Empowering teachers to implement the life orientation learning area in the senior phase of the General Education and Training Band
Thesis (MEd)--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.
When CURRICULUM 2005, hereafter C2005 (Department of Education [DoE], 1997b), was implemented in Grade 7 in 2000 none of the in-service teachers were sufficiently trained to teach Life Orientation. Higher Education Institutions had only then started to adapt teacher-training programmes to meet the needs of an outcomesbased curriculum for all aspiring teachers. Some in-service teachers had been trained as subject specialists in some of the focus areas contained within Life Orientation, like Physical Education, Guidance and Religious Education, but no teacher had been trained, pre-service or in-service, to be a specialist in all of the focus areas contained within Life Orientation. The Department of Education prepared teachers for the implementation of C2005 (DoE, 1997b) by means of a weeklong orientation programme. Teachers were orientated to an outcomes-based philosophy and teaching approach, and to specific outcomes and assessment criteria, but no content training was offered. A Life Orientation teacher is expected to have a body of knowledge on a range of subjects or focus areas as prescribed by the specific outcomes (DoE, 1997b). This study is aimed at researching the Life Orientation learning area and investigating the ways and level of preparation teachers had received to equip them to implement Life Orientation in the Senior Phase of the General Education and Training Band. A case study was used as a research design and specific schools in the Education Management and Development Centre Metropole North were selected to participate in the case study. Qualitative and quantitative data were obtained through questionnaires, interviews and observations. A descriptive research strategy was employed to capture, analyse and interpret the data. The research found that there were gaps in the preparation of Life Orientation teachers to implement C2005 (DoE, 1997b). Recommendation are made with regard to training and support programmes to ensure that teachers are adequately empowered to implement Life Orientation in the Revised National Curriculum Statement (DoE, 2002b) in the General Education and Training Band and in the National Curriculum Statement (DoE, 2003b) in the Further Education and Training Band.