How could Life Orientation Teachers in Secondary Schools Make Use of the Proposed Digital Media Literacy Program for Teaching and Learning?

By Petro van der Merwe.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 26, 2014 $US5.00

The South African school curriculum has undergone major changes. At the same time, international emphasis on the importance of digital media literacy has found reflections locally in many calls for the development of a school digital media literacy program. The actual implementation thereof has, however, remained a problem. A digital media literacy program was developed for the purposes of this research to consider learning activities within digital media literacy. As will be indicated in this paper, this research focuses on three secondary schools’ Life Orientation teachers’ experiences of using the proposed digital media literacy program during their teaching of the Life Orientation curriculum. Data were collected through interviews, observation and learners’ verbalizations of their learning. Causal-based assertions were drawn from the data and then compared in a cross analysis of the three secondary schools participating in the research. An interpretative qualitative analysis was used to identify findings beyond the research questions. Quantitative research methods were used to drive the qualitative process. This paper offered a detailed discussion of the research methods and the application thereof in this research study. Within the exploratory context of the study it was shown to be clear that a qualitative research approach was more applicable than a quantitative approach to gain insight into the relevant phenomena. The employment of a logic model supported the efficient gathering of data, and the necessary steps were taken to increase the validity and reliability of the study.

Keywords: Education Reform, Curriculum and Instruction, Teachers’Content Knowledge, Digital Media Literacy Program, Life Orientation Curriculum

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 20, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.89-109. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 26, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.199MB)).

Dr. Petro van der Merwe

Researcher, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Petro van der Merwe has been on the staff of the University of South Africa since 1988. In 2005, she obtained a BA degree (cum laude) in Health Sciences & Social Services (with specialisation in the Professional Context). She subsequently obtained an Honours degree in Psychology (with distinctions in Developmental Psychology, Therapeutic Psychology and Psychology of Work), followed by a Master’s degree in Psychology in 2009. Her thesis provides guidelines for school management teams and teachers on using Emotional Intelligence (EI). She completed her Doctor’s degree in Psychology on the relationship between adolescent violence and new electronic media technology in 2012. Petro van der Merwe is closely involved with community service projects and aids school management teams and teachers in the implementation of a school-based social-emotional programme as a strategy against crime and violence in schools. She also facilitates workshops and presents courses in using EI in school management practices. In 2009, she was approached by Capt. Dolo of the South African Police Service for support in the development of the National Action Plan for School Safety. The goal of this Plan is for school boards and the police to develop effective protocols to eliminate crime and violence in schools.