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    Pre-Service Teachers’ Academic Identity and their Lived Experiences in Remote Learning: The New Normal in Curriculum Practice

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    Research ArticleThe Ministry of Tertiary Institutions of South Africa charged post-secondary institutions to implement measures to achieve the government's social distancing policy. Institutions shifted to remote learning to sustain their core business of teaching and learning. However, there were concerns with the implementation of these measures. For instance, pre-service teachers were seen as ill-equipped and poorly supported during remote learning. This paper aims to contextualise the identity of pre-service economic and management science teachers and reflect on their experiences of curriculum practice during remote learning. Architecture theory was used as the main lens for this study. Furthermore, the goal is to reflect on their adaptation to remote learning as the new normal. Participants’ experiences and factors that affected them are discussed as data collected using the critical participatory action learning and action research (CPALAR) approach as a form of critical education science. Critical discourse analysis was used to arrive at the following broad findings: firstly, higher learning institutions are obligated to create practical learning experiences for pre-service teachers. Secondly, participants were directly affected academically, socially, and psychologically. This paper concludes with the recommendation that hybrid learning as the new normal is the future of teaching and learning and should be embraced

    Reflections By Pre-Service Economic And Management Sciences Teachers On Their Experiences Of Remote Learning In Curriculum Practice

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    Research ArticleCurriculum reformists were caught off-guard over the past two years by the unforeseen and extreme pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic. This phenomenon threatened to engulf humans in despair. Institutions of higher learning initiated moves to remote learning, as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus while continuing to promote teaching and learning. Scholars were absorbed by grasping the importance and application of a revolution in curriculum reform. The use of remote learning in curriculum practice to improve teaching and learning is a recent initiative in the package of curriculum and pedagogical reforms in South Africa. The aim of this paper is to reflect on adaptive experiences of pre-service economic and management sciences teachers, their ability to adapt curriculum practice to remote learning of this specific curriculum, and pedagogical reform of the use of remote learning in schools. An architecture theory, which draws on the famous quotation of Adolf Loos's parable about “the poor rich man” and whether they really understand the lesson, was used as the main lens for the study. An interpretative phenomenological analysis approach, as a form of critical education science, was employed to generate data. The basic purpose and essence of the IPA approach in a qualitative research study is to examine the life experiences of the research participants and to allow them to narrate the research findings through their lived experiences and critical reflections, thereby deliberately embracing diversity as characterised by the unequal context of South African education. Phenomenological analysis was used to arrive at the following findings. First, higher learning institutions are obligated to create practical learning experiences for pre-service teachers. Second, the phenomenon that resulted in the necessity to embrace remote learning impacted participants academically, socially and psychologically. The paper concludes with the recommendation that the prefigured remote learning for professional teaching practice should be reconfigured

    Engineering Innovative Ways To Sustain Learning For Pre-Service Economic And Management Science Teachers In Curriculum Practice

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    Remote learning is the future of teaching and learning. The inception of Covid 19 has disrupted the traditional face to face teaching and learning and raised a need for scholars to investigate innovative ways to adapt to global disruption. Remote learning was the preferred option as it is effective and efficient to sustain learning even post the disruptions. In recent years, extensive research has been conducted on how to use the industrial revolution in curriculum reform. Remote learning is one of the recent initiatives in the curriculum and pedagogy reform package in South Africa that involves the use of remote learning to improve teaching and learning. This article investigates innovative ways to engineer a shift to remote learning for pre-service economic and management science teachers and the use of remote learning curriculum practice to achieve pedagogy mastery. The aim of the article is to answer the research question: what innovative ideas can be generated to engineer shift to remote learning in curriculum practice. Architecture theory is used as the main lens for the study. Connectivism learning approach as a form of education science is used to generate data in this study. Connectivism is immersed in the narrative that knowledge is distributed across networks through connections and connectivity, and learning is guided by connections and connectedness. Based on technology, connectivism is a learning approach that emphasizes knowledge acquisition focused on the future, rather than the past. Connectivism is relevant to this study because it encourages and changes the essential nature of building knowledge. Connectivism empowers teacher educators as well as preservice students through using collaboration in learning. Critical discourse analysis was used to arrive at the following broad findings: Pre-service economic and management science teachers should participate in diverse learning spaces indicated by the varying standards of learning embodied in the existing context of the South African society embracing educational inequalities. Implementation of the three c`s of remote learning: connectivity, content and capacity will enhance possibilities for economic and management sciences pre-service teachers to use remote learning in their practice of the curriculum. The paper concludes with expected recommendations that the prefigured remote learning for professional teaching practices be reconfigured

