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RESEARCH IN EDUCATION

Challenges and
perspectives

Abstracts
RESEARCH WEEK
24 - 26 July 2013

RESEARCH UNIT
MAURITIUS INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION

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Abstracts

This booklet contains abstracts of all papers which will be presented at the
Research Week, on “Research in education: challenges and perspectives”,
24-26 July 2013.

© Authors of Abstracts, 2013.

Designed by Graphics Section, CODL, MIE

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Research week
MA CONFERENCE
24-26 July 2013
2013

Foreword

On behalf of the Research Unit and in my own name I heartily welcome


our distinguished guests and participants to the first edition of the research week
hosted by MIE. This event, which brings together researchers and our doctoral
students in a common forum, is yet another milestone in the sustained progress
we are making in the field of research. Consistent with the policy orientations
set by the institution, our intention is to provide an intellectual environment
where researchers can be supported from the conception of a paper to the
publication phase.

I am pleased the research agenda at MIE is being increasingly endorsed


by staff and students alike. The response to the call for papers has been more
than encouraging as more than 20 papers were received. Our decision to accept
all proposals with our philosophy of working with researchers to support their
writing. The themes for this year are wide ranging, demonstrating the creativity
and wide interests of the research community on campus. The programme
for both days is also testimony to our emergent success in networking with
international partners to whom we remain indebted.

I wish to thank the Directorate for creating the conditions for success, the
rest as we shall see, is up to us.

My best wishes extend to all.

Rada Tirvassen

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Abstracts

Research week
Table of contents

Theorising Code-Switching in the Classroom: Towards 7


more Terminological and Conceptual Accuracy
Auckle Tejshree

Reflections on tensions and considerations of a case study: What 9


next?
Auckloo Pritee

The influence of core qualities on pedagogical practice 10


Baichoo Vikash

Where the twain shall meet: exploring the correlation between 11


theatre directing and literature teaching
Beesoondial Ashish

Reading between and beyond statistical data: Conceptions of two 13


mathematics secondary school teachers
Bholoa Ajeevsing and Ramkalawon Leena

Modelling Theory: Diagramming Relationships Between 14


Education Reform And Societal Change
Colin Mindy

An investigation into the use of the Arts in the teaching and 15


learning of Asian Languages - A Case Study in Mauritian public
primary schools.
Engutsamy-Borthosow Ashwina and Beeharry-Konglar Mridula

Teachers’ Conceptions about Teacher Leadership at the 16


Rabindranath Tagore State Secondary School - A Case Study
Gungapersad Mahend

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2013

Qualitative Research: Intricacy of being a native 17


Hurreeram Navin and Beefun Roodradeo

What is a teacher? How might we research this question? 18


Loveless Avril, University of Brighton

Design and implementation of a collaborative project of continuous 19


assessment in the Mauritian Kreol classroom: challenges and
prospects.
Natchoo Nicholas

National Curriculum Framework Secondary Home Economics: 20


From Concept to Reality
Oogarah-Pratap Brinda, Kawol Sangyaugita Devi,
Beebeejaun-Roojee Swalehah Bibi, Engutsamy Borthosow Ashwina
and Veerapen Mithila

A reflection on scientific and mathematical terms in Mauritian 22


Kreol at primary level: an overview
Oozeerally Shameem, Nenduradu Rajeev and
Saddul-Hauzaree Sarojiny

Higher Education and Economic Growth in Small States: The case 24


of Indian Ocean islands
Phoolchund Ruben

Decline in Mathematics performance during transition from 25


primary to secondary school: Retrospective perspectives of two
case studies.
Purdasseea Sooryadev

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Abstracts

A large scale self-assessment survey in French proficiency carried 26


out by secondary students and post-secondary professional trainees
Rughoonundun-Chellapermal Nita

Emerging leadership challenge: Transforming scholars into school 27


leaders
Sohawon Sooltan.Mahboob, Congo-Poottaren Nathalie and
Beebeejaun-Roojee Swalehah Bibi

Entrepreneurship Education in Secondary schools in Mauritius - 28


A Situation Analysis.
Sheik Abbass Nazeerah, Khadaroo Jameel and Denmamode Ibrahim

