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Education Curriculum in South Africa

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A school curriculum refers to chosen program content and experiences of learning which is given by schools in South Africa and has a capability of changing and modifying the behavior of the learner. I agree with the fact that the curriculum should not be viewed as a harmless document, which automatically educates learners for the better, but should rather flow from a comprehensive and critical reflection about the nature of knowledge, selection of content and its relevance, the needs of society, the realities of education system and of teachers among other things. Several factors are considered when choosing the content of education curriculum in South Africa. Such factors are discussed below together with their relevance to South African citizens.

National Goals of Education

Learning in South Africa is guided by philosophy and national goals that are affected by considerations of politics to achieve national identity. Development of curriculum can either be put under national or local level.

Number of Subject Options Available

A school normally cannot factor in a subject that is not on the curriculum of the country hence the curriculum of the school is limited to what South Africa offers in its list of subjects.

The Learner

South Africa’s school curriculum is determined greatly by the learner’s physical, emotional, and mental requirements. It focuses on the maturity and development level of the learner. Young learners should be taught what they can digest in relation to quantity and depth. For instance  in the primary level science, more emphasis is placed on the systems and processes which affect the learner’s life without stating the theories and principles behind their concepts. Complexity levels increase as the learner progresses in his or her education and it depends on the level of mental capacity.  In case of challenges, students may buy cheap custom essays and get more spare time for the other activities. The student’s physical condition has an impact on experience and subject selection. An individual cannot deliver knowledge on arts to blind people and music cannot be taught to deaf people.

Availability of Resources

Such resources comprise of learning equipment, materials and personal factors such as experience and qualifications. Schools in South Africa cannot choose to offer a certain subject just because it is offered in other learning institutions. A tertiary institution should not teach computer studies if does not have an access to electricity or choose rugby game if it does not have a field and qualified coaches to coach the players. Curriculum developers must consider available resources before choosing subjects to be offered in the schools in South Africa.

The education curriculum of South Africa emphasizes on the need for learning institutions to interact with learners and community in their home environment In order to ensure that they have knowledge concerning history and background of the students. Studies have shown that when the background and community are factored in the education curriculum, the learning process most likely becomes efficient. In South Africa, the colonial education was focused on an individual only and ignored communalism, which is treasured in African communities. From Chinua Achebe’s novel of things fall apart, the idea of picking what is best in Africa and combining it with what is best from the west is put across clearly.

 The limitation of colonial education in South Africa was that they brought to an end teaching of traditional values in the curriculum. Education in South Africa is currently faced by the challenges of trying to incorporate indigenous knowledge in their education curriculum. The culture of Africans is related to social modes, religious beliefs, and moral values and this is shown in narration art and the use of riddles and proverbs. Bude states that handicraft, songs, design, agricultural layout, and dance form a part of African indigenous knowledge systems. Schools have an option of either maintaining the status core or teaching western education values instead of indigenous cultures. The second option is factoring in African culture values to equip the curriculum that South Africa has with indigenous knowledge systems. It will lead to a paradigm shift, which recreates previous knowledge related to western culture. Indigenous knowledge systems have to be a part of democratic control over the social and political structures of the society of South Africa. South Africans need to use indigenous knowledge systems so as to emancipate education during their process of transforming the education curriculum. It will aid in transition from Apartheid Education to the Revised National Curriculum statement enrichment of the society values.

Education curriculum in South Africa is not as economically, politically, and socially innocent as it appears to be. Parents are expected to show responsibility in assessing the outcomes of the evaluation of the school curriculum themselves such as if the private schools impact the required knowledge to their learners. Meaningful education can be described using the following words: transformation, dialogue, liberator social change and freedom. Such are the terms used to give a definition of what we expect from a system of education that is Africanized to inspire to. Teachers play crucial roles in implementing the policies of education in South Africa. A majority of researchers have stated that the issues in introducing outcomes based education (OBE) in South Africa in 1997 was because teachers were not included in formulating the curriculum policies.

In the process of transition from the strategies of the past to more liberal forms of transformational pedagogy, teachers should be involved. In most cases, teachers are usually blamed for any failure in the curriculum.

