Kultuur en onderwysstelsel met besondere verwysing na die onderwysvoorsiening in die Republiek van Suid–Afrika
Heyns, Anton Michael
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The primary aim of the research undertaken for this thesis was to determine the nature of and the relationship between culture and the prevailing teaching system with particular reference to the education system in the R.S.A. Countries with heterogeneous populations have problems in teaching. Tension between pupils and teachers arises when we have a merging of children from different cultural groups in the same classroom. Minority groups experience a feeling of discrimination against them when their languages and cultures do not receive the same amount of attention as that of the majority groups. Consequently we have the question of deciding what course to follow to ensure a balance between the two extremes of cultural integration on the one hand and cultural isolation on the other. In order to launch and direct the research the following hypothesis was put forward, viz. that cultural differentiation is the only way to bring about a fair balance between the two extremes of cultural isolation and cultural integration in the teaching system. Additional suppositions, in the form of sub-hypotheses according to which the research was conducted, have been noted. These suppositions were tested in the course of the research. The results of these tests were used as norms to evaluate the HSRC report on the implementation of cultural differential ton in the education system. The methods employed in this research have been duly noted. A study or the available literature supplied most of the research material used. The knowledge and the insights obtained from the literature studied led to the planning of the research project and to the eventual conclusions drawn. Works of a theological and philosophical nature were used. The publications of anthropologists and folklorists were consulted. Educational books, articles, dissertations and theses comprised an important part of the literature studied. Use was made of books on sociology and a wide range of magazine and newspaper articles. To give this study authentic value only primary sources, where possible, were used. An analysis had to be made of certain manifestations of primary importance to this research. The Christian principle that God created different cultural and language groups and that there is variety in and differentiation between cultural groups, as found in the scriptures as the revealed Word of God, is maintained throughout. Note has been taken of divergent philosophical trends. From the beginning of this study frequent consultations were held with authorities other than the promoters. Insights and explanations obtained in this way proved invaluable. The various facets of reality and certain problems pertaining to the research were profoundly considered before normative judgments and approaches were adopted. This research has been undertaken in the field of Comparative Pedagogics. It has examined culture and the role of culture in educational systems. It was thus necessary to examine culture as a human activity and to do this normatively founded points of view (anthropology) were essential. A Scriptural view of Man is given so that a true image can be given of the manner in which human culture is embodied in the education system. The wide spectrum which had to be covered made it necessary to consult fundamental and temporal pedagogics. This proved useful and revealed additional perspectives. Philosophy; anthropology, theology, folklore and sociology produced insights essential to this study. Not all the problems concerning the relationship between culture and the educational system have been solved by this research. Indeed, new research projects have emerged. Some American educational approaches pertaining to culture and a view of Man, namely Perrenialism, Progressivism, Essentialism and Reconstructionism were analyzed. The most important criticism of the American views mentioned is that they are founded on and directed toward Man and are without the possibility of deepening under the guidance of the Word of God as focal point for all branches of thought, judgments, norms and laws applicable to them. Consequently a balance between cultural isolation and cultural integration, as found in these forms of humanistic thought, cannot be brought in practice. A radical, Scripturally founded view of Man, has the premise that all people are the creatures of God and therefore of equal value, but also acknowledges that each human is unique and therefore dissimilar to any other person. In the light of the results of this research the Christian educationist must acknowledge, in education, the equality as well as the non-uniformity of people. By implication it means that the cultural products of different cultural communities will be of equal value, but with evident underlying differences because of the peculiar nature of each cultural group. The various teaching systems must keep such differences in mind. The Scriptural anthropological principle of the equality and non-uniformity of Man must be realized optimally in culturally differentiated teaching, that is to say, a Scripturally based view of Man can ensure a balance between cultural isolation and cultural integration in the education system. According to the Bible culture began when the first man was given his cultural command, viz. to guard and care for nature as given to Man by God (Gen. 2: 15). Culture is thus the concern of Man with nature in obedience to God's command. The Christian believes that all cultural activities must be to the greater glory of God. The Christian attaches great importance to the transfer of his cultural treasures to his children by teachers and educationists. Culture is bound to the nation concerned and dependent on the Welthanschauung of a concerned group of people. This fact must be kept in mind in teaching because cultural isolation can result in cultural impoverisation and cultural integration can make people aliens to their national cultural possessions. The balance between cultural isolation and cultural integration, that is a condition in which cultural enrichment on the one hand and cultural advancement on the other will take place; can be brought about by a belief in and the upholding of the Scriptural view of culture and its functions. This ideal condition is achieved by a balanced cultural differentiation in teaching. Cultural isolation does not stimulate the development of the educational system. Cultural integration on the other hand distorts the relationship between culture and the education system and results in tension arising in education, as for example, in the U.S.A. where cultural integration was deliberately instituted in schools. The basis for cultural integration is a holistic philosophy which endeavours to remove all national borders and to establish a homogeneous world community, simultaneously replacing the national cultural heritage with a common world culture. Such a point of view opposes the