n South African Journal of Higher Education - Student learning for social relevance : the case of Melkhoutfontein : the practice of higher education

Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The authors report on a project that was completed in the first semester of 2002 with the aim to enhance quality and social relevance of student learning experiences in a Bachelor of Education (BEd) programme at the University of Stellenbosch. Students in their final year of the BEd (Foundation Phase) Programme in the Faculty of Education were involved in a research project based on an action-and-developmental framework. Students had to use their learning experiences gained during a cultural / community tourism excursion to develop an action research report and a Life Skills learning programme for the Foundation Phase. They were exposed to the community of Melkhoutfontein in the Western Cape Province where they studied the potential of developing cultural tourism as a vehicle for multi-faceted learning in a community setting. The article contextualises the project, highlights its aims and goals, describes its research approach and analyses its outcomes and results. Findings suggest that student contextualisation of learning tasks and their increased levels of social awareness point towards promoting deep learning.

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