The teaching of Biblical studies in private Christian schools in South Africa today
Mahlaula, Farmanda Samuel
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the teaching practice in grade 12 Biblical Studies in private Christian schools in the Limpopo Province in South Africa during 2003, with the specific objective to make recommendations towards possible improvements. Although but a few private Christian schools in the Limpopo Province participated in the study, while the title implies that all the South African schools were involved, the findings are assumed to be a cross section of the general situation of grade 12 Biblical Studies teaching in South Africa, as teaching is more or less subjected to similar conditions in all the Provinces. This study consists of a theoretical section wherein literature regarding the variables of the study are discussed, as well as an empirical section wherein the results of the research are reported and interpreted with the aim of reaching certain conclusions regarding the typical profile of Biblical Studies teaching practice in the Limpopo Province. The theoretical basis is grounded in the didactical foundations of teaching as discussed in Chapter 2. This is followed by the empirical study (described in Chapter 3) grounded in the results obtained from classroom observations, questionnaires, interviews and the November 1996-2002 Biblical Studies grade 12 final examination of the four participating schools. Chapters 4 and 5 respectively evaluate and consolidate the findings from the classroom observations, the responses from the interviews and questionnaires, and the November 1996-2002 grade 12 Biblical Studies examination results. The main thesis on which this study rests is that the teaching practice of grade 12 Biblical Studies in private Christian schools during 2003 was unsatisfactory because of, inter alia, lack of work ethics, negative attitudes of both teachers and learners, lack of or insufficient application of didactical principles, teaching methods and teaching aids, low morale and insufficient or improper training of Biblical Studies teachers. The study revealed that the teaching of grade 12 Biblical Studies in private Christian schools during 2003 was indeed unsatisfactory because of lack of work ethics, negative attitude of both teachers and learners, lack of and insufficient application of didactical principles and a variety of teaching methods, low morale and improper training of some Biblical Studies teachers. The most aggravating factor was that teachers often did not even show up for Biblical Studies classes. Conclusively, it is therefore recommended that heads of departments and principals regularly monitor and evaluate the quality and quantity of Biblical Studies teaching in schools. The inspectors of schools may also support these forms of control by more regular inspection of schools, and more specifically, of the Biblical Studies classroom. Incentives and recognition of performance by both teachers and learners in the Biblical Studies classroom may be incorporated into these recommendations.
- Humanities