    A Pathway To Adapt Hybrid Learning For Pre-Service Teachers As The New Normal In Curriculum Practice: Using Whatsapp As A Learning Tool

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    The use of hybrid learning in curriculum practices to improve teaching and learning a recent initiatives in the package pedagogical reforms in South Africa. Nowadays, an increasing number of students have their own smartphones, and WhatsApp is becoming popular in terms of mobile learning and communication .WhatsApp is an application that can be used by students in post-secondary education to improve performance, and motivation to prepare for their learning . This article reflects on a pathway followed by pre-service economic and management sciences (EMS) teachers in their ability to adapt and sustain their learning through WhatsApp as a hybrid learning tool. The study is underpinned by connectivism theory. Qualitative research using Participatory Action Learning and Action Research (PALAR) approach as a form of critical education science is employed in research methodology and design . Semi structured Interviews were conducted with 30 Pre-Service EMS teachers to generate data. PALAR is relevant to the study as it pilgrimages three principles of responsible research innovations such as recognition of participants, establishing professional learning communities and critical reflections embracing diversity characterised in unequal education context in the South Africa. Critical discourse analysis was used to arrive at the finding that depicts close 96% of the participants are inclined to use WhatsApp as a learning tool as 84% had reliable access to Wi-Fi on campus. The paper concludes with recommendations that the hybrid learning is the future of teaching and learning in post Covid era and should be embraced

    The Relationship Between Classroom Management Approaches And Learner Achievement At Primary Schools

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    DissertationSouth African society holds the education system accountable for all aspects of learner achievement. At the Department of Education in the Free State, the performance of learners was previously measured based on the matric year-end results only. This has however been re-evaluated as primary schools also make a major contribution to the process of developing learner achievement as these schools are the feeders into secondary schools. In this study, the researcher explored the relationship between classroom management approaches and learner achievement at primary schools. The study was grounded in Pavlov’s classical conditioning theory and Skinner’s operant conditioning theory. It was shaped by the research question: Is there a relationship between classroom management approaches and learner achievement at primary schools? The study used a quantitative approach with a correlation design. It used a survey and simple random sample to select the 162 teachers who completed a questionnaire. The findings revealed that the success approach was the most applied classroom management approach whilst the assertive approach was the least applied in primary schools. The results indicated no relationship between classroom management approaches and learner achievement at primary schools. The three primary school phases did not significantly differ on the application of the assertive approach, business academic approach, behavioural modification approach, group managerial approach and success approach. However, it should be noted that a significant difference existed between the Intermediate Phase and Senior Phase teachers on the application of the group guidance approach. Intermediate Phase teachers applied the group guidance approach more than Senior Phase teachers. As far as the application of the acceptance approach goes, Foundation Phase and Senior Phase teachers differed significantly, with Foundation Phase teachers applying this approach more than the Senior Phase teachers. Likewise, Intermediate Phase and Senior Phase teachers also significantly differed in the application of this approach, with Intermediate Phase teachers applying the acceptance approach more than Senior Phase teachers. Furthermore, the five school quintiles did not significantly differ on the application of the assertive approach, business academic approach, behavioural modification approach, group guidance approach, acceptance approach, success approach in the classrooms. Nevertheless, teachers in Quintile 1 and Quintile 3 primary schools differed significantly in the application of the group managerial approach with teachers in Quintile 1 schools applying this approach more. Still, teachers in Quintile 2 and Quintile 3 primary schools differed significantly on the application of the group managerial approach with teachers in Quintile 2 schools who apply this approach more. To minimize learner misbehaviour and manage the classroom effectively, this study recommends that primary school teachers should adopt classroom management techniques such as giving learners immediate feedback, applying rewards in the classroom, knowing the socio-economic backgrounds of their learners and providing lockers in the classrooms

    Enhancing Quality Teaching And Learning Through Formal Assessment In Grade 6 Social Sciences

