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Perspectives on a mediating role for effective teaching and learning of Life Orientation in the Further Education and Training (FET) Band in schools under the Pinetown District of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Mashiya, N.J.
dc.contributor.advisor Govender, S. Zulu, Gladstone Khulani 2017-01-19T12:15:45Z 2017-01-19T12:15:45Z 2016
dc.description A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Education in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instructional Studies at the University Of Zululand, 2016 en_US
dc.description.abstract The inclusion of the subject, Life Orientation, in the school curriculum for a democratic education dispensation was the realisation of the recommendation of the National Education Crisis Committee or NECC (1992) in its research for a curriculum model for a post-apartheid society (CUMSA) and Educational Renewal Strategy (ERS). The NECC (1992: 79) emphasised that lifestyle education was essential for a post-apartheid curriculum in order to incorporate knowledge of and guidance on religion, economic education and physical education, to be directed at norms, values, personal convictions and attitude to life (including an emphasis on openness to and acceptance of the convictions and attitudes of others). However, studies have highlighted that Life Orientation is generally considered an appendage, an additional subject that is perceived as being of lesser importance in the school curriculum (Chisholm, 2000; Jansen, 1997; Christie, 1999). Such claims are based on the following facts: Life Orientation has the least number of periods in the school timetable; there is no formal assessment of the Life Orientation knowledge, skills, values and attitudes; learners’ performance in Life Orientation counts for less on their school-leaving certificates, than their performance in other subjects; and there is no accountability on the part of teachers with regard to learners’ performance in the subject. Therefore, results obtained in the subject do not add value in the certification process of the learner in the Further Education and Training (FET) Band. While reforms and changes have been introduced in the South African schooling curriculum for a democratic political and social dispensation, educational researchers (Chisholm, 2000; Jansen, 1997; Christie, 1999) have highlighted the challenges facing the successful implementation of the new curriculum. This study considers the mediation of the subject curriculum to be the main challenge in the successful implementation of the national curriculum statement, which provides teachers with guidelines on why, what and how classroom practice ought to be. Through the lens of the tuition of a specific subject, this study considers the competence of teachers in mediating Life Orientation in the FET Phase. This study attempted to answer the following research questions: • What paradigm informs the mediation strategies of teachers of Life Orientation? • How do teachers’ mediation strategies align content, intended outcomes and assessment for daily learning activities? • Why do teachers perceive their mediation strategies as being congruent with the attainment of the Life Orientation curriculum statement and learning outcomes? This study targeted teachers involved in the teaching of Life Orientation in the FET Phase: that is, Grades 10, 11 and 12 teachers in schools in the vicinity of the Pinetown District. A mixed method design was used to investigate teachers’ perceptions and competencies in teaching Life Orientation in the Further Education and Training band. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection instruments were used to collect data from the participants. The researcher used open-ended questionnaires for data collection with regard to the perspectives on a mediating role for the effective teaching of Life Orientation in the FET band. The research was conducted with Grades 10, 11 and 12 Life Orientation (L.O.) teachers. There are 167 secondary schools under Pinetown District and the questionnaires were administered in 30 of the 167 secondary schools. A total of 60 teachers, that is, 2 teachers per school, teaching Grades 10, 11 and 12 were used as respondents to the questionnaires in order to answer the research question. The purpose of the survey questionnaire was to collect information regarding L.O.’s academic value, L.O. teachers’ preparedness and L.O. mediation strategies. Interviews were also used to collect qualitative data from the participants who were teachers who teach Life Orientation in the FET phase. According to McMillan and Schumacher (2010), in-depth interviews use open-response questions to obtain data on participants’ meanings regarding how individuals conceive of their world and how they explain or make sense of the important events in their lives. According to the collected data, the participants felt very strong about the importance and the academic value of the subject LO in the FET curriculum. They emphasised that the subject was invaluable in the effective teaching of the learners at this stage in order to prepare them for future careers and as future citizens. They felt a need for the subject to be recognised and to be treated with some degree of the value it deserves within the curriculum. It was mentioned by the participants that the teachers who teach the subject have to be well-prepared and trained, and also that they need to have a specialised knowledge and understanding for the effective teaching and learning of the subject to happen. Over and above they have to be passionate about the subject, and be willing to sacrifice their time and talents to develop themselves and to teach better. A variety of mediation strategies that are learner-centred were identified as the best strategies to teach the subject, in order to improve and develop learner knowledge and understanding around the subject. Strategies that keep learners fully involved in their learning and development were seen as the best strategies. Participants felt that learners learn better when they find information on their own and when they interact with others to develop knowledge and understanding. This study recommends that Life Orientation must be treated in the same manner as other subjects in the curriculum and that this needs to be shown in the allocation of time to teach the subject. It is very disturbing to learn that this subject is sacrificed a lot to benefit other priority subjects in the FET curriculum. It should always be remembered that this subject was introduced for the purpose of a holistic development of the learners. With the identified academic value of the subject, L.O., it is without doubt that the subject is indispensable within the FET curriculum. en_US
dc.publisher University of Zululand en_US
dc.subject teaching and learning --Further Education and Training (FET) --schools --KZN en_US
dc.title Perspectives on a mediating role for effective teaching and learning of Life Orientation in the Further Education and Training (FET) Band in schools under the Pinetown District of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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