Original Research

Early Childhood Care and Education teachers’ experiences of integrating the activities of the national curriculum framework into themes

Cynthia Z. Zama, Nontokozo Mashiya
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 12, No 1 | a1089 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v12i1.1089 | © 2022 Cynthia Z. Zama, Nontokozo Mashiya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 August 2021 | Published: 26 September 2022

About the author(s)

Cynthia Z. Zama, Department of Education, Faculty of Early Childhood Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Nontokozo Mashiya, Office of the Vice Chancellor, University of Zululand, Kwa-Dlangezwa Campus, Empangeni, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Integrating teaching and learning activities around the selected themes was acknowledged as an effective way to manage learning in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) sector. It was also ensured for the desired results and highest opportunity to prepare young children for school readiness in the South African National Curriculum Framework (NCF).

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore ECCE teachers’ experiences of integrating activities from the six early learning developmental areas (ELDAs) of the NCF into the selected themes.

Setting: This interpretive case study was conducted with six purposively selected ECCE teachers from three centres that followed the guidelines of the NCF for the development of young children in the Umbumbulu rural area in KwaZulu–Natal province.

Methods: The study was framed within the transformative learning theory and qualitative data were generated using semi-structured interviews and document analysis that were inductively analysed using the data analysis spiral.

Results: The findings show integration as a collaborative venture for teachers to interpret the NCF, select themes, and identify and integrate activities from the six ELDAs when planning lessons. Natural, indigenous themes and man-made resources were used to overcome the shortage of teaching resources. Challenges occurred from the lack of play resources and the support from department officials.

Conclusion: This study recommends more teamwork for ECCE teachers to understand the objectives of the NCF for purposeful planning to meet young children’s learning needs and school preparedness in the ECCE sector. Further research is recommended in the ECCE sector.


Keywords

integration; National Curriculum Framework; Early Childhood Care and Education teachers; young children; rural centres

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