Analysis of the Human Ecosystem Structure

Early Childhood Education in the Village of Manexba, Transkei, South Africa in July 1992

Based on Interviews and Analysis of the Human Ecosystem Structure

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Early Education Concepts

Today’s Future Needs

Questions Answered

Environments Examined

Examining Necessities


Language Limits

Needs Confirmed

Planting Seeds of Knowledge

Good Thing

Early Education Concepts

Early education can only promise to help make the third and fourth and fifth years of life good ones. It cannot insure without fail that any tomorrow will be successful. Nothing “fixes” a child for life, no matter what happens next. But exciting, pleasing early experiences are seldom sloughed off. They go with the child, on into first grade, on into the child’s long life ahead.” (Hymes Jr., 1996) was born and raised in the village of Manxeba, Transkei, South Africa,” Dr. Ivy Goduka, professor at Central Michigan University, told our class at Central Michigan University. Dr. Goduka, who obtained her Doctorate of Philosophy from Michigan State University Department of Family and Child Ecology on a Fulbright scholarship from the United States Government in 1987, brought the words, “Early Childhood Education… Ecosystem… Manxeba, Transkei, South Africa” to life. She also introduced me, an undergraduate student in her class at this time, to bicultural development and whetted my interest to know more about these ideas, and critical pedagogy, as well as, a myriad of other early education concepts.

As I learned more about biculturalism, which basically reflects.”.. two distinct cultures in one nation or geographic region” (American Heritage Dictionary, 2000), and critical pedagogy.”.. A teaching approach which attempts to help students question and challenge domination, and the beliefs and practices that support the proposed domination,” (“Critical Pedagogy,” 2006), I also became more aware of people I knew who lived in two distinct socio-cultural environments. As I had previously lived in Michigan, where numerous children of color must assimilate into the dominant white culture to succeed in public school systems, I had seen first hand this process of bioculturation, which incorporates the different ways in which bicultural human beings respond to cultural conflicts and the daily struggle with racism and other forms of cultural invasion. (Darder, 1991)

The theories of biculturalism, cultural democracy, and critical pedagogy challenged me and forced me to consider different teaching methods. Cultural democracy,.”.. A philosophical precept which recognizes that the way a person communicates, relates to others, seeks support and recognition from his environment (incentive motivation), and thinks and learns (cognition) is a product of the value system of his home and community.” (Ramirez & Castaneda, 1974, p. 23)

Although I was not born in or near Manxeba, Transkei, South Africa and am monocultural, Dr. Goduka’s lessons ignited my resolve to reach outside my normal areas of interest; my own home and community to learn more about young children needing early education. As a result of learning under Dr. Goduka, I was challenged to share what I had been taught. In turn, as the ideas Dr. Goduka planted in my mind began to take root, I chose Pacific Oaks and the Bicultural Development Specialization as I wanted to study supplementary ideas and methods to support the empowerment of bicultural children, particularly through early childhood education. This resulting research project, “Availability and Need for Early Childhood Education in The Village of Manexba, Transkei, South Africa in July 1992,” will prove to be helpful, I trust, not only to teachers and educators in the field of early childhood education but also to some similar students, who may be, as I was during this particular period of my life, learning what is means to give back a part of what has been received.

II. Problem Statement

Today’s Future Needs

The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people’s children.” (Edelman, 1996)

The future of the human species depends on children. Currently, however, albeit this fact constitutes common knowledge, in developed countries such as the United States and developing countries as South Africa, large segments of children live in physical and socio-economic deprivation. Some of these children live in dilapidated, often overcrowded, houses. Many have inadequate nutrition, insufficient medical care, poor sanitation, and lack other essentials of life.

These children’s parents are less likely to have obtained higher education, which often, due to the parents’ education level, contributes to parents’ lower economic, occupation and income statuses adversely influencing familial living conditions. In turn, these unconstructive circumstances may affect the children’s physical growth and behavioral developments. Additionally, a family’s lifestyle also influences how children grow and develop.

