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EDRHODG/201/3/2014

Tutorial letter 201/3/2014


The Educator as Researcher,
Scholar and Lifelong Learner
EDRHODG
Semester 1 and 2
OUTCOMES, ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
AND EXAMINATION GUIDELINES

Department of Educational Foundations

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
This tutorial letter contains important information
about your module.

CONTENTS
Page
1

OUTCOMES AND ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR THE MODULE3

BASIC PHILOSOPHY OF THE MODULE.3

STUDY UNIT 1...4

STUDY UNIT 26

STUDY UNIT 36

ASSIGNMENT 02...6

EXAMINATION ADMISSION8

EXAMINATION GUIDELINES..8

CONCLUDING REMARKS...8

EDRHODG/201

OUTCOMES AND ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR THE MODULE:

From the outcomes given for the module you could deduce the assessment criteria. For your
convenience they are restated below and should be helpful when you are preparing for the
examination.
*

Explain concepts and their meaning in the educational context.

Explain the connection between concepts.

Describe and apply the steps in problem-solving.

Design a research proposal and formulate a problem statement.

Argue a point.

Explain the difference between value and factual statements.

Explain and apply the research process.

BASIC PHILOSOPHY OF THE MODULE

CRITICAL RATIONALISM
The basic philosophy used in this module is critical rationalism. It could be called the theory of
critical analysis, because it comprises constant questioning.
The educator as researcher, scholar and lifelong learner, should always ask critical questions,
try to solve problems and be open to criticism from other scholars. Classroom practice should
mostly consist of questioning, dialogue and debate. The educator should therefore be prepared
to debate and argue points with the learners in the classroom without feeling threatened.
MAIN IDEAS
*

Debate

Criticism of existing social order

Freedom of expression

Falsification critical rationalists try to falsify existing knowledge through the trial and
error method

Knowledge as open to questioning

Explanation of all points of contention is necessary

ADVANTAGES
*

the module encourages people to question.

It reveals mistakes/assumptions.

It promotes justice/fairness.

It is the basis for democracy.

It promotes clear thinking.

It is anti-dogmatic and anti-authoritarian.

STUDY UNIT 1 (REASON AND ACTION)

Study unit 1 mostly consists of concepts, their clarification and the connection between
concepts. It is important to know the concepts as used in the educational context and examples
of their application.
CONCEPTS
Educator
*

Somebody who imparts knowledge to learners

Someone who gives instruction

All human beings are educators as well as learners

Researcher
*

The researcher is someone who conducts research that is more focused on learning.

One does research to find answers about something very specific or very general.

Scholar
*

The word implies being an academic/intellectual, but it is not necessarily so.

It actually refers to a person who has learned a lot about a specific subject.

Oxford Dictionary definition: scholar = a learned person.

Lifelong learner
*

It is important to develop a questioning approach to life.

There are not necessarily immediate, simple, straightforward answers to lifes


questions; therefore one should remain a lifelong learner, that is, be in a constant
quest to learn.

All human beings should remain lifelong learners and lifelong educators.

EDRHODG/201

CONNECTION BETWEEN CONCEPTS


Researcher and educator
*

All research starts with a problem.

There are many problems in education/teaching; therefore it is important for


educators to be researchers.

Scholar and educator


*

If one is interested in solving a problem, one needs to seek advice and knowledge of
people who have done a great deal of study or work in the field.

One would also have to do a great deal of study of and research on the results of
other scholars work.

By doing research one become a scholar.

Lifelong learner and educator


*

When confronted with problems the educator should do research, not guess the
result or make assumptions.

Nobody has all the answers, no matter what practical experience one has been
exposed to.

Research should be done to find solutions which lead to lifelong learning.

The interactions between the concepts are very important, as they illustrate how interactions
would occur in practice.
Part of study unit 1 is the problem-solving steps. It is important for educators to apply these
steps to a given scenario or to problems they experience in practice. The goal of this module is
to equip you, as educator, scholar and lifelong learner, with strategies to approach problems
you may encounter in your classroom.
PROBLEM-SOLVING STEPS
1

Identify the problem.

