Perceptions of life orientation teachers regarding the implementation of the learning area in grades 8 and 9: A survey in selected western cape high schools

Van Deventer K.J. (2008)

Article

In an attempt to break the cycle aimed at maintaining social and ideological control the new South African (SA) government has established a new legal and policy framework for education and training. The result was Outcomes-based Education (OBE). As a reform OBE promised to improve the quality of education for all in SA. This article, which focuses on the Senior Phase (SP), is part of a larger study that studied Life Orientation (LO) teachers' perceptions on the implementation of LO in Grades R-11. The main problem was to determine the perceptions of LO teachers in the SP regarding the implementation of LO with specific reference to the Learning Outcome, Physical Development and Movement (PDM) in selected Western Cape high schools. Quantitative and qualitative data captured by a questionnaire typifies the research design as a survey. In the survey N= 124 high schools were randomly selected of which n=30 LO teachers in the SP returned questionnaires. Summary statistics using frequency tables and histograms were utilised. The data were analysed by Statistka 8.0 (STATSOFT, 2007). For the purpose of this article no comparisons were drawn between the different grades of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS). Every aspect as stipulated by the NCS seemed to be in place for the presentation of LO in the SP. However, the teachers were not fully qualified to teach LO in the sense that the majority of LO teachers were not qualified in Physical Education (PE) to present PDM. Notwithstanding the status of LO, the situation holds specific implications for the growth and development of SP learners. It is recommended that the Department of Education (DoE) should take the initiative and lead in this regard to urgently provide specialist LO teachers for the SP. However, Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) should become more involved in training initiatives for prospective teachers in LO.

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