All countries, and South Africa is no exception, face acute dilemmas in modernising their systems of upper secondary and further education and training. Faced with pressures from the fast changing world of work, this education sector has become characterized by political slogans stressing skill development, improved access and participation, and the accountability of providers through some form of market. On the other hand, the phenomenon of academic drift reveals that students increasingly see their future as progressing to higher education. Policymakers attempt to resolve these competing demands by calling for transferable, portable outcomes and qualifications as the new currency of an increasingly market-type system.
Whilst acknowledging this context, this book seeks to remind policymakers, researchers and teachers that students continue with their education and training primarily to acquire knowledge, be it disciplinary, professional or vocational and are not necessarily focused on achieving outcomes or qualifications. Knowledge is as important for those who do not progress to university as for those who do, and must be the starting point for the reform of curriculum, pedagogy and qualifications.
Although focused on the current situation in South Africa, this book offers a set of refreshing, well-argued messages to those working in education in both developed and developing countries.
1.Introduction: Setting a context for debates about the senior secondary curriculum Michael Young and Jeanne Gamble
Part 1 Qualifications and curriculum reform
2.Problems with qualification reform in senior secondary education in South Africa Stephanie Matseleng Allais
3.Reforming the Further Education and Training curriculum: An international perspective Michael Young
Part 2 Knowledge differentiation
4.Differentiation and progression in the curriculum Johan Muller
5.Theory and practice in the vocational curriculum Jeanne Gamble
6.Conceptualising vocational knowledge: Some theoretical considerations Michael Young
Part 3 Between the workplace and higher education: Making the curriculum
7.Universities and the shaping of the Further Education and Training Certificate Paula Ensor
8.Vocational knowledge and vocational pedagogy Michael Barnett