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    DissertationThis study aimed to investigate how Grade 6 Social Sciences teachers enhance quality teaching and learning through formal assessment in the Lejweleputswa area. This study was inspired by the theories of social constructivism and cognitive constructivism, specifically, Piaget’s cognitive constructivism and Vygotsky’s social constructivism. It explored the following question: How do Grade 6 Social Sciences teachers enhance quality teaching and learning through formal assessment? Concurrent triangulation research design was adopted in this research. The respondents to the questionnaire were chosen through simple random sampling whilst purposive sample was used to select interviewees. The sample consisted of 106 Grade 6 Social Sciences teachers who responded to the questionnaire and ten teachers who were interviewed. The results revealed that most teachers aligned assessment in Social Sciences with the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). Teachers understood and considered the importance of setting quality assessment tasks and apply Bloom’s taxonomy levels. However, the findings revealed that project question(s) modestly provide learners with opportunities to draw deductions and create universal trends, teachers modestly award marks for simplifying and drawing deductions, modestly grant marks for each ability tested in the project including presentation skills, and modestly award marks for conveying project ideas with suitable clarifications. The findings further revealed that teachers’ implementation of formal assessments did not differ according to their gender, age, teaching experience, professional teaching qualification, class size and school quintile. There was also no difference among Social Sciences teachers who teach at different school quintiles on the application of formal assessment. The study, therefore, recommends that teachers should use assessment to identify any academic problems experienced by the learners. Teachers who are deemed to be lacking pedagogical content knowledge should attend mandatory training seminars. The amount of mandated topic content and the time allocated to the Social Sciences subfields must be examined to address issues that arise from the rapid pace of the curriculum coverage. The Free State Department of Education must identify overcrowded schools and provide these schools with additional equipment, language, and teaching support material (LTSM), teachers, and extra classrooms for productive and meaningful learning. Teachers must update their Social Sciences pedagogics. They must work in collaboration and share assessment tasks. Subject advisors should conduct in-service training workshops to provide teachers with information and competences for setting sensible project tasks that will allow them to evaluate learners’ skills as set out in the CAPS

    The Influence Of Using Mobile Technologies During Project Execution On Perceived Managerial Competencies Of Emerging Construction Firm Owners/ Managers In The Free State Province

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    DissertationThe exponential growth in the utilisation of mobile technologies (MTs) for cost reduction and improving organisational efficiency is widely acknowledged in entrepreneurship literature. Despite this promise, the exact effect of MTs on the managerial competencies of small, micro, and medium enterprises is yet to be fully comprehended by emerging construction firms (ECFs). To address this gap, the current study drew on a quantitative approach and survey conducted on 252 emerging construction firms' owners/managers in the Free State province of South Africa to establish how mobile technology adoption during project execution impacted the perceived managerial competencies (MCs) of these entrepreneurs. The results indicate that the adoption of MTs during project execution has a positive and statistically significant effect on the communicative and social competencies of ECF owners and managers, with MT adoption during project execution explaining 65.1% of the variance of communicative competencies and 71.2% of social competencies. The results further demonstrate that the type of device used (laptops and tablets) used moderated the strength of the MT adoption-MC relationship. The study recommends the wider rollout of other mobile technologies to improve managerial competencies in ways that optimise the efficiency of project-related operations. The study contributes to the broad project management theory and literature, especially project execution, by exploring how mobile technology adoption facilitates enhanced communication and social competencies that improve organisational efficiency of ECFs

    Creating Decentralised SMART Manufacturing Units with a Newly Implemented Standard Communication Protocol

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    DissertationCommunication protocols drive the flow of information from machine to machine. However, with the requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and machines set to become more mobile, flexible and intelligent, greater communication practices are required to fully incorporate this revolution. Machines are required less to be able to communicate in fixed networks with numerical representation, but rather to have the ability to communicate with machines swopping in and out of manufacturing lines and networks, all while adhering to real-time communication regulations. Furthermore, with machines swapping in and out, a greater need is placed on this communication protocol to operate in a purely decentralised manner, something not available on the market today. All these requirements aid each other. While machines are able to become decentralised and self-efficient, they rely on more crucial information, which is used to create intelligent decisions and execute them with timely precision. This dissertation entails an extensive research in communication protocols and their use in the manufacturing scene. From this, a newly developed communication protocol is designed with a heavy focus placed on real-time execution in a decentralised manner. The communication protocol is tested in a constructed water bottling plant to gauge its effectiveness and performance. Finally, conclusions are drawn from these results, detailing and elaborating the use of the communication protocol and the practices it ensues

    Developing Microstructure- And Dislocation-Based Constitutive Numerical Models For Predicting The Mechanical Behaviour Of Dmls Ti6Al4V(Eli) At Various Strain Rates

