Enkele opvoedkundige aspekte van gesagstoepassing in Transvaalse Afrikaanse hoërskole
Boshoff, Willem Johannes
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1. Reason for the investigation. Authority and responsibility go hand in glove. Senior executive posts carry heavy responsibilities, but arc vested with corresponding authority. The implementation of authority in Afrikaans High Schools has boon studied to ascertain : • a fundamental foundation for a healthy approach to the question of authority; • how a policy of authority is compiled and which rules and regulations, methods and techniques be implemented. The task of the school principal has further been studied to ascertain what is being done and what can be done to minimize problems in connection with the implementation of 2nthority. 2. The method used for the investigation, By studying the attitude of authority in literature; through the medium of a questionnaire sent to school principals and by application of the principles sot down in the Holy Scriptures, a standard for the application of the vested authority could be formulated. 3. Finding. 3.1 Summary of the contents: Chapter 1. In this chapter the concept formulation, the aims of and the reason for the investigation were stated. Chapter 2 discusses authority as the ability to give instructions and take decisions by which others must abide. Authority means "to have control over". God is the source of all authority. It has been found that the authority-crisis in education is seated rather in ideological differences than in the difference between adult and child. On the authority of God's Holy word communism, liberalism, permissiveness, etc., were weighed and found wanting. The dangers lurking in the confusion and weakening of Christian principles are discussed. It is further stated that under the correct authority the educated, who is free to do as he wishes, chooses the Path of Truth. In Chapter 3 the questionnaire is discussed and an account given of the replies received. Despite shortcomings in the questionnaire, valuable data was collected. In Chapter 4 a valuation of the authority vested in a high school was assessed. It is declared that a high school would be an excellent institution for authority if dedicated educators, through personal involvement, honesty, hard work, sympathy and inspiration could succeed in influencing pupils to dedicated effort, determination and the acceptance of Christian values. Delegation of authority is considered in Chapter 5. It is an expedient which, used correctly, can be of inestimable value to a principal. Methods of delegation are discussed. In Chapter 6 attention is given to the necessity of discipline and school rules. Rules must be reasonable and lead to self-discipline. According to principals, school rules originate mainly as a result of two reasons: • it is imperative for a school to ensure that everyone benefits from the educational programme: • it is imperative that the pupils themselves learn to respect authority and to lead them to responsible self-disciplined citizenship with respect for order, co-operation and the bonds of a Christian community. Discipline and rules are not an aim in themselves, but are aids to more elevated educational objectives. The danger of too many "don'ts" is that undecided, irresolute people, who are under the impression that everything which is not specifically forbidden is permissible, will emerge. Chapter 7 deals with the implementation of the democratic principle in high schools. With careful application of the system, subordinates, especially scholars, can share in the application of this authority. In this manner a constructive contribution can be made to solve the problem of the shortage of leaders, resulting in responsible, self-reliant people. The school principal in his office is considered in Chapter 8. His task, character and problems are discussed, and full consideration given to aids for the prevention of problems in regard to discipline. The most important accessories namely discipline, sound human relationships, a happy staff and pupils are studied. A principal must maintain a pious atmosphere in his school. It is further pointed out that vocational consciousness, love, strong leadership qualities and the ability to inspire are essential characteristics in a principal. This chapter explains that although principals are entrusted with a task which would probably become progressively more difficult, they could call on help from above: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it". (1 Thes. 5: 24). In Chapter 9 the summary of the contents, the findings from the literature and the recommendations are given. The important findings from the questionnaires have been used through the whole contents, and some interesting facts emerged, which are briefly as follows: • The majority of principals of Afrikaans High Schools who completed the questionnaire were Afrikaans-speaking. • 52,2% of the principals h:we had less than five years' experience. • 66% of the schools have written school regulations. 87% of those regulations have not been submitted to the Transvaal Education Department. • 63% of the principals are of the opinion that the school’s authority also applies after school hours outside of the school gates. • With regard to hairstyles 46% consider that their rules are more strict than neighbouring schools, and 80% have stricter rules at school than those enforced by the parents. • 67% allow no dancing at school whatsoever. • 84% find that pupils comply spontaneously with school rules. • 51% do not separate boys and girls during breaks. • 91% know to what church denomination the head prefects belong. • 16% practise democratic prefect elections by pupils. • 75% hold prefect elections where both teachers and pupils vote. The greatest single problem at schools appears to be in finding suitable staff for the various posts. Parents support the school's authority and principals are of the opinion that the majority of parents prefer a strict school. Principals are of the opinion that their wives are not in duty bound to partake of any work at school, but that on investigation they may help. A list of preferences for arriving at decisions in regard to authority is given. A further list of preferences for ideals for their school is also given, as well as a list of the tasks which principals find most difficult in their application of the authority vested in them. The findings from the literature are mainly as follows: There appears to be strong, revolutionary, unchristian attitude in education, the whole crisis being seated in the conflict of forces which do not acknowledge God and the Christian philosophy. It appears that change is imminent, the problem being where changes are to be made. Mortimer Smith says "But change must be based on something more substantial than the slogans, ideological zealotry, and utopian sentimentality that all too often mark the movement for alternative schools”. The following recommendations are given: Christian educators will have to reflect on their vocation lest they fall into the trap where the means are regarded as the end, and where everyone is satisfied as long as good citizens are the end product of their work as teachers. Vague devotion and half-hearted education do not meet the demands of the present time. The onslaught against Christianity is too fanatical. Too much is speculated about the superficial and non-essential in the implementation of discipline. Young people are driven away from authority by attempts to enforce rules, which were not founded on sound and strict principles. The demands of discipline must rest on sound principles and the child must be led to decide for himself whether he wishes to build on those principles. Problems encountered in this investigation which require further research are mainly: • How many ideal scholars who are dedicated Christians remain thus once they leave school? • Why does an antipathy towards religion exist in so many young people? Is it as a result of their upbringing or have they received wrong religious instruction? • The shortage of staff requires urgent research on the question of how mere work can be done with fewer people. What percentage of our country's graduated manpower is connected with education, despite the critical shortage? We must no longer look for men in the educational field but certainly at methods by which we can ultimately manage to do more work with fewer men. Educational research should enter this field of study. In conclusion it is stated again that all is well in n school where God is the authority in the hearts and minds of principal, teachers and pupils.
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