Redefining the concept of quality in education 29


Sunnassee Manoj

Researching through phenomenology: strengths and weaknesses 30


Surajbali-Bissoonauth Chaya

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24-26 July 2013
2013

Theorising Code-Switching in the Classroom:


Towards more Terminological and Conceptual Accuracy

Author
Auckle Tejshree,
University of Mauritius

Abstract

Over the years, the rich literature surrounding classroom code-switching


(CS) has highlighted the numerous pedagogical implications of language
alternation. Following Ferguson (2003, 2009), these can be broadly subdivided
into three inter-related categories namely a) CS for the construction and
transmission of knowledge (for example, through pedagogic scaffolding, re-
voicing and transfer of L2 technical terms); b) CS for the purposes of effective
classroom management (for example to indicate a shift in conversational
footing as the teacher cumulates the roles of both knowledge-provider and
disciplinarian) and finally c) CS for the construction and maintenance of
interpersonal relationships (for instance to humanise an otherwise sterile
classroom climate by “hooking” (Probyn, 2009:128) students’ attention).
However, as Ferguson (2009) rightly points out, most researches carried out in
the multilingual classroom tend to suffer from a fundamental methodological
oversight by conspicuously ignoring the inherently multifunctional nature of
alternational and insertional (Auer, 1984) CS in discourse. Indeed, most studies
dealing with code juxtaposition show an unfortunate inclination towards treating
CS as “linguistically a relatively undifferentiated phenomenon” (Ferguson,
2009: 232). This paper aims to bridge this aforementioned theoretical gap by
focusing on the heterogeneity of language alternation phenomena as evidenced
in the epistemological debates surrounding the study of the socio-functional
approaches to CS. In fact, while much of the literature on classroom CS
opts to view language alternation as a monolithic construct, a close analysis
of transcripts provided often reveal considerable variation in the intensity
and directionality of CS. Consequently, using Muysken’s (2000) typology of
alternation, insertional switching and congruent lexicalisation as a starting
point, this paper delves into the different forms of alloying (Alvarez-Caccamo,

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Abstracts

1998) that CS can take resulting in mixed codes and fused lects (Auer, 1999),
most notably in the speeches of habitual bilinguals. Using data collected from
University level students as its empirical backdrop, the paper will provide a
re-analysis of a few excerpts of conversational CS in the classroom setting thus
highlighting the need for the symbiotic co-existence of both the pragmatic and
pedagogical perspectives to CS. By acknowledging that “the linguistic detail of
CS behaviour merits closer examination” (Ferguson 2009: 239) and by using
the theoretical advances made in the study of the pragmatics of CS, it is argued
that researchers can thus aim for more conceptual and terminological accuracy
in the description of language alternation phenomena.

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2013

Reflections on Tensions and considerations of a case


study: What next?

Author
Auckloo Pritee, Ed.D student,
University of Brighton / Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

This paper describes the researcher’s challenges/reflections experienced


in the context of a case study conducted for an Ed.D research project on trainees’
use of Open Educational Resources (OERs). It explores the practical challenges
and considerations that were faced in the design phase of the project as well as
issues related to researcher’s perspectives. These include an understanding of
tensions related to ‘site and space’, insider researcher, access to data, as well as
meaning making which are problematical and are here key considerations to a
case study design and analysis.
The lessons learnt give way to deeper and enhanced understanding about
researcher ‘positioning’, ‘choice or selection’ and ‘practice’ in a research
project.

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Abstracts

The influence of core qualities on


pedagogical practice
Author
Baichoo Vikash,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

Contrary to traditional competency-based approaches which adopt a


deficit approach to teacher education, positive education (a branch of positive
psychology) focuses on how positive qualities empower the teacher. However,
most research conducted in the field of positive psychology adopt a positivist
paradigm and focus on few traits. In contrast, this comparative case study
draws from Gestalt theory which reconceptualizes the link between teacher
thinking and behavior. It aims to understand the relationship between teacher
qualities and their influence on classroom behavior of teachers. In this study,
three teachers will be sampled according to their strongest qualities in three
different domains and their classroom practices will be documented over a
period five weeks using a combination of methods namely video recording,
questionnaire on teacher interaction and interviews. Findings from this study
may help fill the gaps in qualitative research on the influence of core qualities
on pedagogical practices and deepen our understanding of how teachers use
their strengths to overcome challenges. The implications for the design of
teacher education programmes will also be considered.

