Transforming vocational education: One lecturer at a time

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Neville Rudman
Leslie Meiring


The South African technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college sector faces a
myriad development needs, including the academic, professional and motivational preparedness
of college lecturers.1 While attention is being paid to dealing with challenges at colleges at the
macro-level or systemic level, there appears to be less focus on the micro- level, that is, on lecturers
or teachers and their day-to-day classroom challenges. This article reflects on a case study involving
TVET college lecturers who participated in a professional development programme that attempted
to incorporate principles of a humanising pedagogy in its design and delivery. Feedback was
obtained about the influence of the course on classroom practice shortly after the programme,
and, again, two years later, it was elicited through a small-scale study of participant self-reflections.
Qualitative data revealed that the participants had perceived a positive and potentially
transformative influence on their practice, which they related to their exposure to the principles of
humanising pedagogy. By revisiting and sharing what was learned in a study that preceded a new
lecturer development policy and bringing into focus the principles of humanising pedagogy, we
hope to inspire those in our university faculties who are currently designing qualifications for
college lecturers. Our contention is that infusing these principles into new curricula could possibly
contribute to transforming this sector – one lecturer at a time.

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