Knowledge and specialism in curricula of professional and sectoral fields of practices in South Africa: A case of universities of technology
Keywords:Coherence, Differentiation and specialism, Dual facing, Interdisciplinary, Regions, Professional and sectoral
Although differentiation and specialism have become hallmarks of the modern economy, the degree and the efficacy of such differentiation, specialisation and the domains of knowledge in curricula offered in universities of technology (UoTs) persist in the context of the changing nature of jobs and occupations. This article examines the domains of specialist knowledge in curricula of selected professional and sectoral fields offered by universities of technology in South Africa. Purposive sampling was used to select the fields of practice. These fields were chosen because of differentiated knowledge bases on which these fields draw. The paper argues that the dual-facing interdisciplinary nature of knowledge of professional and sectoral fields of practice offered in UoTs, relative to their conceptuality, contextuality and professional coherence are central in the curriculum design process to enhance the quality of offerings.
Allais, S.M. 2003. The national qualifications framework in South Africa: A democratic project trapped in a neo-liberal paradigm? Paper presented on 14 March 2003 at the Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg: 1-22. Unpublished.
Badat, S. 2015. Institutional combinations and the creation of a new higher education institutional landscape in post-1994 South Africa. In A. Curaj, L. Georghiou, J.C. Harper & E. Egron-Polak (Eds.). Mergers and alliances in higher education (pp.175–201). New York, NY, USA: The Andrew W Mellon Foundation. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-13135-1_9
Becher, A. 1989. Academic tribes and territories. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Beck, J. & Young, M. 2005. The assault on the professions and the restructuring of academic and professional identities: A Bernsteinian analysis. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 26(2):183–197. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142569042000294165
Bennett, N., Dunne, E. & Carré, C. 1999. Patterns of core and generic skills provision in higher education. Higher Education, 37(1): 71–93. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1003451727126
Bernstein, B. 1996. Pedagogy, symbolic control, and identity: Theory, research and critique. London: Taylor & Francis.
Bernstein, B. 1990. The structuring of pedagogic discourse: Class, codes & control, volume IV. London: Routledge.
Bernstein, B. 2000. Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity. Theory, research, critique. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.
Castells, M. 1993. The informational economy and the new international division of labour. In M. Carno., M. Castells., S. Cohen & F.M. Cardoso (Eds.). The new global economy in the information age; reflections on our changing world (pp. 15–43). University Park PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-13224-9_2
Clark, B.R. 1983. The higher education system. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Council on Higher Education. 2006. Universities of technology. Pretoria: Council on Higher Education.
Council on Higher Education. 2010. University of technology – Deepening the debate. Pretoria: Council on Higher Education.
Council on Higher Education. 2013. Report of the task team on undergraduate curriculum structure. A proposal for undergraduate curriculum reform in South Africa: The case for a flexible curriculum structure. Pretoria: CHE.
Department of Education. 1997. Education white paper 3. A programme of the transformation of higher education. Pretoria: Government Printers.
Department of Education. 2007. Higher education qualifications framework. Pretoria: Government Printer.
Department of Education. 2001. National plan for higher education in South Africa. Pretoria: Government Printers.
Department of Higher Education and Training. 2014a. Report of the ministerial committee for the review of the funding of universities. Pretoria: DHET.
Department of Higher Education and Training. 2013. White paper for post school education 2014. Building an expanded, effective and integrated post-school system. Pretoria: DHET.
Durkheim, É. 1984. The division of labour. New York: Free Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-17729-5
Human Sciences Research Council 1996. National commission on higher education report. A framework for transformation. Pretoria: Government Printer.
Maton, K. & Moore, R. 2010. Coalitions of the mind. In K. Maton, R. Moore (Eds.). Social realism, knowledge and the sociology of education: Coalitions of the Mind (pp. 1–13). London: Continuum.
Mayer, E. 1992. Putting general education to work: The key competencies report. Canberra: Australian Education Council and Ministers for Vocational Education, Employment and Training.
Merton, R.K. 1973. The sociology of science: Theoretical and empirical investigations. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Moore, R. & Young, M. 2001. Knowledge and the curriculum in the sociology of education: towards a reconceptualization. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 22(4): 445–461. https://doi.org/10.1080/01425690120094421
Muller, J. 2005. The world is not enough: Knowledge in question. South African Journal of Higher Education, 19(3): 497–511. https://doi.org/10.4314/sajhe.v19i3.25506
Muller, J. 2006. Differentiation and progression in the curriculum. In M. Young & J. Gamble (Eds.). Knowledge, curriculum and qualifications for South African further education (pp. 66–86). Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.
Muller, J. 2009. Forms of knowledge and curriculum coherence. Journal of Education and Work, 22(3): 205–226. https://doi.org/10.1080/13639080902957905Ng’ethe, N., Subotzky, G., & Affeti, G. 2008. Differentiation and articulation in tertiary education systems. A study of twelve African countries. Washington, DC: World Bank. https://doi.org/10.1596/978-0-8213-7546-4
Ntshoe, I.M. 2014. Essaying purposes and specialisations of institutional types and division of labour in knowledge production. Studies in Higher Education, 40(4):1–14. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2013.842222
Powell, J.J.W. & Solga, H. 2010. Analysing the nexus of higher education and vocational education in Europe: A comparative institutional framework. Studies in Higher Education, 35(6): 705–721. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070903295829
Preece, J. 1999. Making the curriculum culturally relevant through a higher education core skills framework. South African Journal of Higher Education, 13(1): 89–94.
Reichert, S. 2009. Institutional diversity in European higher education: Tensions and challenges for policy makers and institutional leaders. Brussels: European University Association.
Republic of South Africa 1995. NO. 58 OF 1995: South African qualifications authority act, 1995. Pretoria: Government Printers
Rhoades, G. 1990. Political competition and differentiation in higher education. In J.C. Alexander & P. Colony (Eds.). Differentiation theory and social change (pp. 187–221). New York: Columbia University Press. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.1990.0027
Van Vaught, F. 2007. Diversity and differentiation in higher education systems. CHET Anniversary Conference. 16 November 2007, Cape Town.
Wheelahan, L. 2007. The role of theoretical knowledge in vocational qualifications in Australia – A blended Bernsteinian and critical realist analysis. Unpublished PhD thesis. Australia: University of Monash.
Young, M. & Muller, J. 2010. Three educational scenarios for the future: Lessons from the sociology of knowledge. European Journal of Education, 45(1): 11–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-3435.2009.01413.x
Young, M. & Muller, J. 2016. Curriculum and the specialisation on knowledge. Studies in the sociology of education. London: Routledge.
Young, M. 2006. Conceptualising vocational knowledge: Some theoretical considerations. In Young & J. Gamble. (Eds.). Knowledge, curriculum and qualifications for South African further education (pp.104–124). Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.
Young, M. 2008. Bringing knowledge back in from social constructivism to social realism in sociology of education. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203073667
Young, M. 2012. Differentiation, de-differentiation and collaboration between vocational education and universities. In J. Puukka (Ed.). Post-secondary vocational education and training: pathways and partnerships (pp. 67–78). Paris: Organisation for Economic and Committee and Development.
Young, M. 2011. A knowledge-based approach to the curriculum for a university of technology. The revised version of a paper presented to senior staff at the Central University of Technology, Free State in Bloemfontein on 30 May 2011.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Prof Isaac Ntshoe, Dr Ntsoaki Joyce Malebo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.