Classroom experiences of lecturers in implementing the new national certificate-marketing : life histories of three FET college lecturers in KwaZulu-Natal.
The merging of 150 technical colleges into 50 multi-site Further Education and Training Colleges brought with it a lot of change; one of which was curriculum innovation. The latest curriculum to be introduced was the National Certificate (Vocational); a three year qualification aimed at providing a vocational qualification to those exiting at level 4 on the NQF. One of the programmes on offer is the National Certificate-Marketing. Several subjects make up this programme but this study focuses on marketing. The choice to focus on this subject was motivated by my years of lecturing on the subject, my involvement as an assessor and Head of the Marketing Subject Committee. The rationale of this study was to describe the classroom experiences of lecturers involved in the implementation of the National Certificate-Marketing programme. Data on the classroom experiences of FET college lecturers in implementing this new curriculum reform is absent. Out of four FET colleges that offer the National Certificate-Marketing programme, three colleges were chosen purposively. The sample comprised of two urban area campus sites and one rural area campus site. The theoretical poles underpinning the study are Phenomenology and Globalisation. Being qualitative in nature, the study sought to find the meanings that these lecturers have attached to their classroom experiences. To this end, Limited topical life history accounts of three FET college lecturers in KwaZulu-Natal were undertaken. The use of in-depth semi-structured interviews and photovoice as data collection methods were well suited to achieve this. The degree of flexibility that these methods offered enabled me to collect rich data that unveiled the classroom experiences obtained when implementing the new curriculum. The narrative approach was used to analyse the data. Main themes were drawn from these narratives and these were discussed in the last chapter. Both the findings and the discussion may have implications for management of classrooms, training of lecturers, and support for new lecturers and the enrolment of learners. In summary, the findings of the study suggest that lecturers have had a lot of challenges in implementing this curriculum including lack of proper initial training, inadequate resources, learner diversity, lack of commitment and enthusiasm from learners, increase in workloads, overly bearing recording and reporting processes and insufficient support structures. It was noted that these findings are similar to those of other education sectors both at home and abroad. In spite of these challenges, this study noted the enthusiasm, dedication, commitment and robustness with which the participants in this study have thus far implemented the curriculum. The ingenuity in their work and passion for their learners was also clearly demonstrated throughout the interviews and photovoice sessions.