Black families in South Africa experience varying lifestyles, which also affects children’s growth and development processes. While some children live in intact families, with both or one parent in the home; other children live with other relatives or neighbors for extended periods of time. The children living with relatives or neighbors are born to single parents or parents who leave the homeland or resettlement areas to work in urban areas. Children left in the homeland or resettlement areas are often cared for by their siblings, relatives, or neighbors, with the caregivers perhaps too young; too old; too frail to meet the children’s physical and/or psychological needs. Early childhood education needs constitute another area frequently not met for these children. During the initial stages of this study, the needs for early childhood education, along with the number of children who not being served at this time, were considered and examined. Region 0 (see figure 1), which encompasses the Herschel district and the village of Manxeba, has the second largest proportion of children under the age of 15. Its 2 million children form over 43% of the total population of this region. Broken down into districts, Herschel has a total population of 117,305, and a population density of 62.5 persons per km, 53.3% is children aged 1-14. (Erasmus, 1991)

Over the next 45 years or so as these children and then as their children reach child-bearing age, the population of this region will likely increase rapidly. Another aggravating factor is the male: female composition of the potential economically active population (43:57). At 43% of the population in the 15 to 64 age group, Region 0 has the second lowest level of males of any region. The disproportionate number of females of child-bearing age contributes greatly to the potential for population growth in the region. (Ibid)

As the future population grows, so will the number of children and consequently, the need for early education of the young ones in this area will also increase. In response to the anticipation of even more South African children being projected to live in physical and socio-economic deprivation, concepts related to magnanimous needs for early education of young children watered my quest to prune my research subject.

As I plowed through thoughts and picked ripe kernels of knowledge planted in my mind, I ultimately harvested my research subject: “Availability and Need for Early Childhood Education in the Village of Manexba, Transkei, South Africa in July 1992; Based on Interviews and Analysis of the Human Ecosystem Structure.”

III. Purpose/Significance of the Study

Questions Answered

Of what significance the light of day, if it is not the reflection of an inward dawn?

A to what purpose is the veil of night withdrawn, if the morning reveals nothing to the soul?

It is merely garish and glaring.” (Thoreau, 1996)

This study’s focus, “Availability and Need for Early Childhood Education in the Village of Manexba, Transkei, South Africa in July 1992,” proves significant at two levels: theoretical and practical.

Theoretical significance for current research in child development and family studies proves useful to many audiences; early childhood educators, policy makers, community leaders and parents. This study also contributes practical significance in regards to policy making for Blacks in South Africa, as well as, for other groups faced with political, economic, and social problems throughout the world. Results from this study can be used to design programs related to children’s welfare, as well as, encourage support of programs designated to further early childhood education.

IV. Literature Review

Environments Examined

Let us work together to nurture our children, to let them experience the excitement and the joy of learning, and to provide them, and our nation, with a solid foundation for lifelong learning and development.”

Professor Kader Asmal, MP)

As I plowed through thoughts and picked ripe kernels of knowledge planted in my mind, I ultimately harvested my research subject: “Availability and Need for Early Childhood Education in the Village of Manexba, Transkei, South Africa in July 1992; Based on Interviews and Analysis of the Human Ecosystem Structure.”

In their outline of a human ecological model, Bubolz, Eicher, and Sontag (1979, p. 28) stress we (humans) are not independent organisms, but interdependent, not only with other individuals in society, but also with our whole environment. They explain the Human Ecosystem.”.. includes human beings existing in interaction with the total environment…,” and includes three vital organizing thoughts:

Human environed unit

Environment” (Ibid, p. 29)

Interaction between and within Human environed unit and Environment (Ibid)

Bubolz, Eicher, and Sontag (Ibid) contend that people are not independent organisms but interdependent creatures and in addition that individuals are also interdependent with.”.. other living species,… also with the total environment in which we live.” They explain the human ecosystem to include three fundamental organizing conceptions: the human environed unit (HEU); the natural environment (NE); the human constructed environment (HCE).