Among the issues that are addressed by the education curriculum of South Africa there is the idea of democracy outside and inside the classroom. Teachers are required to be promoters of democracy according to policies of OBE. However, even if teachers have understood certain types of democracy in the society as required by the South African Constitution, they are still slow in delivering this knowledge to their students. The trend, however, towards bringing democracy to the society requires that the job of teachers must not only be effective but also sufficiently enable democracy. It is not easy considering the teachers role in the past curriculum whereby they were not considered as a part of democratic process. Teachers stood in the middle of the ground contested on the one hand by the community, pupils, and parents and on the other hand by the state. It implies that they are government employees on one-hand and community members on the other. Teachers were blamed on their inefficiency from both sides but this has stopped since the introduction of the new curriculum.

The curriculum of South Africa has presented new challenges regarding to how democracy should be dealt with by the teachers. If the society has to embrace its curriculum partly through formal education, teachers have to be trained and consulted so as to ensure that there are no complications in curriculum implementation.

The challenges facing education systems in South Africa are currently reflected by the fact that education is viewed as a priority on all agendas such as local, national or provincial. Development in the society drives thinkers of education to establish the status and roles of education in a democratic society.

During a national Congress of the Education Association of South Africa (EASA) the education minister Dr. Bengu, highlighted on some values and principles, which must guide how the government handles education in South Africa. According to this minister, education should enable all individuals to value, have access to, and become successful in the end. The choice of the curriculum should be diversified so as to prepare the rising numbers of adults and youth with the skills and education which are needed by the economy and also for career development and further learning. The states resources should be shared according to the principle of equity in order to ensure that the same quality of education is offered to all citizens. Special emphasis should be placed on the cases of education inequalities to the disadvantaged people in the society.

How to Improve the Situation

Improvement of the education quality and training services is important. Improvement of the efficiency and productivity is important as well so as to support the systems cost to the public. Such principles agree with the provisions of the White Paper whereby special attention is given to the organization, funding of schools and governance. In brief the paper stated that the new structure of the school organization should develop conditions for developing a flexible, coherent and integrated national system which advances redress, democratic governance, equitable use of public resources, school-based decision making within provincial guidelines and improvement in the quality of education across the system.

The education reality in South Africa should be brought about by a good managed process of a negotiated change of the previous educational dispensation basing on the fact that all public schools should embody a partnership between local community and provincial education authorities.

From the point of view of education, South Africa can be seen as a country with both third world and first world sectors which face different types of challenges. The third world faces the challenge of shortage of educational facilities, high population growth, poor economics and education policies which favor other classes. It also experiences the challenge of school readiness of large sections of third world populations considering cultural transitions and differences.

First world sector is already leaving the industrial age while the broader mass of South African society is prepared to enter the industrial age. Such discrepancy is the one which leads to South Africa’s dual crisis in education. The first world is moving in to an information age.

Summary and Suggestions

The South African education curriculum is much concerned with the need for schools to interact with students and the community at large in the society in order to ensure that they are aware of the background and history of the learners. The background and community of the learners should be considered when designing the education curriculum so that the learning process becomes efficient

The challenges facing the education curriculum of South Africa is trying to incorporate indigenous knowledge. The African culture is related with social modes, religious beliefs and moral values and this is reflected in narration of art and the use of proverbs and riddles.

Meaningful education can be described using the following words: transformation, dialogue, liberal social change and freedom. Such are the terms used to give a definition of what we expect from a system of education that is Africanized to inspire to. Teachers play a crucial role in the implementation of the curriculum and they need to be motivated so that they can do a good job.

Improvement of the education quality and training services is important. Improvement of the efficiency and productivity is important so as to support the systems cost to the public. Such principles agree with the provisions of the White Paper whereby special attention is given to the organization, funding of schools and proper governance. Teachers should be given a good training and compensation so that democracy can be enhanced in the society. It is mainly due to the fact that teachers are the ones who deliver this knowledge to the future prospective citizens of South Africa. The South African education curriculum should be able to factor in beneficial African cultures which will help in mentoring its learning population.

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Education

Things to Know about Continuing Education for Engineers

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Any post-secondary training or courses people seek after completing their formal education are considered continuing education. Seminars, one-time classes, webinars, online courses, and full-degree programs to earn credits might fall under this category. For instance, continuing education for engineers will enable them to stay current with advances in the engineering field. Advanced degrees and courses prepare them for new responsibilities and are necessary for continuing education in engineering and other professions.

What Are the CEU Requirements for Professional Engineers?

Here are the essential details about the CEU requirements for professional engineers.

