n Journal of Educational Studies - Secondary school teachers' understanding, response to and implementation of Life Orientation

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1680-7456



This article investigated and discussed implementation challenges experienced by teachers of Life Orientation which is a core learning area in the National Curriculum Statement of the Department of Education. The learning area promises to develop learners holistically to relate positively to others and to contribute to family, community and society while practicing the values embedded in the constitution of South Africa. Hence, the study was founded upon the Structural Curriculum Theory to investigate how secondary school teachers understand, respond to and implement Life Orientation. Life Orientation teachers (N=36) from schools (N=5) in different circuits in the Gert Sibande Region in Mpumalanga Province participated in this qualitative research. Data was collected via focus group interviews and analysed qualitatively. The results of the study revealed that many teachers lacked knowledge and understanding in terms of the learning area which caused feelings of incompetence and disempowerment. Being unqualified, lack of status of this non-academic subject and lack of support at district and school levels resulted in teachers responding negatively to the implementation of this learning area. The importance and implementation of Life Orientation was thus compromised and disregarded.

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