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    ThesisDirect metal laser sintering (DMLS) is among the new technologies being pursued by many academic research centres, materials scientists and engineers in the aerospace and biomedical industries as a potential replacement of conventional manufacturing technologies. A scrupulous understanding of the DMLS processes and related post- processes is crucial for establishment of this technology as the better alternative manufacturing route for Ti6Al4V(Extra Low Interstitial-ELI), an alloy commonly used in these industries. The success of such processes depends on the achievement of good structural mechanical properties of Ti6Al4V(ELI), comparable or even superior to those of the conventionally produced alloy. The macroscopic properties of materials are largely affected by the microstructure. The microstructure is a very intricate feature with various aspects that influence specific properties in both a synergistic and competing manner. The morphologies and size of grains, crystallographic texture, macro process-residual stresses and defects, which are largely dislocations in nature, are among these aspects. To accelerate the acceptance of DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI) in industry, numerical models that can quantitatively describe the interrelationships between the microstructural features, field variables, such as temperature and strain rate, and the mechanical properties are necessary. At the initial stage of the present study, an analytical constitutive model that is sensitive to the microstructure of Ti6Al4V was developed. Various microstructures of DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI) were produced via heat treatment and characterised to determine critical microstructural parameters of the model. Experimental tests at selected strain rates and temperatures were then undertaken for these microstructures of DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI) to acquire data for use in determining the critical parameters of this model. The arising refined and validated analytical constitutive model was then implemented as material user subroutine in ABAQUS/Explicit to generate numerical solutions. Simulation tests were then carried out to determine the predictive capacity of the developed model. Various mechanisms that prevail during yielding and plastic flow in Ti6Al4V were examined. Using these mechanisms, an advanced analytical model was developed to provide a macroscopic description of the flow properties of various microstructures of DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI) for a wide range of field variables. The critical microstructural features of average α-grain size and initial dislocation density that influence the plastic deformation were explicitly articulated in the formulation of this model. The effects of the heat treatment processes on the morphologies, size and crystallographic texture of the microstructural grains were first investigated. The microstructures of the non-heat-treated and heat-treated samples of DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI) were examined using an optical microscope (OM) and a scanning electron microscope (SEM). A SEM equipped with a backscattered electron detector for electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis was used for crystallographic texture analysis. The β-phase texture from this data was ascertained based on a reconstruction method using the Automatic Reconstruction of Parent Grain for EBSD data (ARPGE) program. The average α՛/α grain-size was observed to increase from a value of < 1.5 μm for the non-heat-treated samples to a value of about 9 μm for the samples that were heat-treated above the α→β grain transformation temperature. The intensity of texture was also seen to increase because of heat treatment, with the maximum unit density (MUD) of the α՛/α-phase in the basal plane (0001) increasing from 4.9 in the non-heat-treated samples to 24 for samples that were heat-treated at the highest temperature. The non-heat-treated samples and those samples that were heat-treated to just below the α→β-grain transformation temperature showed a strong fibrous texture of the reconstructed β-grains with the 〈100〉 directions almost parallel to the build direction. The alignment of the fibrous texture in the build direction disappeared after heat treatment above the α→β-grain transformation temperature. An analysis of the X-ray diffraction (XRD) profiles of the non-heat-treated and heat-treated microstructures of DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI) was carried out to determine the level of defects in these microstructures. The modified Williamson-Hall and modified Warren- Averbach methods of analysis were used to evaluate the dislocation densities in these microstructures. The results obtained showed a 73% reduction of dislocation density in DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI) upon stress-relieving heat treatment at a temperature of 650°C for a period of 3 hours. The density of dislocations further declined in microstructures that were annealed at elevated temperatures, with the microstructures that were heat-treated just below the α→β-grain transformation temperature recording the lowest dislocation densities. The high cooling rate gradient normally associated with the DMLS process leads to formation of a non-equilibrium martensitic microstructure. Our previous study demonstrated that this microstructure possesses inferior dynamic deformation properties compared to the microstructure arising from use of conventional manufacturing processes. Thus, in the present study the compressive high-strain-rate properties and deformation behaviour of DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI) were studied for samples that were heat-treated above the martensitic transformation temperature. High-strain- rate compression tests were carried out using a Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) test system at temperatures of 25 °C, 200 °C and 500 °C. The tests at each temperature were conducted at three different average plastic strain rates of 750 s-1, 1500 s-1 and 2450 s-1 and flow stress curves at these test conditions were obtained. Comparative analyses of these flow stress curves for different categories of samples were then carried out. The flow stress curves of all samples tested generally showed the flow stress to increase with increasing strain rate and to decrease with increasing temperature. These observations showed that the microstructures of Ti6Al4V(ELI) are sensitive to both strain rate and temperature. The samples that were heat-treated at lower temperatures showed the highest dynamic yield stress at any temperature and strain rate compared to those that were heat-treated at elevated temperatures. An examination and analysis of the deformed surfaces of tested samples using SEM showed these surfaces to be dominated by adiabatic shear bands (ASBs) that were predominantly inclined at an angle of ≈45° to the loading axis. This suggested that the compressive fracturing of these samples at high strain rate was because of the development of ASBs. The flow stress curves of different samples were then used to obtain and refine the calibration parameters of the analytical constitutive model that are sensitive to the microstructure of the samples developed here. In these equations, the strain hardening and dynamic recovery that are normally experienced by materials during high-strain-rate deformation were articulated by two model calibration parameters ℎ and 2, respectively. The influence of initial dislocation densities on the flow properties of Ti6Al4V(ELI) according to the models developed here was investigated. It was shown that for high initial dislocation densities, the shape of the stress-strain curve was that of a pronounced peak stress followed by a decreasing flow stress. Lower initial dislocation densities led to a decreased peak stress and, in some cases, this decrease was followed by a state where no strain hardening occurred. The expected decrease of flow stress with increasing temperature was demonstrated well by the model developed here. The upturn of flow stress at high strain rate was taken care of by the introduction of a viscous drag stress component that is sensitive to high strain rates. This stress component for different samples was calibrated with experimental data using two fitting parameters. The microstructure-based constitutive numerical model developed and validated here using experimental data showed good capacity to predict the high- strain-rate flow properties of additively manufactured Ti6Al4V(ELI) alloy. This was demonstrated by the statistical performance measures of the correlation coefficients (2) and the absolute average error (δ). The values of 2 and δ obtained for correlation of the model and experimental values of various samples were >0.976 and <6% , respectively. This high correlation is an indication of the robustness of the model developed here in predicting the high-strain-rate properties of DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI). The validated microstructure- and dislocation-based analytical constitutive model was then implemented as a user material subroutine in ABAQUS using VUMAT and VUHARD subroutines. This was followed by verification. Initially, the verification process was conducted for single and multiple element tests with varying prescribed loading conditions. The simulation results obtained were then compared with the analytical solutions which showed a good capacity of both the developed VUMAT and VUHARD subroutines to be used for high-strain-rate simulations. The verification process was then extended further for tests devised to study the dynamic properties of materials at high strain rates, in this case the SHPB test. Comparison between the SHPB simulation of numerical and experimental results showed excellent correlation, with the correlation coefficient and average absolute error being > 0.97 and < 4%, respectively for various samples. This showed that the numerical model is suitable for use in designing the dynamic strength of DMLS Ti6Al4V(ELI) structures for high strain rate applications, by controlling the morphology of its microstructure and the initial dislocation density present in the alloy