Scriptures which acknowledge different and differing nations and cultural groups. The study of a variety of connections between a culture and a teaching system has proved the supposition that there is an intimate relationship between culture and education. The Scriptural point of view of the relationship between culture and the teaching system implicitly suggests the acceptance of cultural differentiation in teaching as a basic premise, simultaneously acknowledging the equality and the non-uniformity of cultural groups. It wants to give shape to this premise in teaching in the following expressions: "balance between cultural isolation and cultural integration." This research has found that because there has been no exchange of knowledge and skills between cultural groups, the cultural isolation of developing nations, for example the Blacks in Southern Africa, often leads to cultural stagnation in teaching and society. On the other hand cultural integration not only fails to satisfy because it usually retards educational development, but also, because of Man's sinful nature adversely effects the peculiar cultural development. When salvation in Christ, in accordance with the Word of God, has been found, differences between people and cultural groups are mutually accepted and the equality of these groups acknowledged; consequently the independence and autonomy of each particular group, also in bringing up and teaching, are upheld. Scripturally based education in the R.S.A. has up to now resulted in teaching developing spontaneously into the present system with its four sub-systems. This has been possible because the dissimilarity of cultural groups has always been acknowledged and no cultural isolation or integration has been enforced, indeed, legislation at the forming of the Union of South Africa in 1910 maintained the status quo. The researcher's conclusion concerning the HSRC report is, in brief, that it is a report of consensus resulting in a variety of contradictions and ambiguities. The ambiguities cannot be the result of ignorance. They are deliberately ambiguous to allow for many interpretations and to eventually satisfy all race groups. The result of the vagueness is that neither the supporters nor the opponents of cultural differentiation will be satisfied. The HSRC report in no way satisfies the Christian educationist, especially because the Scriptural View of Man, culture and the relationship between culture and the education system is not reflected. This aberration exists because various conflicting religious fundamentals and philosophies of life cannot be reconciled and the members of the commission have had to adopt a religiously neutral stance. The vague and ambiguous manner in which cultural differentiation was dealt with in the HSRC report, in an attempt to satisfy all cultural groups, negates the evident principal guidelines of cultural differentiation for the provision of education in the R.S.A. Teaching and education fundamentally involve both the transfer of culture and the determination of culture, and cultural differentiation ought to effect a balance between cultural isolation and cultural integration in the teaching system. This is so because the Christian teacher must reject the modus operandi of the IISRC report concerning cultural differentiation. Culture and the role it plays in the lives of individuals, nations and teaching systems is a reality which cannot be underestimated or denied. Minority groups continually agitate for acknowledgement and equal consideration. The struggle for acknowledgement usually first becomes evident in education because it is here that minority groups wish to and can maintain their identities. Seen from a historical point of view the Christian religion has always been the most dynamic stimulus behind the Christian Afrikaner's educative teaching. A prerequisite for effective educative teaching is that children must experience security in a particular, peaceful cultural milieu so that teaching can take place without tension and so that order and discipline can be inherently maintained. This condition must be made possible so that children can be led to Christian cultural maturity in agreement with Christian norms and values. Maintaining a healthy balance in teaching is only possible when it, teaching, is based on a Christian point of view that reconciles the extremes of cultural isolation and cultural integration in the education system. For the purposes of the Christian Afrikaner the HSRC report will have to be revised according to unambiguous Scripturally religious premises which will indicate the guidelines for cultural differentiation in order to bring about a balance in the teaching system in the R.S.A. Apart from certain conjectures having been proved by this research further important affirmations as regards the role of culture in teaching have become apparent. These affirmations are: • Children from different cultural milieus are different and identical treatment within the framework of one certain culture engenders discrimination. The group whose language and culture are not maintained cannot receive full benefit from the teaching they are given. • Cultural integration causes tension between the cultural groups. A peaceful homogeneous milieu must be experienced by children should educative teaching be fully utilized. • During the past few decades cultural identity has been acknowledged and experienced as an incisive political, ideological and social force. It has become a reality which cannot be ignored. • A sense of security in a homogeneous, peaceful milieu is essential if educative teaching is to take place optimally and with maximum effect. The sense of security is lost when differing cultural groups are mixed in the school and the classroom. • The merging of cultural groups in one and the same school and classroom creates disciplinary problems arising from friction between teacher and pupil on the one hand and the children amongst themselves on the other. • Integration is time consuming and lowers the standard of teaching because the teacher is compelled to repeat the lesson in the other language(s) involved. Other repetitions also take place. Allowances have to made for the sake of the diverse groups. • Experience in countries like the U.S.A., England and Israel has indicated that the integration of the different cultural groups does not remove the underlying tension between the groups, indeed, it has been found to escalate. • It is impossible to expect equity in one classroom for all pupils from differing cultural milieus. • The principle of civilization in the historical continuity of teaching and the role of culture must be kept in mind in any changes being made to the education system. This research has come to the conclusion that teaching is the transfer of culture. Everyone involved in the teaching of children must be au fait with the role of culture in education and teaching. In a country with a multi-cultural population cognizance must, in the planning of educational logistics, be taken of the culture peculiar to each cultural group.
- Education