We are thrilled to congratulate Dr. Ncediswa Zukani, Lecturer in the Early Childhood Education Unit at SANTS, for obtaining her Doctor of Philosophy in Education from the University of Fort Hare! The title of the thesis is “Quality of Early Childhood Care Education Learning Programs in Preschools in the East London Education District.”
Dr. Zukani’s groundbreaking research delved into the quality of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programs offered at Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers in the East London Education District in South Africa. Her study incorporated contemporary educational theories and models, including Woodhead’s model of Quality, Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory, and Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Cognitive Development Theory, to provide a comprehensive understanding of child development in multifaceted environmental settings.
Using a qualitative, in-depth, descriptive exploratory approach that involved semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and focus group discussions, Dr. Zukani identified three critical domains of quality in ECD:
1️. Structural Quality: Focusing on the learning environment, staff qualifications, educator-to-child ratios, professional development activities, ECCE legislative frameworks, and home support.
2️. Process Quality: Encompassing curriculum content, pedagogy, effective teaching strategies, and educator-child interactions, evaluated using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS).
3️. Systematic Quality: Highlighting the importance of pedagogy, curriculum, and ECCE classroom interactions to create high-quality educational settings, promoting pre-literacy activities for children’s school readiness.
Dr. Zukani’s dedication and research have culminated in an insightful and transformative study. One article has already been published from her thesis, and two more are currently undergoing peer review.
We congratulate Dr. Ncediswa Zukani on this remarkable achievement. Your commitment to advancing early childhood education is inspiring, and we are proud to have you as part of our academic community.
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