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24-26 July 2013
2013

Where the twain shall meet: exploring the correlation


between theatre directing and literature teaching
Author
Beesoondial Ashish,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

The importance of the theatre director in any production is immeasurable.


And yet, it may come as a surprise that the ‘director phenomena’ has come into
existence and gained recognition only during the modern era. The applause
for actors at the end of a performance is also often – although not always –
an acknowledgement of the implementation of the vision established by the
theatre director. The role of the director, in fact, is considerably reduced on
the opening night of a performance. It is the moment when actors and the
technical crew take over to carry out this vision. The director’s focus, therefore,
is primarily on the pre-rehearsal and the rehearsal period.
The purpose of this paper presentation is to look into the whole process
of theatre direction and to analyse the grounds on which directorial choices are
made in order to ensure a seamless transition from text to performance. Derived
mainly from the experience of directing a scripted, realistic play (‘All My
Sons’), this paper is both a reflective and a critical approach to theatre directing
basing itself on theories of directing and acting instruction (Stanislavski’s
principles of Emotional Memory and Physical action (1936,1961), Method
Acting by Strasberg (1987)). The techniques that a director needs to employ
are manifold: what are the different layers and dynamics of a text, how to make
actors ‘feel’ a text and respond creatively and experientially while appealing to
their mind, heart and spirits are but some of the steps inherent in the directorial
process.

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Abstracts

Through this analysis, this presentation subsequently puts forward the


view that there is a strong correlation between theatre directing and literature
teaching. The work accomplished in pre-rehearsal and rehearsal phase for a
director is tantamount to the work undertaken while teaching literature with
the objective to make literature ‘felt’ and personalised, in order to develop
informed, independent opinions.
By foregrounding the essence of theatre directing, this presentation will,
therefore, highlight the intersection between two supposedly distinct figures –
the director and the teacher – as verbal imagists in their transaction from page
to stage.

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Research week
MA CONFERENCE
24-26 July 2013
2013

Reading between and beyond statistical data:


Conceptions of two mathematics
secondary school teachers
Author
Bholoa Ajeevsing and Ramkalawon Leena,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

Reading and interpreting graphs are essential skills in the teaching and
learning of Statistics. Although assumed to be apparently simple, such skills may
not be readily acquired by teachers especially when it comes to reading beyond
the data as is the case in the present study. The thinking processes deployed by
a pre-service teacher and an experienced in-service teacher in understanding
statistical graphs are explored in this qualitative study. They were given four
graphical situations and their involvements were video recorded in 8 task-based
interviews. Deductive analysis of transcripts based on Curcio’s framework
(1987) of graph comprehension showed that both teachers struggled to read
beyond the data in the given bar chart and pie chart to make prediction into
the future. They displayed limited knowledge in reading between and beyond
the data from a frequency polygon and a dot plot. Inductive analysis revealed
that their thinking was strongly affected by their prior knowledge emphasized
by procedures, null curriculum and familiarity with graphs. As per Aoyama’s
framework (2007), their graph comprehension may at most be mapped at the
literal thinking level, which is situated below the critical thinking one. This
study suggests the necessity for creating awareness among teachers, in teacher
training programmes and among curriculum developers in reading between and
beyond statistical graphs in order to achieve the goals of Statistics education.

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Abstracts

Modelling Theory: Diagramming Relationships


Between Education Reform And Societal Change
Author
Colin Mindy,
University of Bristol, Graduate School of Education,
Doctoral Researcher

Abstract

This paper presentation addresses the sometimes confusing and delicate


task of examining, interpreting and creating theory in one’s own research writing
through diagrams and models. It will present one diagram that the author has
recently designed that illustrates the theoretical relationships between societal
change and education reform in the context of the international transfer of
education to developing countries. This will be accompanied by a frank critique
of the effectiveness of the diagram, and its accompanying textual description,
in accurately describing the author’s ideas. This open critique will provide the
basis from which to discuss the creative and reflexive process of expressing
one’s ideas visually in academic writing.

