Role perceptions of lecturers of first year science students: A focus on gender differences
Keywords: First year lecturers, Science lecturers, Lecturer roles, Gender differences in Science education, Role competency
AbstractA marked increase in student enrolments in South African public universities over the last two decades, allowed substantially more �nontraditional� students into the sector. These students typically have unsatisfactory levels of school performance, lack communication skills (especially in English) and mostly have first-generation status. The Faculty of Science at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) established its First Year Academy (FYA) in 2007. The FYA, a community of practice for lecturers of first-year students, promotes optimal student learning, and expects lecturers to optimise their facilitation of learning strategies. Not much is known (research-wise) about role adaptions that lecturers of first-year students (especially in science faculties) are expected (forced?) to make in such circumstances. A literature-validated Likerttype questionnaire, involving 53 first-year lecturers (almost 60% females), was subsequently administered. The survey gathered perceptions in respect of eight literature-based roles that lecturers (could or should) play when dealing with first-year students, as well as their selfappraised competence in fulfilling these roles. The Mann-Whitney U-test revealed significant differences between the perceived role importance and competence of male and female lecturers in respect of certain roles. The study revealed a significant relationship between the gender and opinions (and also behaviours) of science lecturers for first-year students at UJ. Capacity building geared at the more proficient execution of the roles of course designer, teacher, course manager and peer consultant is regarded as vital. A tailor-made professional development programme is offered by the Faculty of Science�s FYA as of 2014.
How to Cite
Jacobs, M., & Jacobs, G. (2014). Role perceptions of lecturers of first year science students: A focus on gender differences. Suid-Afrikaans Tydskrif Vir Natuurwetenskap En Tegnologie / <i>South African Journal of Science and Technology</I>, 33(1), 9 bladsye. https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v33i1.857