed documents are free of basic errors.
 

 

 

Meritorious

30 – 39

 

Content: Good critical and conceptual analysis. Subject matter (topic / title) effectively covered and accurately presented. Well argued. Relevant reading effectively incorporated. Form: Well organised and presented. Argument concisely and systematically developed with a well-thought out introduction and conclusion. Language, vocabulary and style: Standards of spelling, punctuation, vocabulary use and grammar are good. Few errors occur. Handwriting is legible/word-processed documents are mostly free of basic errors. Use of language is appropriate to context, function and intention.
 

 

 

 

Satisfactory

25 – 29

 

Content: Rather more descriptive than critical and conceptual. Although the analysis may lack clarity in parts, the student under-stands the subject matter (topic / title) fairly well. Evidence of relevant reading but not always effectively used. Form: Fairly well organised and presented. The writing is coherent and ideas are developed, but not always concisely or systematically. The report has an introduction and a conclusion but they may not be well integrated with the body of the essay. Language, vocabulary and style: Standards of spelling, punctuation, vocabulary use and grammar are reasonably accurate. Few errors occur. Handwriting is legible/word-processed documents are mostly free of basic errors. Slight limitation of style and mastery of appropriate idiom.
 

 

 

Inadequate

13 – 24

Content: Perfunctory and largely descript-tive. Under-standing of subject matter (topic / title) is incomplete. Little evidence of reading. Form: Organisation and presentation acceptable. An attempt has been made to develop an argument but this is rather unsystematic and sometimes contains redundant and/or irrelevant material. An attempt has been made to write an introduction and conclusion but they may bear little relation to the body of the report. Language, vocabulary and style: The report is intelligible but contains a fair number of errors in spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and use of grammar. Handwriting is legible/word-processed documents may contain a few basic errors. Use of style and conveyance of meaning are present but inconsistent
 

Partially achieved

7 – 12

Content: Perfunctory. Almost entirely descriptive. Narrow in conception. Little evidence of understanding of reading (topic / title). Contains inaccuracies. May have misinterpreted the task. Form: Organisation and presentation poor. Little attempt has been made to develop an argument. There is redundant and/or irrelevant material. The introduction and conclusion, if they exist at all, are weak. Language, vocabulary and style: The report is not always intelligible. There are frequent errors of spelling, punctuation, vocabulary use and grammar. Handwriting may be difficult to read/word-processed documents may not be well formatted. Stylistically poor and frequently inappropriate.
 

Inadequate

2 – 6

Content: Very little evidence of understanding or of reading (topic / title). Contains serious inaccuracies. May have misinterpreted the task. Form: The report is frequently unintelligible. There are many errors of spelling, punctuation, vocabulary use and grammar. Language, vocabulary and style: Stylistically very poor and frequently inappropriate.
0 1 Plagiarism, or 2 Task not done, or 3 Has disregarded the task entirely.

 

Part A: 50

 

 

Assignment 02 Part B Draft a research proposal

 

Part B will count 50% of the overall mark for this assignment

 

In this part of the assignment you will draft a research proposal using the literature study done in Part A. Your response will draw upon the work you have covered in this module as well as in the fundamental learning module (which you may have completed) on the Introduction to theory and research in education. You might wish to revise the latter module or a textbook on research methodology such as McMillan & Schumacher (2006) before attempting this activity. Focus on drafting research proposals in this regard.

 

Your task is to identify an issue in urgent need of research in the schools in the area where you are teaching. Do not refer to your school only, but to schools in the region or district experiencing the same or similar problems. Obviously the issue you want to research must have direct bearing on school effectiveness. Applying some of the theory you overviewed in Part A and in the content of the module related to mentoring should resolve the issue or improve the effectiveness at the schools where you intend to do the research.

 

Draft the proposal in terms of research theory and in terms of the ideas contained in the study material for this module.

 

The following guidelines will be used to assess your proposal:

 

(1) Has the purpose of the research been clearly stated?

(2) What theoretical perspective underpins this research, and is it appropriate, i.e. is the research proposal substantiated clearly by means of references to research theory?

(3) Is the literature review appropriate?

(4) Is the research methodology outlined clearly?

(5) Is the proposed data analysis appropriate and workable?

(6) Who would benefit from the research?

(7) Is the proposal presented in line with academic convention?

 

It is critical that you use at least three of the constructs analysed and summarised in your literature study (Part A of the assignment). In fact, you may copy the relevant sections from Part A into the section requiring a literature study in Part B (this proposal). This means that the questions you intend to ask respondents in your research have to be based on these constructs. It also means that these questions as contained in your research instruments have to be listed as part of the proposal. Obviously the authors of the ideas applied in the questions have to be acknowledged by means of conventional referencing using the Harvard technique.