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2013

An investigation into the use of the Arts in the


teaching and learning of Asian Languages -
A Case Study in Mauritian public primary schools.
Author
Engutsamy-Borthosow Ashwina and Beeharry-Konglar Mridula,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

The Mauritian primary school curriculum encourages the use of the Arts
as a core learning area. Through the Arts, children are expected to develop
creative ways and modes of expression which contribute to the child’s
holistic development. However, classroom observations during school visits
indicated that the Arts are rarely integrated in the teaching and learning of
Asian Languages, compared to the teaching of other core learning subjects
like English and French, Mathematics, Geography and Basic Sciences. This
prompted the investigation into the use of the Arts in the teaching and learning
of Asian languages. The research focuses on two learning areas of the Arts:
Visual Arts and Textile Crafts. A case study approach was adopted and 21 Asian
Language teachers participated in the study. The main objectives of this study
were firstly to look into how the Arts are being used in the teaching and learning
of Asian Languages at primary level and secondly, to explore the scope and
limitations of using the Arts in such a context. The main data collection tools
were an online questionnaire, face to face individual interviews and classroom
observations. Though most respondents strongly agreed that creativity in the
Arts is a fundamental skill to be developed in schools as it helps pupils to learn
effectively and happily, findings revealed that only one third of Asian Language
teachers use the Arts in their classrooms. Teachers claim that they mostly use
the Arts for making charts and posters to be used as teaching aids, and very
rarely carry out Arts-related hands-on activities with pupils. The research
revealed that the main factors hindering the use of the Arts are namely, a lack
of support from school administration and parents, unavailability of materials
and resources, an exam-oriented and bulky syllabus as well as limited contact
time for the teaching of Asian Languages at primary level.

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Abstracts

Teachers’ Conceptions about Teacher Leadership at


The Rabindranath Tagore State Secondary School -
A Case Study.
Author
Gungapersad Mahend, EdD student,
University of Brighton / Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

While extant international literature on teacher leadership has developed


considerably, there is a comparative deficit on teacher leadership research in
Mauritius. The current study is located against this backdrop given its focus on
teachers’ conception about teacher leadership. This paper makes the case for
the necessity to take teacher leadership seriously in our secondary schools in
order to ensure that the leadership potential of teachers is rightly harnessed and
is used effectively in school management. The research contends that a critical
conceptualisation of teacher leadership is needed if ever we want distributed
and shared leadership to become a reality in Mauritian secondary schools. It
calls for the need to replace the traditional approach to leadership with a new
leadership paradigm of sharing, transformation and empowerment, one that
redefines teachers as leaders and partners in leadership.
A phenomenological study was carried out where the experiences of
teachers were used as the main source of data in order to understand teacher
leadership. A group of seven teachers who have been working for varying
number of years at the RTSS participated in the research. As an insider
researcher, conducting this research was rather challenging but once research
parameters were ethically drawn, the likelihood of deviating from the goals
were minimized.

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24-26 July 2013
2013

Qualitative Research: Intricacy of being a native

Author
Hurreeram Navin and Beefun Roodradeo,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

Researchers using qualitative methodologies often position themselves


as ‘insiders’ rather than ‘outsiders’ to their research domain. The benefits
of an insider approach are extensively discussed in current methodological
literature which highlights the degree of proximity insider researchers maintain
with participants. As such, it also becomes inevitable for researchers to bring
to the study certain personal attributes, making it difficult to demonstrate
distance and neutrality. So, instead of disregarding this position within the
research, it is better to acknowledge the effect of the researcher and accept
the impossibility of a completely neutral stance. It becomes equally essential
for the researchers to clearly position themselves within the study and to be
aware that they can play an intimate role in the process of data collection and
analysis. However, the perils of insider research are numerous especially for
inexperienced researchers, who go native researching the institutional and
behavioural phenomena. Presenting the findings from an insider’s view with
aspects of positionality while maintaining the required authenticity remains a
challenge. The degree of dispassionateness that they should adopt during the
course of the study represents a dilemma. This paper examines some of these
major issues that confront novice researchers who choose to enter the research
field as ‘insiders’.