The following diagram portrays “The Human Ecosystem”:

Bubolz, Eicher, and Sontag (1979, p. 29)

The human environed unit (HEU) displayed in the center is located in a specific space in time and can be a sole person or a group, i.e. A family; village; town, etc. The natural environment (NE) constitutes the environment.”.. formed by nature with spec-time, physical, and biological components.” (Ibid) The human constructed environment (HCE) is described as an environment that humans have constructed, created or changed and includes.”.. cultural patterns, such as technology, language, laws, values and aesthetic standards….” (Ibid) These cultural patterns provide the foundation for communication; order, etc.

The human behavioral environment (HBE) is defined as the.”.. environment of human beings and their biophysical, psychological and social behaviors.” (Ibid, 30) An individual’s presence, as well as, his/her physical posture and body’s movements are included in HBE. According to Bubolz, Eicher, and Sontag (Ibid), for needs such as love and communication (also self-fulfillment), HBE is necessary. They present examples which reflect interactions among components in environments, as well as, between environments. Humans, they contend, are.”.. dependent on all components of their environment to satisfy needs and desires.” (Ibid). Consequently, the affect is mutual as people also affect their environments. In their article, Bubolz, Eicher, and Sontag (Ibid) contend that the ecological framework they describe can assist a researcher relate humanity concepts and.”.. The biological, physicl, and social sciences within home economics and human ecology.” (Ibid) They also note, however, during the time of their writing in 1979, the model presented is not fully developed and is in the process of being amplified.

According to “Environmental Degradation and Human Well-Being: Report of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment” (2005): the initial report from “The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, an elaborate international project set up in 2001 under UN auspices,” with the goal to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and to establish the scientific basis for actions needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems and their contributions to human well-being.” (Ibid) was published during March 2005. This effort by more than 1,000 panel experts, as well as, working affiliates, writers, plus reviewers completed numerous reports regarding “global and regional situations, scenarios of the future, and options for sustainable management.” (Ibid) “Environmental Degradation and Human Well-Being: Report of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment” (2005) relates Assessment Findings #1 and #2 “from the section of the report titled Summary for Decision-makers.” Finding #1 reports that during the past 50 years, a major, primarily permanent loss in Earth’s life diversity has occurred due to humans meeting increasing demands for water; food; fuel fiber; etc. These negative changes in the structure and functioning of the world’s ecosystems reportedly occurred faster in the second half of the twentieth century than during any other time. Finding #2 notes that despite some positive changes made to ecosystems, causing increase in “net gains in human well-being and economic development… gains have been achieved at growing costs in the form of the degradation of many ecosystem services, increased risks of nonlinear changes, and the exacerbation of poverty for some groups of people.” (Ibid) Unless countered, these concerns will dramatically decrease yields future generations could gain from ecosystems.

Also noted in this report are reflections of ongoing ecosystem concerns:

Income disparities, alongside other accounts of human well-being increased during the past 10 years.

A child born in sub-Saharan Africa is 20 times more likely to die before age 5 than a child born in an industrial country, and this disparity is higher than it was a decade ago.

During the 1990s, 21 countries experienced declines in their rankings in the Human Development Index (an aggregate measure of economic well-being, health, and education); 14 of them were in sub-Saharan Africa….

Half the urban population in Africa… suffers from one or more diseases associated with inadequate water and sanitation. Worldwide, approximately 1.7 million people die annually as a result of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.” (“Environmental Degradation and Human Well-Being: Report of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment,” 2005)

Along with reflecting statistics and concerns regarding early childhood development, methods for investing in early childhood development are presented in “Meeting the Challenge of Early Childhood Development in South Africa” (2001). Inequity of provision and opportunity in South Africa is noted with recommendations of ways to counter these negative components in the ecosystem. The National ECD Pilot Programme (sic) considers “Establishing a national system of Reception Year provision for five-year-olds… Expanding provision and building coherent and targeted inter-sectoral programmes for children from birth to four years. (“Meeting the Challenge..,” 2001, p. 2-3)

In the Preface by Kader Asmal, the Minister of Education, he notes UNICEF’ report,

The State of the World’s Children 2001… ranks South Africa 66th, behind countries such as Botswana, Nicaragua, Mexico, Libya, Sri Lanka, Jamaica and Greece, in its under-five mortality rate, a critical indicator of the well-being of children.”

