Three Ideas for Post-Coronavirus Educational Recovery
There are many ways that schools can proactively address the inevitable and inequitable gaps caused by coronavirus-related school closures.
Diale / African Journal of Career Development / September 2022
The study explored indigenous knowledge systems’ role in tutoring first-year first-generation African students (FYFGAS) transitioning from high school to higher education. During this process, tutors and students implicitly engage in indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) that allow for enculturation and holistic support for FYFGAS. Drawing on Schlossberg’s Career Transitioning Theory as an underpinning framework, the researcher explored how FYFGAS experienced tutoring sessions as a positive conduit towards their successful transition into their first year at university, embedded in the tutor’s use of IKS processes. This article adopted a phenomenological qualitative design within an interpretive paradigm. Data were collected using a semi-structured individual interview schedule with six participants who were first years and the first generation to attend universities in their families. These included four females and two males between the ages of 19 and 21 years. Five of the participants were black South Africans, and one was originally from Zimbabwe but a naturalised resident of South Africa. Data were analysed through inductive thematic analysis.
The findings revealed that tutors were role models to FYFGAS as they transitioned. Tutors further acted as agents of empowerment, thus fulfilling the role of change agents. Students believed that tutoring sessions promoted active learning. Through their active engagement, students developed problem-solving and knowledge-acquisition skills. There is a need for higher education institutions (HEIs) to build systems that embrace the diverse IKS in supporting the FYFGAS. Developing a holistic understanding of IKS and using these practices during the tutor sessions of FYFGAS will help transform HEI spaces and fully embrace diversity. This will allow these students’ career transitioning to be inclusive. The study contributes towards guiding higher education institutions on how to embrace and support students who are the first generation in their families to attend university. It brings further insight to the university leadership on the lived experiences of these students and how universities can adapt their first year experience programs to be more inclusive of these students