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Abstracts

What is a teacher?
How might we research this question?
Author
Loveless Avril,
University of Brighton

Abstract

This paper presentation will offer a brief overview of approaches to


research in teacher education. This will range from broad issues being addressed
in different education systems and cultures, to the focused projects of practising
teacher educators undertaking Doctoral and Masters study. In the UK, the
British Education Research Association (BERA) and the Royal Society for the
encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) are conducting a
major inquiry into the relationship between educational research and teacher
education, focusing on the contribution that research-informed teacher
education can make to improve the quality of teaching and learning outcomes.
This is intended to shape debate, inform policy and influence practice at a time
of radical reform of teacher education in our society. In the meantime, teacher
educators are conducting case studies and action research which generate new
knowledge and insight into practice and affirm the contribution of thoughtful
approaches to theory and analysis of evidence. The presentation will be
framed by a description of a teacher as someone who embodies conceptual
depth, contextual scope and pedagogic reach, and I will argue that research can
illuminate our understanding of these dimensions through the use of a variety
of approaches and methods. The argument will be supported by examples of the
different scales of teacher education research and the ways in which it has had
influence and impact on policy and practice.

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2013

Design and implementation of a collaborative project


of continuous assessment in the Mauritian Kreol
classroom: challenges and prospects.
Author
Natchoo Nicholas,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

Newly introduced in primary schools in 2012, the teaching of Mauritian


Kreol as an optional language provides various opportunities for the development
of innovative practices. If its introduction into the school curriculum is in itself
a revolution, the major interest is that the Mauritian Kreol class offers a space
to design classroom material, and teaching and assessment practices that are
mindful of Mauritian specificities, and in line with 21st century pedagogical
innovations.
One of the major problems of the Mauritian education system is its
overly assessment driven aspect which produces unhealthy competition even
at primary level. At the end of the first term of 2012, one of the first questions
raised by Mauritian Kreol educators was regarding examinations. A decision
was taken that there would be no official examinations for Mauritian Kreol in
STD 1. Instead, a teacher-led end of year assessment, based on a grid of core
competencies that were previously identified, was put in place. This exercise
met with great success among Mauritian Kreol educators and several Head
Masters.
In 2013, the Mauritian Kreol Unit proposed model activities in order to
establish a framework for the evaluation of the various identified competencies.
Full-fledged educators, who were being trained at the MIE, designed various
activities and tested them in their classes. These activities are to be compiled in
a repository accessible to all Mauritian Kreol educators. The latter can also be
used as a database to gather critical information on student performance.
The present paper thus analyses the alternatives to summative assessments
within the context of the introduction of Mauritian Kreol in the Mauritian
education system.

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Abstracts

National Curriculum Framework Secondary Home


Economics: From Concept to Reality
Author
Oogarah-Pratap Brinda, Kawol Sangyaugita Devi, Beebeejaun-Roojee Swalehah
Bibi, Engutsamy Borthosow Ashwina and Veerapen Mithila,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

A new National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for the Secondary


education sector was developed in 2009 for all subjects offered in mainstream
schools. In 2010, the syllabus for each subject area was developed to facilitate
the implementation of the NCF after Cabinet’s approval of the framework.
Although much time was spent in the elaboration and validation of the NCF
and the syllabus, there seems to be minimal research or follow-up activities
done to find out the challenges that educators and secondary schools might
be facing with the implementation of the NCF since 2012. The intended
objectives of the curriculum of any subject cannot be achieved if there
are obstacles to its implementation, no matter how well the curriculum is
planned, designed and documented (Onyeachu, 2008). A research was thus
undertaken by the NCF Home Economics developers to explore the challenges
related to the teaching approach, methods of assessment, and organizational
arrangements for the successful implementation of the Secondary Home
Economics Curriculum. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered from
questionnaires, containing closed and open-ended questions, administered to
Home Economics Secondary Educators from state and private schools across
Mauritius during briefing sessions (n= 74) and workshops (n = 85) on the NCF
Home Economics. Group interviews were also carried out with Form I and II
students from 6 schools selected using purposive sampling. The interview data
allowed the researchers to get an insight into learners’ perspectives with regards
to teaching approaches and assessment methods being used at school. Analysis

