Exploring Business Studies teachers’ perspectives on teaching Grade 12 learners for Entrepreneurship.
Dube, Zinhle Thabisile Angeline.
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South Africa is faced with high unemployment rate, especially amongst learners leaving school. One of the aims of the South African Business Studies curriculum is to ensure that learners acquire and apply skills and knowledge in ways that are meaningful to their own lives after they complete Grade 12 and they enter the job market (Department of Basic Education, 2011). These skills are believed to enhance the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Business Studies learners, thereby reducing unemployment and poverty. Therefore, this qualitative research study explores Business Studies teachers’ perspectives on teaching Grade 12 learners for entrepreneurship. The study employed a qualitative method to provide an in-depth insight into teachers’ perspectives on teaching Grade 12 learners for entrepreneurship. The data generation method of the study was influenced by the interpretive paradigm. Data was generated in three secondary schools in Pinetown District, and three teachers (one from each school) were purposively selected to participate in this study. Thematic analysis was employed in order to explore different perspectives of teachers on the teaching of entrepreneurship. Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were used for this research. In addition, the theory of scaffolding was used as a lens to explore Business Studies teachers’ perspectives on teaching Grade 12 learners for entrepreneurship, and ethical issues were considered. The research was carried out after the ethical clearance approval from the University of KwaZulu-Natal ethics office was obtained. The findings were presented using pseudonyms to protect the identity of the participants. Findings indicated that the teaching of entrepreneurship was too theoretical and lacked practical based activities such as market days and on the job training. The results also indicated a lack of interest from learners which possibly resulted from the lack of practical based activities. Teachers further remarked that the teaching of entrepreneurship should empower learners by allowing theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom to be put to real-world practice, which may also include interacting with economic, production, marketing, promotion and other inherent business processes, tasks and opportunities of entrepreneurial activities. Furthermore, participants indicated that their perspectives were influenced by inadequate teaching time, CAPS-driven teaching and assessment activities, and lack of teaching and learning resources. Other factors included the language barrier in the teaching of entrepreneurship, overcrowded classes, and the inability of learners to grasp the subject content. The key recommendations of the study included: the need for the Department of Education to review the Business Studies curriculum to include practical based activities in order to awaken interest in the learners; encouragement of further workshops for pre-and in-service teachers to empower them (teachers) with the necessary knowledge, skills and training for effective teaching of entrepreneurship; as well as encouraging small sizes by erecting more classroom buildings, and allocating more time for the teaching and learning of entrepreneurship.