Asmal contends that challenges for parents include making finding/making time; devoting energies, extending resources to adequately care for their children. To assist in success in their struggles to do what is right for/by their children, advice and counsel from support.

Approximately 40% of young children in South Africa grow up in conditions of abject poverty and neglect.” (Ibid, p. 5) Being raised in extremely poor families contributes to the urgency the Department of Education implement a plan and actions to counter challenges of early learning opportunities. Suitable interventions can repeal early deprivations’ affects, as well as, increase children’s development potential. Asmal stresses, “The challenge for the Government is to help break the cycle of poverty by increasing access to Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes (sic), particularly for poor children, and to improve the quality of these programmes (sic). (Ibid).

Child development research purports the primary part of a child’s brain development occurs before he/she is three years old. During this developing period, children “develop their abilities to think and speak, learn and reason and lay the foundation for their values and social behaviour as adults? (Ibid, p. 7) When these children receive healthy starts and solid foundations during their initial months and years, they are less likely so become ill, have to repeat grades in school or discontinue remedial services. As evidence confirms young children can learn and appropriated pre-school experiences can positively impact them and their future learning, early childhood education is necessary and needs to be a priority. Benefits netting from investing in early childhood education/development affect the rest of a child’s life. It is argued that “With quality ECD provision in South Africa:

Educational efficiency will advance. Children learning skills and basic concepts will improve their chance for success later in school.

The number of under-age and under-prepared learners will decrease, which will in turn, decrease the number of school dropouts.

Students will be more likely to reach their full potential.

Positive life skills and concepts, along with a foundation for lifelong learning will be given to students.

Children’s rights will be advanced.

Improved economic conditions and increased productivity over a lifetime will be enhanced.

Children of poor rural and poor urban communities, with urgent needs, will most likely to benefit from early childhood education/development.

Inter-generational “cycles of poverty, disease, violence and discrimination” (Ibid, p. 8-9) can begin to end.

More and more professionals and parents, along with increasing evidence confirm “young children are capable learners and that suitable educational experience during the pre-school years can have a positive impact on school learning.” (Ibid, p. 11) Investing in early childhood education presents opportunities for children to grow up in self-esteem and equality.

During the pre-school period as children develop learn to think/speak; learn/reason, the groundwork for their future values and behaviors is also laid.

Along with the need for protection from physical dangers, children ages 0-3 years of age need sufficient and/or suitable nourishment; health care; immunizations; an adult with whom they can attach, who is able to understand and respond to them. These children also need things to stimulate/nurture their senses of sight; hearing; touch; taste; smell. They need support, along with chances to discover their world and what it includes. Stimulus for fitting language is necessary, along with opportunities (and support) to acquire new language, mental and motor skills. Independence development along with assistance to learn self-control, self-care, and self-worth are needed. Other options needed to be utilized for this age children include talking; singing; being talked to, as well as, read to, skill development activities which nurture and encourage self-expression creativity. (Ibid, p. 38)

As numerous kinds of ECD services exist, fragmented services, as well as service duplications, at times present concerns and have to be addressed. Public and independent constitute the two primary categories of ECD institution-based provision. “Public ECD institutions are funded by provincial departments of education and consist of pre-primary schools that provide for ECD services and programmes (sic) for children aged 3-5 years.” (Ibid, p. 43) Despite complications and/or concerns that arise at time, without any reservations, investing in ECD is determined to provide valuable, vital social returns. Children develop holistically. All developmental domains (physical, cognitive, socio-emotional) are interrelated and interactive. Thus, when children are being studied these domains cannot be separated. Each affective behavior has a physical and cognitive counter part, and for every cognitive outcome, there are changes in affect. (Goodwin and Driscoll, 1980)

Children are part of the total environment and cannot be considered apart from these ecological factors. These factors provide opportunities for the development of children. As stated by Garbarinao (1977) there is no pure context-free environment.

Studies about children’s physical and behavioral development cannot be conducted in the professional office or laboratory. Such studies should be done in the child’s natural and social contexts. It is these ecological factors which provide the riches possible context for understanding behavioral development and physical growth.