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2013

of the data from the questionnaires and interviews revealed that teaching and
assessment strategies being used in many schools do not support a learner-
centred approach. Organisational arrangements related to time tabling issues,
shortage of qualified staff (teaching and non-teaching) and non-availability of
specialist rooms/classrooms were found to be other limiting factors. To deal
with the implementation issues and problems, the researchers propose the
use of a blend of Fullan’s programmed approach and adaptive-evolutionary
approach. Although this research has focused on the implementation of NCF
Home Economics, the findings have implications for other subject areas offered
at secondary level, especially those having theory and practical components.

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Abstracts

A reflection on scientific and mathematical terms in


Mauritian Kreol at primary level: an overview
Author
Oozeerally Shameem, Nenduradu Rajeev and Saddul-Hauzaree Sarojiny,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

In January 2012, Mauritian Kreol (MK) was introduced in schools as


an optional subject. From a (socio)linguistic perspective, this represents a
significant advancement (+status [+institutionalisation, +autonomy]).
Consequently, this also has effects on the usage of the language, which is no
longer solely confined to the oral, affective and informal domains (Carpooran,
2007). The usage of MK in schools implies the modification and enrichment of
the internal ecosystem of the language, more specifically in the lexical domain.
As Attali (2002) points out, languages evolve by simplifying the syntactic
structures while simultaneously complexifying their lexical repertoire.
Concomitant to this evolutionary process, MK must be ‘equipped’ to reflect
ever-changing realities, be it in informational, scientific or mathematical
domains. However, a number of precautions must be taken when analyzing and
proposing possible equivalents from English to MK. This paper presentation
does not pretend to venture in the terminological and terminographical
domains; it aims to reflect on possible technical terms in view of facilitating the
flow of information for writers and speakers of Mauritian Kreol. Its scope may
be broadened through a review process concerning the main stakeholders and
institutions thinking about the development of Mauritian Kreol.
This study proposes to address the problem of finding Mauritian Kreol
equivalents of English technical terms, from a pedagogical perspective, in the
mathematical and scientific domains for the primary level. A sample of domain-

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specific terms was selected principally from Science and Mathematics textbooks
for primary level, and different equivalents were considered by taking into
consideration the semantic and socio-symbolic aspects among others. A number
of questionnaires, acting as ‘reception tests’ were also administered, mostly
to MIE TDP (Teacher’s Dip Primary) and TDS (Teacher’s Dip Secondary)
trainees in order to gain further insights into the problem, in accordance with
the principles of democratic dialogue (Bang and Døør, 2007).

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Abstracts

Higher Education and Economic Growth in Small


Island States: The case of Mauritius
Author
Phoolchund Ruben, PhD Student,
University of Kwazulu Natal / Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

The focus of this paper is based on the PhD research proposal to understand
the relationship between higher education and economic growth in the context
of Mauritius as a small island state.
Higher education has been an engine of economic growth in the
20th century (Milne, 1999). Many higher education institutions have been
established in order to respond to the needs of industries and trade (Gray, 1999).
Even though development of higher education is essential for the social and
economic advancement of a nation, broader societal and national benefits of
higher education attracts less attention (Baum & Payea, 2004). Unlike primary
and secondary education, the discourse of higher education has highlighted
individual benefit rather than national benefit.
Small states have in common a number of challenges and opportunities.
They face particular constraints in the organization of a diversified and cost-
effective tertiary offer because of their limited pool of highly qualified human
resources and difficulties in achieving economies of scale in administration
and management. In many small states, tertiary education has undergone
considerable change and reform as a result of rapidly growing enrolments, a
diversification of the institutional fabric and the emergence of cross-border
providers. (Bray & Martin, 2011)
The local tertiary sector in Mauritius has indeed undergone deep
transformation in the space of thirty years and has no doubt enabled the
country to leapfrog from a mono-crop to a diversified industrial and serviced-
based economy. My proposed PhD research applies a longitudinal approach
to examine how higher education has contributed to economic achievement in
Mauritius over the period 1968 (year of independence) to 2012. The research
will also inquire into the relationship between the composition of the higher
education and economic growth.
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2013

