n African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education - Benchmarking the intended technology curricula of Botswana and South Africa : what can we learn?

Volume 21 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1811-7295
  • E-ISSN: 2469-7656
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Following a transformation of experience-based handicraft education, Technology education was introduced in Botswana and South Africa in 1990 and 1998, respectively, with the intention of developing technologically literate societies, as well as to develop learners’ skills for the world of work. Despite these optimistic intentions, limited comparative research is available regarding the intended Technology curricula of these two Southern African Development Community countries, specifically regarding strengths and potential areas for improvement. Framed in the ‘curriculum evaluation as grading practice through process’ theory, this study analysed the intended Technology education curricula in comparable high school phases of Botswana and South Africa for benchmarking purposes. The study identified information that could be utilised to strengthen the curriculum of each country. Document analysis was applied to analyse particular design elements and their contribution to the quality of the curriculum using a validated structured curriculum benchmarking instrument developed by Umalusi, the South African Council for Quality Assurance. The study revealed that both the Botswana and South African Technology curricula have several strengths, including explicit guidance for the preferred subjectspecific assessment to be used, as well as extensive coverage of a number of similar topics. Areas for curriculum improvement also emerged from the study, in particular the avoidance of some irrelevant subject matter, modifying the emphasis away from preparation for continuing training in Technology education, the inclusion of enterpreneurial learning and increased subject-specific pedagogical guidance. Several of the strengths and areas for improvement identified were used to frame a set of recommendations for strengthening the quality of the two curricula. Through these recommendations, the study made an important contribution to the fulfilment of the original intentions for the subject, which are to develop technologically literate societies and help learners to prepare for the world of work.

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