Despite the need to consider ecological factors, Hinchey (2004, p. 20) argues that “Critical theorists and educators have no standard curriculum and pedagogy to offer. Instead of saying, as traditionalists so often do, “Here’s the way to do xyz in the classroom, critical educators speak instead of praxis: action based upon reflection, the kind of reflection this text supports.” Rather than someone dictating particular issues and strategies for a critical educator to use, each teacher/educator develops his/her personal praxis. After assessing his/her context, the teacher/educator designs fitting, subject-specific prospectus and plans. For teacher/educators to develop appropriate plans and curriculum, however, they need to be educated. In light of the need for teacher/educator education, Project for the Establishment of Pre-Primary and Primary Schools, PEPPS, began in 1989, due to South Africa’s reported massive black education problems. As PEPPS implemented its concept that “without a solid foundation in education no child can succeed at the secondary or tertiary level, or indeed in later life,” focusing on pre-school and primary school levels, PEEPS began to expand. (PEEPS, 1993, p. 2) PEEPS’ phenomenal expansion is contributed to demand for its services amongst black parents. (Reeve, 1993)

According to the 1992 Official South Africa:

White children are required to attend school; Black children are not.

Approximately 7,000,000 Black children are known to be primary school age.

Although 2500 (approximate) “open” primary schools exist, it is not possible for these schools to accommodate all black children.

A vast discrepancy exists between funds spent per White child’s education vs. money spent for education of a Black child.

82% White students reach matriculation; 18% Black student reach this point.

White education teacher/pupil ratio = 1:17. Black education teacher/pupil ration ranges from 1:40-1:60-1:100. Three – four black students may have to share one desk.

Practically all White teacher meet official minimum level requirements, while 75% Black teachers fail to meet official requirements.” (PEEPS,1993, p. 1-2)

To increase qualification of Black teachers, who work under extremely difficult conditions, PEEPS committed to continue efforts to train these teachers. During 1993, PEEPS worked informally with more than 100 under qualified pre-school and primary school. Current plans are to implement a formal training program for these teachers as upgrading teachers, PEEPS believes, requires day-to-day guidance and teaching. (PEEPS, 1993, p. 5)

Considering yet another spectrum in this study, Erasmus (1991, p 1) presents the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) as encompassing the mission “to assist in addressing the inequalities through uplifting the quality of life of the less-privileged communities in South Africa, by providing concrete support for sustainable development in a regionally oriented context.”

The purpose of Erasmus’ memorandum is purported to provide “a concise description of the socio-economic character of Region D. In order to aid regional planners in formulating strategic development proposals for the region.” (Erasmus, 1991, p S-6) Region D. is noted to be poorer than the rest of South Africa, however, during the time of Erasmus’ writing, the third largest group of people (approximately 4,7 m) lived in this area. Region D. also reportedly had the second largest percentage of children less than 15 years old of the African population. (Erasmus, 1991, p S-3)

Although Region D’s economy can only sustain employment for approximately 34% of its prospective labor force, during the past two decades this region reported the third highest economic rate (3.1%). Sub-regions of this area demarcation are reported to be magisterial districts operationally related to each other.

Community and social services and manufacturing are noted to be the greatest sectors in Region D’s economy. The GGP for community and social services equals 24.6%; GGP for manufacturing equals 23.3%. As the manufacturing’s sectors comparative significance in Region D. has dramatically diminished, this region’s economy, however is yet concentrated is considered vulnerable. “Both the community services and construction sectors have little self-perpetuating growth potential.” (Erasmus, 1991, p S-5) In addition, an uneven allocation of household expenditures linking populations is typified in Region D.

Although the entirety of Region D. is not denoted in the following graphic, Transkei is located in Region D. (Transkei Map, 2006)

The South African designated particular regions as Homelands for diverse African ethnicities during the years of Apartheid. Since 1865, the Transkei, a segment of the Cape Colony/Province (ruled by whites since 1848), became the Xhosa people’s homeland. In 1963, the Transkei received Self-Government; in 1976, full independence. The driving force behind Transkeian independence, however, reportedly was South Africa’s Apartheid regime, planning to deprive large Black populations their South African citizenship.

