Construction of learning outcomes by Life Orientation lectures using teaching and learning resources for their lessons at a Further Education and Training (FET) college in KwaZulu-Natal.
The focus and purpose of the study is to investigate how Life Orientation lecturers construct learning outcomes using teaching/learning resources for their lessons at a Further Education and Training (FET) College in KwaZulu Natal. After 1994, in the new South Africa, outcomes-based education became the National policy for teaching and learning, with the National Curriculum Vocational (NCV) Programme implemented in the Further FET sector in 2007. The study allows for clarity of misconceptions and misunderstandings that still exist amongst those lecturers who teach Life Orientation around the concept ‘learning outcomes’ in view of OBE and in relation to aims and objectives. The researcher has observed over the past five years as a senior lecturer of Life Orientation that lecturers use the outcomes as prescribed in the Department subject assessment guidelines in their lesson plans without giving much thought around how these outcomes are going to be observed and measured in their lessons. Further observations revealed that when Life Orientation lecturers are engaged in the construction of the learning outcomes for their lessons they fail to evaluate the learning outcomes against the different levels of taxonomies of learning so as to ensure that the learning outcomes are observable and measurable at the end of a lesson. The research is situated in an interpretivist paradigm with its emphasis on construction of learning outcomes. Since this study requires gaining an in-depth knowledge and greater understanding of outcomes it will be conducted within the qualitative framework (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003). Therefore the study will ensure that the relevant data is generated around learning outcomes within the theoretical framework of Bloom’s taxonomy of thinking behaviors using the activity theory to explain the data. The purposive selection method was used whereby the participants for the study included four lecturers who teach Life Orientation at a FET college in KwaZulu Natal. Triangulation of three instruments namely reflection questions, interviews and document analysis was used for data generation. The study found that Life Orientation lecturers construction of learning outcomes are a regurgitation of the subject assessment guidelines with no further evidence of their lesson outcomes. As a result students are being deemed ‘competent’ in Life Orientation but are ‘incompetent’ in many areas after having progressed from the previous NCV level. In view of this it can be suggested that lecturers should organize themselves into Life Orientation teams where they can brainstorm suggestions, ideas and practical measures for their lesson plans by covering all the learning outcomes so as to ensure that their students are able to achieve these learning outcomes.