|dc.description.abstract||The Basic Concepts Mediated Learning Programme (BCMLP) was developed to enhance the cognitive and scholastic functioning of learners who experience barriers to learning in the early years of schooling in the South African context. The study aimed to initiate a process of evaluation of the efficacy of this metacognitive programme with Grade 2 learners from the ‘Cape Flats’, an historically disadvantaged community in Cape Town. The study was conducted simultaneously in two local education authorities by independent teams of fieldworkers in each of the education authorities. This quantitative, quasi-experimental, non-equivalent comparison group design study was implemented with learners who were equally assigned to an Experimental group (N=54) or Comparison group (N=55). English home-language and Bilingual (English and Afrikaans) learners made up a majority of the study sample. The study was conducted in English.
Extensive pre-test and post-test batteries consisting of cognitive (information-processing), cognitive modifiability (dynamic assessment), and scholastic tests were used to collect data. A number of structured interview schedules including post-intervention teacher rating scales were also used for the purpose of data gathering. The results from the parametric and non-parametric methods of data analysis selected, revealed a pattern of significant pre- to post-study cognitive and scholastic gains in scores for learners in both the Experimental and Comparison groups (p<0.05). In addition, it was found that the study participants, irrespective of their designation to the Experimental or Comparison group became more modifiable and demonstrated enhanced information-processing abilities at the end of the study. Significantly greater gains were, however, attained by learners in the Experimental group in a majority of the areas assessed (7 out of 12) (p<0.05). Learners in the Experimental group were also found to be more responsive to instruction and modifiable than learners in the Comparison group.
Learners who participated in the BCMLP were found to benefit with respect to their knowledge of basic concepts, cognitive and scholastic functioning. However, it was not possible to infer from the current study that findings were attributable to any one specific procedure (mediational teaching, concept teaching, vocabulary teaching and teaching to enhance information-processing) or process (Basic Concept Teaching Model) of this metacognitive programme. Furthermore, the study had a number of limitations and findings should be regarded with some caution until replication studies can be completed and the long-term effects of the study can be evaluated.
The study provides some evidence for the efficacy of short-term, small group intervention programmes implemented by Learning Support Teachers within disadvantaged communities. The study also provides some initial evidence for the efficacy of the BCMLP (a specially designed metacognitive programme). The BCMLP was found to be both appropriate and manageable for Learning Support Teachers to implement in the South African context||en_US