Decline in Mathematics performance during


transition from primary to secondary school:
Retrospective perspectives of two case studies.
Author
Purdasseea Sooryadev,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

As students transit from primary to secondary schools, they are required


to extend and/or transform their mathematical knowledge and skills to meet
the requirements of secondary mathematics learning. Such knowledge and
skills range from extending their whole number concepts, algebraic thinking,
geometrical reasoning and measurement sense to enabling learners to
‘mathematize’ situations and solve problems. However, studies have shown that
students’ experiences of transition greatly influence their future performance in
Mathematics. This study examines by means of individual retrospective case
study methodology, the experience of two students who are currently struggling
in Mathematics despite obtaining A+ and A grade in their end of primary cycle
examinations. The aim of this paper is to develop an understanding of the
meaning students give to the decline in their Mathematics performance after
transiting from primary to secondary school. It will also discuss theoretical and
methodological issues that this research will entail.

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Abstracts

A large scale self-assessment survey in French


proficiency carried out by secondary students and
post-secondary professional trainees
Author
Rughoonundun-Chellapermal Nita,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

Multiple language oracy and literacy, both for communicative and academic
or professional/vocational purposes, are positioned as key competencies to be
attained in order to function effectively in contemporary Mauritius. This paper
presentation produces a fine charting of the competence profile of a sample
of secondary school students distributed across different levels and types
of schooling as well as pre-service primary trainee teachers. In this context,
diagnosis of learner proficiency in French was carried out using the “Common
European Framework of reference” for French. Data produced by this means
was processed by SPSS. The presentation discusses the findings of this survey
and its implications for the teaching and learning of French in Mauritius.

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24-26 July 2013
2013

Emerging leadership challenge:


Transforming scholars into school leaders
Author
Sohawon Sooltan Mahboob, Congo-Poottaren Nathalie and
Beebeejaun-Roojee Swalehah Bibi,
Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

Using Kouzes and Posner’si model as a conceptual framework, this action


research study tells the story of the struggle to transform the scholars (n=54)
coming from different types of schools (state, private and confessional) who had
embarked on the Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership at the MIE
in 2010 into school leaders.This study recounts the steps undertaken to adjust
our practice as teacher educators so that our students develop the knowledge
and skills identified by Kouzes and Posner. The purpose of this action research
study hence was to investigate whether our teaching practice adequately served
our student-leaders to develop these skills. Data were collected following
the concept of reflection-in-action. Observations during class, focus group
discussions using purposive sampling and feedback questionnaires were the
main methods of data collection. Analysis of the data was done using Kouzes
and Posner’s five descriptors of leadership characteristics.

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Abstracts

Entrepreneurship Education in Secondary schools in


Mauritius - A Situation Analysis.
Author
Sheik Abbass Nazeerah, Mauritius Institute of Education
Khadaroo Jameel and Denmamode Ibrahim, University of Mauritius

Abstract

Policy makers introduced Entrepreneurship Education (EE) to create an


entrepreneurs’ driven society to palliate increasing unemployment. Research
established a direct relationship between growth of entrepreneurship and
economic growth (Raposo M and Do Paco, 2011). Even though EE is not a new
happening; its newness at secondary level in Mauritius renders a situational
analysis important. The study examines, on one hand, the presence of EE in the
Curriculum, both in formal and informal ways as well as educators’ readiness
towards the new subject. On the other hand, using the four pillars of learning
(UNESCO), it explores the scope of EE as a lifelong learning process as
entrepreneurship is about the development of real life skills, personality traits,
entrepreneurial behaviours and competencies (Li, 2009) .
Mixed research methods were used. Quantitative data was gathered
through questionnaires (200 Business subjects educators) inquiring on items
related to a set of entrepreneurship behavior, competencies and personality
traits demarcating entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs. Interviewees were
participants from rural, urban, private and public secondary institutions.
Qualitative methods included large focus group discussions (28 educators), in-
depth interviews (20 secondary students), written coursework (18 in-service
educators) and 10 lesson observations.
Findings showed EE to be most visible in the non-formal and informal
forms. While critical factors to successful EE depends on educators, resources
and school management , “learn to dare and persevere” is found as most
essential in the development of desired entrepreneurial reflexes over and above
exposure to hands on activities simulated in “real context” and similar methods.

