Stories of experience: lecturers’ pathways of learning to teach in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges.
Mashiloane, Tshepang Monica.
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This study titled, “Stories of experience: Lecturers’ pathways of learning to teach in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges”, draws on the reconstructed stories of four participants, Queen, Aya, Khuse and Joshua. These four participants are lecturers who work in two KwaZulu-Natal TVET colleges, within the Hospitality and Business Studies department. In their stories they share their personal and professional experiences. Their experiences came into being through a series of life events and gave a glimpse of who they are, what meanings they adapted to negotiate their complex selves and their choice of being teachers in TVET colleges. This study is grounded by the narrative inquiry approach which uses stories as the methodological approach to generate stories of lived experiences. In understanding the participants’ lived experiences, the study is located within the interpretivist paradigm. To generate data, I used collage inquiry, artefact inquiry and unstructured interviews to capture the meaning in the daily lives of participants. I captured their personal-professional knowledge, hopes, feelings, challenges, aspirations, inspirations of what it means to be a TVET lecturer in relation to the various reforms and policy requirements. I used Rodgers and Scott’s (2008) Social Identity Theory and Bell and Gilbert (1994) Model of Professional Development Theory to analyse the participants lived experiences. The personal-professional identities of TVET lecturers are an ongoing process and constructed and reconstructed against internal; self-motivation, self-initiated learning and external; relationships, socio-political, religious and cultural forces. It is these forces that shaped and continue to shape lecturers’ identities. Lecturers pathways of learning to teach in TVET colleges enabled them to develop a range of networks and relationships both socially and professionally. Engaging in varied forms of formal- university courses, non-formal- collage based-initiatives and informal- organized social interactions spaces of learning, they widened and deepened their understanding of what (content) they were teaching, who (diverse students) they were teaching and where (context) they were teaching.