Teachers' understanding and implementation of the design process as it relates to teaching Technology Education in the intermediate and senior phases (Grades 4-9) in the General Education and Training Band in KwaZulu-Natal
De Jager, Maria Louisa Elizabeth
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Outcomes-based education compelled South African teachers to make an important paradigm shift in education from a teacher-centred approach to a learner-centred approach. This paradigm shift in teaching and learning emphasised an active participation of learners which necessitated Technology Education (TE) teachers to restructure their teaching strategies in terms of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS). Conducted within a constructivist paradigm, this study was based on Shulman‟s (1986, 2004) theory of pedagogical and content knowledge, and Vygotsky‟s (1978) zone of proximal development within social constructivism. Using a mixed method approach, this study investigated teachers‟ understanding and implementation of the design process as it relates to teaching TE in the intermediate and senior phases (Grades 4–9) of the General Education and Training Band in KwaZulu-Natal. The study also considered the training of TE teachers in a bid to facilitate teaching and learning in the classroom and to enable learners to become creative and critical problem solvers. Analysis of the questionnaire and semi-structured responses revealed that teachers were interpreting and implementing policy differently and that they were not adequately trained to teach TE. As a result, classroom practice in terms of teaching and learners‟ experience of the design process in TE also differed. Valuable lessons were learned in this study for the structuring of training programmes for teachers in Technology Education to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom. Therefore, based on the findings, this study makes recommendations regarding teaching, learning, assessment, and training of teachers in TE.