 

Your response to Part B will be assessed by means of the assessment grid below. Study this grid carefully as it actually contains several guidelines for responding to this part of the assignment. Structure your response as suggested in the list of questions above and as reflected in the grid below. Please note that you have to submit a research proposal and not a research report. This means that you have to indicate exactly how you intend to do the research in the schools in your context.

 

Length requirements based on 11pt letter size in Arial Font:

· Title page

· Table of contents One page

· Title and Purpose of the research 1/3 of a page

· Theoretical research perspective 2/3 page One page

· Literature review (copied from Part B ) Three pages

· Research methodology (including list /lists of questions) Four pages

· Proposed data analysis Two pages

· Conclusion including benefits to stakeholders One page

· List of references One page

Maximum 15 Pages

 

Assessment grid for Part B

1. The title and purpose of the research is clearly stated and formulated as required in scientific research. There is a clear link between the problem identified and the purpose of the research with reference to research methodology literature  

8

2. The theoretical research methodology perspective/s underpins this research and is appropriate. One or more appropriate perspectives regarding research methodology is / are identified and applied with reference to literature on research methodology  

7

3. The literature review is appropriate and substantive (as copied from Part A and amended for research purposes). Several theoretical frameworks emanating from literature studied on people-centred schools as well as on research methodology are identified and VERY briefly summarized as the theoretical basis for the proposed research  

5

4. The research methodology is clearly yet succinctly outlined in the proposal. The general approach and specific questions for questionnaires and/or interview schedules are included and explained. Five marks for the research approach and fifteen marks for the list / lists of questions in the research instrument/s  

20

5. The proposed data analysis is indicated and briefly explained. Reference is made to literature on research methodology in this regard  

5

6. The entire proposal is presented in terms of academic convention. Title, structure, referencing in text and bibliography are all done in line with post-graduate academic standards and academic convention  

5

Total Part B 50

 

Part A (50) + Part B (50) = 100 for Assignment 02.

 

Additional guidelines related to the assessment criteria

 

Note that the numbers of the guidelines below correspond with those of the criteria in the grid.

 

1. Please make sure that you formulate the title of your proposal properly. The word ‘’Research proposal’’ must be part of the title. The issue related to people-centred schools have to be clearly indicated. This means that the problem to be researched must be reflected in the title already. Bear in mind that it is very limited research project that are proposed. Do not refer to schools in general in your title – refer to the schools you intend to include only.

 

2. Refer to research theory here only – do not refer to literature on the problem researched. You have to indicate the nature of your research here – quantitative or qualitative or both, and why this choice is made.

 

3. This part of the proposal may be copied directly from Part A of the assignment, bearing in mind that it may have to be amended slightly to make proper sense as part of the proposal. Note that the mark allocation is relatively low. This is because it was credited already in Part A. This does not mean that this part of the proposal is not important or should be neglected in any way. In fact, it should substantiate the entire proposal.

 

4. Make use of sub-headings to structure the response in this regard. Indicate exactly HOW the research would be conducted – refer to the respondents and how their views would be solicited. The most critical part here would be the research instruments – you do not have to design actual instruments as part of the proposal. You have to include ALL the questions you would ask respondents / participants in the proposed research fieldwork. Obviously, these questions should be directly related to what is described in the literature study.

 

For example, Senge (in Gultig, et al 1999) proposes five disciplines of a learning organisation. If you use this construct in your research, namely to find out to what extent these disciplines are followed in a particular school, your questionnaire will include questions that are directly related to every discipline and would give information that can be used in making inferences afterwards. You may have to formulate a few questions per discipline to gather useful information (data).

 

If such a relation between theory and questions in research instruments are not presented in your lists of instruments, the research will not be scientific and therefor regarded as a mere opinion poll on some unrelated questions.

 

Also bear in mind that the questions must be useful in terms of the kind of research done – for example, if the approach is quantitative, questions will be closed, if the approach is qualitative, the questions will be more open-ended.

 

5. Bear in mind that you have to indicate how the data collected by means of the instruments would be analysed here. Refer to techniques presented in research methodology literature and choose analysis techniques that are clearly suitable for the purposes of the research, bearing in mind that it is a very limited research that you are required to propose.

 

6. Consult literature on research methodology in this regard. Structure and clarity are key here. Also make sure that you refer to source in every instance in text, and to use the Harvard method of referencing, both in text and in the list of references.

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