A ‘curriculum moment’ for Adult and Community Education and Training: Acknowledging the voices and experiential knowledge of lecturers and students at community learning sites

  • Natheem Hendricks University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town
  • Kaylianne Aploon-Zokufa University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town
Keywords: Curriculum reform and development, knowledge structures, community college, learning sites, Adult and Community Education and Training

Abstract

Curriculum reform and development is, first and foremost, a political project. It involves the selection, organisation and distribution of particular knowledge structures. But factors such as student and teacher demographics deeply influence the ways in which curricula can be implemented, enacted and used as a catalyst for change. In South Africa, a particular ‘curriculum moment’ has emerged in the field of Adult and Community Education and Training (ACET) through the establishment of community colleges, along with the introduction of new educator qualifications for ACET. In this article, we draw on the reflective diary entries of student lecturers on an Advanced Diploma for Educators of Adults (ADEA) course who are lecturers at community learning sites, to reflect on this moment of curriculum construction in the development of a new Diploma in Adult and Community Education and Training (DipACET). The analysis shows that while curriculum reform is crucial to professionalising the field, it will have a very limited impact if the voices of the lecturers and students at community learning sites are marginalised in the process. These lecturers have experiential knowledge which sets them apart as crucial drivers of the curriculum. Moreover, they select and organise the content to be taught, determine how it is to be taught, and decide on the kinds of knowledge that should be privileged at sites where the curriculum is implemented. We also delineate what counts as valuable knowledge and for whom it is valuable in the field of adult and community education.

Author Biographies

Natheem Hendricks, University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town

Natheem Hendricks is a senior lecturer in the Institute for Post-School Studies at the University of the Western Cape. He is involved with teaching programmes which focus on adult education and training offered by the Institute.

Kaylianne Aploon-Zokufa, University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town

Kaylianne Aploon-Zokufa is a lecturer in the Institute for Post-School Studies at the University of the Western Cape. She is involved with teaching adult education and training programmes. She is a PhD candidate and her research is on the learning pathways of mature women students and access into higher education for adult learners.

Published
2021-11-30
How to Cite
Natheem Hendricks, & Kaylianne Aploon-Zokufa. (2021). A ‘curriculum moment’ for Adult and Community Education and Training: Acknowledging the voices and experiential knowledge of lecturers and students at community learning sites. Journal of Vocational, Adult and Continuing Education and Training, 4(1), 15. https://doi.org/10.14426/jovacet.v4i1.181
Section
Articles