Formulate the problem as precisely as possible (see unit 3).

Gather other peoples ideas about the problem.

Are other peoples ideas relevant to the problem in your context? (See unit 2).

Apply a possible solution.

If the solution does not work, try something else (see unit 2).

Reformulate the problem.

Seek new solutions (lifelong learning).

Think critically about your analysis. Be open-minded.

STUDY UNIT 2 HOW TO ARGUE

Make sure of the following in argumentation:


*

Untested assumptions

Hidden assumptions

Factual statements is statements

Value statements ought to statements

Statements with always, everybody, all

STUDY UNIT 3 RESEARCH, VALUES AND EDUCATION

This study unit prepares you to write a problem statement for a research proposal. In this
module we concentrate on the problem statement and not on the research proposal as such.
Be on the lookout for the following:
*

Value statements

Factual statements

Universal statements

Untested assumptions

Inconsistency

Vagueness

ASSIGNMENT 02

You should choose TWO topics one local and one national. For instance, if you choose to
research poor matriculation results you might want to start with how the problem plays itself out
at provincial level, and then show how the provincial challenges eventually affect national
statistics. You are encouraged to use the same structure for both problems to explain the
process of problem-solving.

EDRHODG/201

RESEARCH PROPOSAL PROBLEM STATEMENT


*

The PROCESS is important, NOT the research as such.

The assignment is about a research proposal, NOT the research per se.

The research proposal in this assignment indicated a PROBLEM STATEMENT (study


unit 3).

The research problem should be concise and clear.

AWARENESS OF THE PROBLEM


*

You should explain WHY you are interested in the problem (study unit 2).

Awareness should be linked to the problem statement.

You should concentrate on WHY you are interested in the topic and HOW you became
aware of it.

You could include a journal article or even photos to show why this problem is important
to you, but this is not essential.

PROCESS (PROBLEM-SOLVING STEPS) (study unit 1)


*

The assignment is about the PROCESS OF SOLVING A PROBLEM, AS A TEACHER


OR AN EDUCATOR, in the classroom.

You DO NOT have to present the research, but you should indicate HOW you
approached the problem.

You should study research already done in the field. We want you to demonstrate
awareness of the TRENDS that have been researched and where you looked for these.

We do not want a full bibliography you should only indicate that you found the
information on the internet (web sites); in the library, through experts, etcetera.

Some of the research could be applicable to your field of study and you could try and
use it to resolve your problem.

Some of the research might be irrelevant. In that case you should look for other focus points
that would be pertinent to your chosen problem. This could help you to reformulate your
problem (LIFELONG LEARNING).
*

We want to know WHERE you looked for information to resolve the problem e.g.
internet, library, questionnaires, interviews, experts.

You should THINK CRITICALLY AND ANALYSE WHAT YOU READ, HEARD and
SAW (study unit 2)

EXAMINATION ADMISSION

Exam admission is based on the submission of Assignment 01 on or before 12 March (first


semester) or 03 September (second semester). If you submit Assignment 01 on or before the
due date you qualify to sit for the examination in this module. However, Assignment 02 is the
one that will contribute to your year mark and the final examination mark.
Assignment 02 contributes 20% to your final mark. The examination paper will contribute 80%
to the final mark.
8

EXAMINATION

The examination paper consists of the following:


* True or false questions. You will have to substantiate your choice of true or false
statements (20 marks)
*

Brief descriptions of concepts

Descriptions of the relationship between concepts (25 marks)

Application of a philosophical concept to a classroom setting (10 marks)

The problem-solving steps and their application (25 marks)

Distinguishing between facts and values (10 marks)

A description of assumptions and facts (10 marks)

CONCLUDING REMARKS

Should you experience any difficulties with your studies, please contact me as soon as possible
by e-mail or telephone. You are also welcome to pay me a visit. But please make an
appointment beforehand as I might be outside the country.
I wish you every success in your studies.
Mr Moeketsi Letseka

Department of Educational Foundations


Tel: 012 429 8507
letsem@unisa.ac.za