Hours Required

Achieving 30 PDH hours per renewal term is a continuing education provision for engineers. They are required to complete two PDHs in engineering ethics per renewal. For instance, if one resides in Nevada, they must acquire one that deals with the Nevada Revised Statutes and Nevada Administrative Code for each renewal.

Renewal Dates

Based on the engineer’s last name, license renewal happens on odd-numbered or even-numbered years. Here is the complete list of renewal dates.

  • From letter A to E: The odd year for candidates with their last name starting with letters between A and E, the renewal date is January 1.
  • From letter F to K: The odd year for candidates with their last name starting with letters between F and K, the renewal date is July 1.
  • From letter L to R: The even year for candidates who have their last name starting with letters between L and R, the renewal date is January 1.
  • From letter S to Z: The even year for candidates who have their last name starting with letters between S and Z, the renewal date is July 1.

PDH Carryover

The most professional development hours that can be carried over to the following renewal term are limited to 15. Ethics-related continuing education classes must be pertinent to an engineer’s field to boost competency. Law and regulation-related courses should be completed during the renewal duration.

How to Pursue Continuing Education?

Every state retains a minimum requirement for CE credits for professional engineers. It can range from zero to 15 or 30 credit hours of coursework. Communities have a minimum credit requirement to remain a member.

It is necessary for each license holder by the ASCE and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying to finish 15 professional development hours annually. There is a massive availability of online courses and programs available to assist in continuing education for engineers and earning these credits.

To advance skills and proficiency for licensing, engineering candidates must take particular ethical, management, and technical courses related to their engineering fields. They can attend free online classes and seminars. It is because they will contribute toward your required professional development hours.

To obtain all the permitted PDHs, it is essential to retain document proof from the organization that creates the classes or videos. These activities will be considered self-study when any supporting evidence is absent. For professional engineers, the ultimate self-study is 5 PDHs.

Conclusion

To revive their license, it is vital for PEs to complete continuing education requirements. This training is incredibly beneficial because it assists them in expanding their technical knowledge and keeps them current with new developments. In addition, it upholds the engineering community’s general competency. Continuing education is beneficial for engineers and even employers. There are plenty of CE course types, allowing you to pick the ideal course.

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15 Must-Read Academic Blogs for Researchers and Ph.D. Students

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When searching the internet for information on a variety of subjects, blogs have rapidly become one of the most common resources. There is a wide variety of content available to read online, ranging from specialized content written by professionals to hobbyist content such as mom blogs and cuisine blogs. The question is, how do you choose which blogs to read when you’re going to write a research paper and seek scholarly and educational information for your research rather than just browsing for ‘write my papers for me’ services?

It is easy to get overwhelmed and lost when searching for academic blogs to read, especially when you are a doctoral student or a researcher. To help make the process easier, here is a list of some must-read academic blogs that will keep you updated on current research, new discoveries, and emerging topics.

1. DoctoralWritingSIG

DoctoralWritingSIG is a useful forum for anyone interested in doctorate writing to “exchange knowledge, resources, ideas, and dreams,” regardless of where they are in their academic careers. The blog covers subjects such as grant writing, instructions on writing the various components of a thesis or dissertation, grammatical advice, and academic publishing advice in order to establish a foundation of knowledge and abilities surrounding research writing.

2. Academics Write

Academics Write is a blog run by academics for academics. It engages post-secondary teachers, academic writing specialists, and students to evaluate the significance of writing, self-efficacy, academic writing misunderstandings, and instances in which students can be granted an extension for their projects. The posts are short and concise, making them easy to read at work or on a study break. Thanks to the variety of topics covered and the range of academics writing the posts, this blog can be a valuable resource for doctoral students conducting research, as well as instructors and teachers.

3. The Research Whisperer

The Research Whisperer is dedicated to the topic of doing research in academia. The blog aims to let readers know “what it’s like to do a Ph.D. at the moment when so many voices are shouting that we’re doing it wrong.” The blog features personal stories from researchers and Ph.D. students, as well as reviews of books and films relevant to the research community.

4. The Professor is In

From book summaries to book reviews and recommendations, this blog is a great source for finding the best books to read on a variety of academic topics. This blog is a source of academic advice for students everywhere. From general advice to topics such as grammar and writing, this blog will help any researcher improve their studies.