Despite South Africa’s Apartheid’s negative notions for the Transkei, these people depended on South Africa politically and economically. Transkei’s population in 1985 totaled 2,539,000. Of this number, 128,000 individuals worked and lived as ‘migrant workers’ in South Africa. By 1994, as the Apartheid policy had been abolished, South Africa had reintegrated the Transkei back into the country. Today, Transkei constitutes a part of the Eastern Cape Province. (Ibid)

The Transkei Flag from 31 May 1966-27 April 1994 (The Transkei, 2006)

Transkei National Anthenm

Text of National Anthem

Adopted 26 Oct 1976


Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo

Yiva imathandazo yethu

Nkosi Sikelela Nkosi Sikelela

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo

Yiva imathandazo yethu

Nkosi Sikelela

Thina lusapho lwayo.


Yihla moya, yihla moya

Yihla moya oyingcwele

Nkosi Sikelela

Thina lusapho lwayo.



God, bless Africa

May her spirit rise high up

Hear thou our prayers

God bless us.

God, bless Africa

May her spirit rise high up

Hear thou our prayers

God bless us Your family.


Descend, O Spirit

Descend, O Holy Spirit

God bless us

Your family.

Repeat)” (Transkei, 2006)

As the family acts as an immediate environment for the developing child, it also plays a key linking role in providing the conditions for interaction between the child, the natural, human behavioral, and human constructed environments. The importance of a positive environment for early childhood education, complementing familial interactions, nevertheless, has been demonstrated over and over again. Early childhood education serves as a vehicle for cognitive and intellectual growth in young. Unfortunately, it has also been demonstrated that the children of the poor tend to have less academic success than those of the wealthy.

As the literary review literary unearthed more and more and more information related to: “Availability and Need for Early Childhood Education in the Village of Manexba, Transkei, South Africa in July 1992,” it confirmed my hypothesis that the needs assessed in this study were and continue to be critical. It also cultivated a field of other areas of interest that could be reviewed and assessed in the future.


Examining Necessities

Explore, and explore.

Be neither chided nor flattered out of your position of perpetual inquiry.

Neither dogmatize, or accept another’s dogmatism.” (Emerson, 1996).

Methodology for this study incorporated numerous types of data including, but was not limited to historical, demographic information about life in the Herschel district of South Africa, personal interviews with preschool teachers currently in the village, and statistical information identifying population size, growth, and composition. Through personal observation, interviews and literature I identified the necessity for early childhood education to assist in the overall development of the Black child in Manxeba, Transkei, South Africa. This was achieved by examining the three environments, natural, human constructed, and human behavioral, included in the human ecosystem model as developed by Bubolz, Eicher, and Sontag (1979).

In addition, research concerning children’s growth and development and statistical information (geography, employment, family structure, availability of early childhood education) in the district of Herschel, South Africa was analyzed.

Questions asked of three of the area’s six preschool teachers (Herschel Department of Education, 1992) and in turn, answered gave specific focus to the research activities and help demonstrate the argument for early childhood education in the district of Herschel. This investigation explored variables previously unrehearsed in regard to South African context of ecological factors which have an impact on forecasting a need for early childhood education in this region.

The Queenstown Early Learning Centre (QELC), which began in 1989 and provides assistance and training for individuals engaged in pre-school education.”.. In an area totally devoid of facilities for pre-school teacher training,” (Quenstown…, 1990/1991, p. 1; 6) recognizes the value of individuals; institutions; governments determining and implementing ways to harness humans’ dormant potential. As an independent, non-racial educational center, Queenstown Early Learning Centre trains, supports and provides sources to those in the pre-school field.

Reportedly, possibly 3% of children 0-6 years of age, who constitute approximately 20% of the 6.5 million South African population, receive pre-school education. In meeting early education needs, QELC’s staff members are reminded to note Aristotle’s words, “They who educate children well are to be honoured (sic)more than they who produce them: these only gave them life, those the art of living.” (Ibid) Aims for this center include goals to:

Support and promote children’s interests, regardless of creed or race;

Constantly assess/address needs; create/implement plans to address needs in training programs;

Promote education awareness; serve as catalyst to encourage/insure future development;

Provide support through staff fieldwork and resources to stimulate education programs;

Encourage caregivers and community involvement in children’s care/education.