Keywords:
Entrepreneurship Education, Learn to Dare, formal, informal and non-formal learning
28
Research week
MA CONFERENCE
24-26 July 2013
2013

Redefining the concept of quality in education

Author
Sunnassee Manoj, PhD student,
University of Kwazulu Natal / Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

There is a general understanding that a unique meaning is attached to the


expression quality education. All policy documents and official discourses in
Mauritius are based on the assumption that this meaning is shared by all the
stakeholders of education in the country. A survey carried out points to some
serious concerns. The interim findings of this paper which will be presented
show to what extent parents, students, educators, rectors and policy makers
in secondary education have their own conception of quality and therefore
work towards the type of objectives that they set. The paper then discusses
the implications of the different definitions given to the concept of Quality in
Education even when the participants surveyed are actively involved in the
implementation of decisions regarding quality.

29
Abstracts

Researching through phenomenology:


strengths and weaknesses
Author
Surajbali-Bissoonauth Chaya, EdD student,
University of Brighton/Mauritius Institute of Education

Abstract

Located within a constructionist paradigm, my research explores how


novice rectors learn about their roles. I outline the various obstacles faced
during the research journey and discuss how I engage with the complexity as
well as the richness of using a phenomenological approach. Hence, the use of
phenomenology with its assets and its liabilities are highlighted in the paper.
Data collection methods included observation of participants, a reflective
exercise and individual interviews. Capturing social actors’ experiences as
they were involved in their daily responsibilities of running schools, listen
to their voices and engage them in reflection has been challenging. Time
constraints, willingness to participate, discomfort of being observed, and
seizing the experience of participants proved to be delicate. The research led
to understanding dilemmas surrounding observation and ethical issues linked
to the relationship between researcher and participants. The paper delves into
these issues as experienced during the research journey. Key findings relate to
the fruitful use of phenomenology as a means of looking at the social actor within
his/her social context as well as the limitations, as (Smith, 2007) highlights that
involves partial access to experience since only a part of experience is visible.

30
Research week
MA CONFERENCE
24-26 July 2013
2013

Prior to joining UKZN, he was the


Head of the Centre for Language
and Literacies Studies at the Human
Sciences Research Council and a
Rockefeller Postdoctoral Research
Fellow at the University of Illinois,
USA. His previous awards include
NRF scholarships; the SETI
scholarship (University of Ohio);
the SANPAD scholarship; visiting
fellowships to the University of
Michigan and Stanford University.

A SPENCER Fellow and Rockefeller


Scholar, Rubby has researched
and published in education policy,
language policy, life-history research
DR RUBBY DHUNPATH and organizational ethnographies.
is the Director of Teaching & His current scholarly interests
Learning at UKZN, providing include Higher Education Research,
leadership in various teaching and Institutional Research, and
learning support initiatives aimed International Doctoral Education.
at promoting the scholarship of His recent publications include an
teaching and learning and edited book, Dhunpath, R & Vithal R
institutional research. He holds a (2012) Alternative Access to Higher
MEd (Cum Lade) and a PhD in Education: Underprepared Students
Education from the University or Underprepared Institutions?
of Durban-Westville as well and a monograph, Dhunpath, R
a TESOL qualification from (2010) Archaeology of a Language
Cambridge University. Development NGO: Excavating
Organisational Identity. He is the
former managing editor of the
Journal “Perspectives in Education”
and currently a guest editor of the
Alternation Journal.

31
Mauritius Institute of Education
Réduit, Republic of Mauritius
+230 4016555
www.mie.ac.mu