5. Eva Lantsoght

Dr. Eva Lantsoght, Researcher at Delft University of Technology, manages the blog PhD Talk. PhD Talk publishes blog postings about the “process of doing a Ph.D., the non-scientific skills you need during your PhD,” as well as Dr. Lantsoght’s experiences living and traveling abroad. She also blogs on structural concrete, which is her current research topic. Her blog entries contain research and academic writing techniques, as well as other themes including presenting at academic conferences, life as a Ph.D., being productive, and efficiently managing time. Dr. Lantsoght also welcomes submissions from guest contributors, with a special invitation to individuals who want to try their hand at academic blogging before launching their own website.

6. Write, Publish, Thrive

Write, Publish, Thrive is a writing, publishing, and intellectual life blog. Dr. Rich Furman, a professor at the University of Washington, manages it. Dr. Furman’s goal is to assist academics in “maximizing their skills and transcending their psychosocial hurdles in order to construct successful careers and prosper.” In light of this, among other resources, Write, Publish, Thrive provides practical strategies for publishing scientific publications and strengths-based counseling for academics.

7. The Skeptical Scientist (Timvanderzee)

Tim van der Zee, a Ph.D. student at Leiden University, manages the blog The Skeptical Scientist. Tim explains the name of his blog: skeptical scientists are individuals who are skeptical about their own research, what they read, and strive to increase evidential value. He discusses research methods, study design, evidence, (statistical) inference, and how we might better science in this site. The Skeptical Scientist discusses issues including how to apply for a position in academia and how to assess confidence intervals.

8. Athene Donald’s Blog

Athene Donald has been a professor of physics at the University of Cambridge for almost 20 years. Unlike some of the other blogs on this list that take a coaching-oriented approach, Professor Donald’s blog appears to present the ideas and viewpoints of researchers. Her blog entries address issues such as what to do and what not to do during academic conferences, gender disparities in academia, and so on. She also tries to strike a balance by posting a few blog entries about her own life and interests.

9. Dan Cohen

Dr. Dan Cohen is a Vice Provost, Dean, and Professor at Northeastern University and writes articles on current trends in the IT industry, digital libraries, eBooks writing, web cultures, digital humanities, communication trends, science of publishing, and the impact of digital media in our daily life.

10. Happy Academic

The topics range from posts about mental health in academia, lessons learned from teaching, teaching tips, and scholarly articles to helpful study tips, career advice, and work-life balance hints.

11. The Thesis Whisperer

This blog is committed to helping Ph.D. students to complete their thesis. This blog has useful material, therefore if you are working on a thesis, this could be the site for you.

12. Ph.D. Life

While this blog is British, there are loads of advice, tricks, insights, and some humor about the Ph.D. process, postdoctoral work, and life in academia. The author presents articles that are helpful for those starting their doctoral journey, as well as those in the middle of it.

13. Studybay

The blog covers topics such as the application of blockchain technology in the writing field, the common grammar mistakes that students make when they write, and the most effective writing styles.

14. From PhD to Life

Dr. Jennifer Polk, a history PhD turned academic, life, and career coach for graduate students and PhDs, runs the blog From PhD to Life. Dr. Polk summarizes her work by stating that she assists “PhDs in launching meaningful careers” by assisting them in delving further into their own interests, exploring their possibilities, and dealing with academic pressure. From PhD to Life provides a wide range of tools for PhDs, all of which are targeted at assisting them in navigating their academic careers and living a better life. Dr. Polk considers her Transition Q&A series to be a must-read! This section features inspiring stories from PhDs about their rewarding post-PhD journeys.

15. Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed is a website that compiles blogs on a variety of scholarly issues and presents them in blog format. There is something for everyone here, from adaptability in educational settings to growth opportunities in the military. In addition to that, it consists of online technologies and digital learning resources that can aid support remote and online learning.

As a researcher or Ph.D. student, you always want to be on the cutting edge of your field. To do that, you need to be reading the latest and greatest academic research. But with so many blogs out there, it can be tough to know which ones are worth your time. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best academic blogs that you should be reading. From blogs about the latest research findings to ones that offer advice on writing and publishing, these blogs have something for everyone. So, take a look and start reading!

There are many thousands of academic blogs out there, so we haven’t been able to try them all nor can we vouch for the accuracy of every post on these blogs. The caliber of writing and the accuracy of any given blog can vary over time so please do not consider this list an absolute ranking of these blogs.

