Politics or Pedagogy?: The Emergence of Workplace-Based Learning in South Africa

Politics or Pedagogy?: The Emergence of Workplace-Based Learning in South Africa

Ronel Blom (Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6977-0.ch002

Abstract

This chapter deals with the struggle in South Africa to make sense of the phenomenon of workplace-based learning. Education institutions and policymakers alike recognize that there is enormous value in the practice. However, this value is being interpreted from different perspectives: education institutions see the practice in terms of enhanced learning, while policymakers view workplace-based learning as a means to solve critical social and economic problems. Consequently, the opposing epistemological views may seriously undermine the educational value of learning through work. The chapter provides an analysis of the prevailing workplace-based learning practices in South Africa. Using an emerging conceptual framework to evaluate current practices, it was found that most practices could successfully enhance a holistic curriculum seeking to balance learning at institutions and work, as an important vehicle for enhanced learning.
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Definitions For Wbl In South Africa

While WBL has been practiced in one form or another in South Africa for a long time, a renewed interest in the practice emerged as a response to external economic, social and educational forces. Boud and Solomon (2001, p. 3) see this as a positive force, indicating that WBL ‘…is one of the very few innovations related to the teaching and learning aspects of post-secondary education that is attempting to engage seriously with the economic, social and educational demands of our era’.

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