Leading curriculum change in South African technical and vocational education and training colleges

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Tercia Terblanche
Eli Bitzer


This article proposes that the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college
curriculum in South Africa needs restructuring in order for it to support more innovative
responses to industry requirements and TVET standards. The ultimate aim of this study was to
develop a framework for leading curriculum change in the South African TVET college sector, a
framework that will be able to support training and capacity-building among TVET college
leaders to bring about long-overdue curriculum change. To achieve this aim, curriculum
leadership is essential. The multi-phased, mixed-methods research design used in this study
involved a questionnaire survey and follow-up group interviews with TVET college staff
representative of five TVET colleges in the Western Cape province. Based on these data sources,
the study reports on a range of current curriculum challenges in TVET colleges which formed the
basis for suggesting a research-based framework to train leaders to take the initiative in TVET
curiculum change. The study findings confirm the need for TVET college curriculum reform,
which, in turn, requires competent curriculum leadership and leadership development. The
research therefore contributes to theory and practice in the field of South African TVET
curriculum leadership.

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