Early Childhood development Level 4 learnership: A qualitative study of the curriculum responsiveness to the needs of experienced ECD teachers

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This study aimed to explore whether the curriculum and pedagogy of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Level 4 Learnership recognized the informal knowledge of experienced practitioners. It focused on whether the curriculum and pedagogy considered the experiences of adult learners and to what extent adult education principles were followed in its delivery. A review of the literature in South Africa showed that there is a very limited amount of research on the training of ECD practitioners. The study considered the experiences of adult students completing their Learnership at two TVET colleges in Cape Town and focused on practices that could potentially have followed principles of adult learning as well as the recognition of prior experiential learning. The research explored whether the ECD teachers who had gained entry to the Learnership felt that their prior experiential knowledge was considered in the delivery of the learnership. The research adopted a qualitative and exploratory approach, using a conceptual frame drawn from the theoretical literature on adult learning, and on the Recognition of Prior Learning. The research design adopted a mixed methods approach involving interviews with the ECD managers at two TVET colleges and eight ECD teachers drawn from four different ECD centres in Mitchells Plain. A purposive sampling technique was used to select the research participants and semi-structured interviews were conducted face-to-face with each participant. In addition, data was collected via classroom observations as well as relevant policy and course documents. The analysis of research findings revealed that although ECD teachers without formal training had considerable understanding of how to educate the young children in their classes, this rich experiential knowledge was not drawn on during the initial process of entry into the learnership, nor in the curriculum or teaching strategies within the ECD Level 4 Learnership. The thesis ends by noting that there are various ways in which ECD teachers could have been better assisted.