    Practical Implementation Of Hybrid Energy Systems For Small Loads In Rural South Africa

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    DissertationHybrid renewable energy systems (HRESs), are alternative off-grid methods of generating power to remote rural areas, where power lines are not economically viable. Most of the research studies on renewable hybrid systems or microgrids (MGs) in South Africa, focus mainly on the optimal sizing and optimal control of different systems, by making use of renewable energy simulation softwares, however, there is a lack of research carried out on the implementation of these hybrid systems in real time. The aim is to develop a real time control method for an isolated hybrid system submitted to a variable load, as well as resources. The first step towards achieving this aim, was to critically review available published research works, to describe recent developments in improving the optimum operating concept of microgrid controllers for stand-alone or grid-connected systems. Secondly, to investigate any real-time implementation established by either hierarchical or distributed control. Then to, analyze their reliability and functionality in practical set up of the controller, in managing power in the system to the variable load. The study provided a brief overview of microgrid prototype systems, microgrid controls, operating modes and multi-DER microgrid types built into a hybrid system, which introduces a number of strategies or techniques for managing remote rural application prototypes in an isolated or grid-connected system. However, hierarchical control was found to be more appropriate for large microgrids with multiple types of distributed energy resources (DERs), compared to distributed control, particularly when combined with energy storage systems (ESSs), in isolated mode. The rising of hybrid system controllers in real-time renewable energy for the optimum energy management system (EMS), required the design of a real-time controller to operate the entire system in real time. Increasing popularity of renewable energy (RE) has a control strategy that determined the overall efficiency of the hybrid system (HS), although the energy management system of these systems is particularly complex to be managed. The study's main contribution is to investigate the feasible controller and, later, to present an advanced control strategy for managing and controlling the flow of hybrid renewable energy with a diesel generator (DG) and battery (BT) as a backup in a rural application of SA. EMS would be implemented, using a fuzzy logic controller (FLC) in MATLAB / SIMULINK. This study analysed input and output variables for the design of a controller, with a set of rules and a three-dimension (3D) surface. Simulation results of related studies with different objectives were analysed, with the aim of sussing out an appropriate controller for the current study. Arduino Mega was used for coding and uploaded to the implementation of practical implementation of the study. The system operated successfully by supplying the load. This study finally answered the question of the feasibility of the controller in real-time applications


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