QELC noted growth in number of educators/teachers who attended their cources:

1989: 50 Teachers were trained

1990: 106 Teachers were trained

1991: 164 Teachers were trained.” (Ibid, p. 6)

Course Statistics

Queenstown Teacher Educare Course

Advanced Educare and Community Organisational Training Course

Farm Educare Orientatino Programme

Transkei Teachers Educare Course

Ibid, p. 7)

Along with courses for educators/teachers which include (but not limited to) Queenstown Teacher Educare Course; Advanced Educare; Community Organisational Training Course; Farm Educare Orientatino Programme; Transkei Teachers Educare Course, QELC provides in-service for staff: Communication and Training Skills Course (CATS) and Training or Effective Management (TEM). (Ibid, p. 8) Numerous other recourses are also available for educators/teachers to use with/for students in early education classes. These resources include:.”.. An educational toy shop, a waste room, an improvised equipment display, a video and reference library, an advisory service and information data-bank.” (Ibid, p. 9)

In addition to facilitating and encourage play the toy shop offers incentives and serves as a means for completing craftwork and stimulating creativity. Paper supplies; cards; magazines; etc. are collected and housed in the “waste room” for teachers to utilize in/for children’s projects. (Ibid)

In Western Tanskei, QELC worked with 30 educare centers. For staff/teachers to reach their distant village destinations, they had to endure rough environments and travel over terrible terrain (bumpy dirt roads), not serviced by any buses; taxis; trains. (Ibid, p. 11) In addition to lack of transport services and practically inaccessible locations, unemployment levels of those in villages are reported to be “unprecedented. Commitments of teachers and community members, nevertheless, was evident as 256 individuals attended an educare meeting in Whittleesa. Parents, it was reported,.”.. actively participate in regional study groups and workshops for teachers attending the courses.” (Ibid, p.13)

Poverty in this area is reflected by the “ancient wattle and daub housing and high unemployment.” (Ibid, p. 14) Teachers’ dedication is mirrored as they faithfully attend weekly QELC training sessions after walking several kilometers over mountainous areas.

Statistics and Methodology specifics need to be inserted here.

Utilizing the ecosystem method for analysis clarifies the need to look at the child as a part of a larger system; and identifies targeted areas of concern fro parent education of different age groups; support and also establishes child care programs aimed at holistic child development, working community programs, as well as, other projects for families.

The ecosystem model particularly proved profitable when explaining factors that encroach on the welfare of Black children in Manxeba, Transkei, South Africa.

VI. Scope/Limitations

Language Limits

The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” (Wittgenstein, 1996)

As South African Blacks are bicultural, oppressed by the white Africans’ population, the scope of my study was impacted by our cultural differences, however,… (needs personal thoughts to complement; complete)

Delimitations of this study were also at times amplified by language differences. (Expansion needed) understand utilizing questions rather than hypotheses makes for weaker relationships in findings, however, the generated hypotheses which followed the analysis of the data collected, despite limitations, proved to be practical for future research studies.

VII. Results

Needs Confirmed

The study and knowledge of the universe would somehow be lame and defective were no practical results to follow.” (Cicero, 1996)

The human ecosystem used in this study to examine factors in the child’s ecosystem confirmed a need for early childhood education, which in turn, contributed to a better understanding of the growth and development of Black South African children of the Transkei.

Researcher’s personal results to be added to this section.

Results from this study will hopefully… researcher’s thought.

VIII. Analysis/Discussion

Planting seeds of Knowledge

Man is not a farmer, or a professor, or an engineer, but he is all.

Man is priest, and scholar, and statesman, and producer, and soldier.” (Emerson, 1996)

As we become more global in our field, assessing children’s conditions internationally constitutes vital information that for prior generations had been unavailable or inaccessible, due to social and political happenings in this country.