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How to Come up with Creative Ideas for Your Research

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Sometimes there are not enough ideas for scientific research. It seems like everything has already been studied. Actually it is not. Where to get research topics or how to come up with one – read the article.

Where to Get Ideas for Scientific Research

The topic often grows out of what excites and touches us to the core – not only at lectures and seminars, but also outside the academic environment: it can be a fact of your biography or a problem that worries.

You can use essay writing service to order the essay you need. To come up with a theme:

  • think about what issues discussed in class are important to you;
  • address disputes and conflicts between different researchers (classical and modern, in books and at conferences), try to understand different points of view and find your own approach;
  • reflect on topics that hook you in the context of social issues and personal reflections.

Record your thoughts in the simplest possible way in a notepad or in a special application. The first idea can be very general and be expressed in one phrase – it is important to catch this blank for future work.

It is useful to have an electronic or paper notebook at hand during the entire course of work, depending on what you are used to. Our consciousness can throw a thought at any moment, and if it is not written down, it will be lost. At best, you will remember that you had some good idea; at worst, you won’t even remember that.

Do You Need to “Get Sick” with the Topic?

It’s good if the topic of an essay or dissertation arouses interest and emotions: love, passion, joyful excitement, or misunderstanding, irritation and anxiety. Such emotions are an invigorating driver that will not allow you to quit what you have started and will help you go through all the formal, routine and difficult stages of work: placing links, designing a bibliography, searching for sources, correct citation, etc.

There is another way to build relationships with text. The topic may not evoke any feelings – neither delight nor hatred. This means that you are rationally rather than emotionally building your path. Perhaps research on this topic will earn you a grant, or this paper needs to be written in order to complete a certain course. You have to live with your work for many hours, days, and sometimes months. If you are not indifferent to the topic, it will be easier for you to realize at every single moment why you are doing it. But there is a risk of entering into a “difficult (or even, as our interlocutors say, abusive) relationship with your own project both with a complete lack of interest and with excessive emotional involvement.

How to Choose a Topic according to Your Strength?

Think about it “lift”. A common mistake inexperienced researchers make is an optimistic view of time and opportunity. There will definitely be hitches, slowdowns, rewriting. Start from pessimistic forecasts. At best, you will have time, at worst, you will be mentally prepared.

You will need time to read and think about what you have read. If the research includes field work, it will take time to pilot and develop a draft (and, remember, to rewrite it). Allow time for all stages of research development, and not just for writing the final text.

Consult with the supervisor: ask if you have time to write a paper on the topic you are taking on. Teachers work a lot with texts, they will help to assess the amount of work, and, if necessary, narrow it down.

How to Make a Topic Unusual and Relevant?

This is necessary if you want to add an atypical field to your field, say something new, or go into interdisciplinarity. Try asking original questions. One of the scientists who started asking strange questions in sociology was Georg Simmel. For example: How does simple chatter happen and about what? How do people flirt? How do they have lunch? How do doors work in houses? Why does the picture have a frame? Such things simply could not come to the mind of serious researchers – but it turned out that this is possible.

Science fiction can serve as inspiration: it often describes what our world would look like if things went differently.

Relevance is the significance of a topic for your potential readership or for the general public, depending on the specialty. This is getting into the discussion that is being conducted around the issue of interest. You don’t write your paper in a vacuum: by writing you enter into a big conversation that takes place in your scientific field. The topic should be significant for someone – for 7 people, if you are dealing with an extremely exotic issue, for 50-300-500 people, if you write within the framework of some studies. Find conferences for researchers in your field or specialized journals. Look at the discussion going on there and think about what your topic might be of interest to your colleagues.

How to Combine Personal Interest and Relevance?

Yes, it sounds strange: on the one hand, you have to do what others do, because science is a team effort. On the other hand, you have to do something new, something new. On a field trampled down by thousands of researchers, you need to find a site where something valuable is hidden that others missed. Going and not repeating what others have already done is a creative task. To begin with, you can disagree with some of the researchers whose texts you read. You will need to find arguments to argue with these authors or offer something that they missed.

You do not know how your work will end? This is a big plus. You don’t have to pose a problem knowing how you’re going to end up solving it. The research task is precisely to discover the previously unobvious – for you, those around you and the discipline as a whole. Do not waste your time on everything that is understandable. You sit down to write a text to learn more and say something new, so cling to your questions.

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