Exploring theory and practice in the national certificate vocational (NCV) in an automotive repair and maintenance (ARM) course.
Contributor(s)Bertram, Carol Anne.
KeywordsTheses - Education.
Work process knowledge.
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
Automotive repair and maintenance course.
Propositional knowledge - Teaching.
Practical knowledge - Teaching.
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AbstractMaster of Education. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermarzburg 2017.
There is an undeniable increase in the research being conducted surrounding the TVET
colleges. There is however, a small amount of research conducted in South Africa particularly
regarding the relationship between theory and practice in the curriculum. The purpose of this
research is to explore the relationship between theory and practice in the National Certificate
(Vocational) Automotive Repair and Maintenance (NCV ARM) course.
The key research questions are as follows: 1. What is the emphasis on propositional
knowledge and practical knowledge in the official curriculum documents? (i.e. The Subject
and Assessment Guidelines of the Automotive Repair and Maintenance curriculum) 2. What
is the emphasis on propositional knowledge and practical knowledge in the teaching of the
NCV Automotive Repair and Maintenance module? (i.e. The enacted curriculum) and 3. How
do NCV (Automotive Repair and Maintenance) students at Campus X experience the
curriculum? (i.e. The experienced curriculum).
The literature exploration conducted here was informed by theoretical concepts engaged with
by Winch (2012), Rauner (2007), Gamble (2009a) and Glatthorn (1987). Rauner (2007) states
that theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge work together, and in order to carry out
the practical knowledge the underpinning theoretical knowledge must be known.
In order to respond to the three research questions mentioned above various data collection
methods were used. In order to address RQ One an analysis was conducted of the NCV ARM
Level two official curriculum document. RQ Two was explored by conducting observation
during classroom activities and an interview with the NCV ARM lecturer. RQ Three was
investigated by means of focus groups conducted with NCV ARM Level two students (five
of which were high achievers and five were average achievers).
The research is a case study and an interpretivist view was adopted. Regarding the official
curriculum, more of the learning outcomes focused on propositional knowledge. The
classroom observation and interviews revealed that both lecturer and students identified lack
of resources and time as learning barriers to students developing practical competences. The
NCV was introduced with the intention of the program being more practically based, however
upon investigation it was noted that the theory continued to dominate the curriculum. This is
not something that was expected from the new revised curriculum.