Furthermore, using the ecosystem framework strengthens the credibility of looking at the whole child from a developmental perspective; to gain meaning from the whole of the systems with which they interact.

Several personally significant learning experiences that occurred in the process of this study… Researcher’s comments in this section….

IX. Implications

Good Thing

Let… individuals make the most of what God has given them, have their neighbors do the same, and then do all they can to serve each other.

There is no use in one man, or one nation, to try to do or be everything.

It is a good thing to be dependent on each other….” (Sojourner Truth, 1996)

Researcher’s comments to be expanded in this section.

A teacher or educator, just as a farmer has particular processes to perform using certain resources to accomplish a particular goal or task and/or harvest a particular product. During the process, obstacles and challenges will be countered. A farmer faces conditions with his/her obstacles/resources that include their own mode of operation and structure. “Seeds sprout, rain falls, the sun shines, insects devour, blight comes, the seasons change.” (Hinchey, 2004, p. 125) Before a farmer begins to farm, he notes soil and climate conditions; plant characteristics; etc. And considers implications. The farmer’s goal is to use conditions for his activities/energies to complement each other, rather than antagonize each other. A teacher or educator does the same. he/she considers not only his/her goals/aims for students’ growth, but plans, observes and chooses what will work best to nurture student’s learning. In the process, a child’s soil (environment); climate conditions (culture); familial characteristics; along with numerous other factors of the ecosystem are considered. Through the processes of observing, choosing, and planning, the teacher/educator maintains his/her goal to use conditions for his activities/energies to complement each other, rather than antagonize each other, and in turn, a child begins to grown in knowledge. (Ibid) Although this researcher believes this subject needs ongoing assessment and study, two specific fruits (implications) were harvested from this growing season’s study: 1. It is a good thing to be interdependent. 2. Early Childhood Education is needed – no matter where a child is born.

The power we exert over the future behavior of our children is enormous.

Even after they have left home, even after we have left the world, there will always be part of us that will remain with them forever.” (Kurshan, 1996)


The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. (2000).

Houghton Mifflin Company.

Asmal, Kader. (2001). “Meeting the Challenge of Early Childhood Development in South Africa.” Education White Paper 5 on Early Childhood Education. Retrieved at (

Bubolz, Margaret M.,Eicher, Joanne B. & Sontag, M. Suzanne / (1979). Michigan Agricultural

Experiment Station Journal. No. 8050.

Cicero, Marcus Tullius. (1996). The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia

University Press. Retrieved on July 21, 2006 at

Critical Pedagogy,” (2006). Retrieved on July 19, 2006 at

Darder,…. (1991)

Erasmus, J. (1991). “Economic and Social Memorandum Region D.” Development Bank of Southern Africa. Republic of South Africs.

Fuller, B., Liang, X., & Hua, H. (1996). Did Black Literacy Rise after Soweto?: Public Problems and Ethnic Archipelagos in South Africa. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 37(1-2), 97+.

Garbarinao (1977)

Goodwin and Driscoll. (1980)

Edelman, Marian Wright. (1996). The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia

University Press. Retrieved on July 19, 2006 at

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. (1996). The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia

University Press. Retrieved on July 19, 2006 at

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. (1996). The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia

University Press. Retrieved on July 21, 2006 at

History of Transkei 1963-1994. (2006). World History at KMLA. Retrieved on July 20, 2006

Hymes, Jr., James L. (1996). The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia

University Press. Retrieved on July 19, 2006 at

Kurshan, Neil. (1996). The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved on July 22, 2006 at

Queenstown Early Learning Centre Annual Report (1990/1991). Queenstown.

Reeve, Anthony. (1993). Letter to “Whom it may concern,”regarding PEPPS.

Sojourner Truth. (1996). Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia

University Press. Retrieved on July 19, 2006 at

Thoreau, Henry David. (1996). The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia

University Press. Retrieved on July 19, 2006 at

Transkei. (2006). Retrieved on July 19, 2006 at

Transkei Map. (2006). Retrieved July 19, 2006 at

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Early Childhood Education

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