Original Research

A Bird’s Eye View on the Status of the Module “Life Skills” in the Foundation Phase at Higher Education Institutions in South Africa

Miemsie Steyn, Nicoleen Schuld, Cycil Hartell
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 2, No 2 | a17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v2i2.17 | © 2012 Miemsie Steyn, Nicoleen Schuld, Cycil Hartell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2014 | Published: 30 December 2012

About the author(s)

Miemsie Steyn, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Nicoleen Schuld, Tshwane University of Technology., South Africa
Cycil Hartell, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This paper explores how the foundation phase subject area of “life skills” is being offered at (n= 9) higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa. The aim of the study, about which we report, was to identify similarities and differences in the curricula offered at these institutions and to establish the extent to which the different modules attend to the various aspects of life skills according to the most recent national curriculum. We conducted semi-structured interviews with participants who teach the subject at universities and we also analysed curriculum documents. We worked with a purposive sample of 9 respondents from the respective universities. The study found that although universities use the CAPS (national curriculum) document as guideline for structuring their curricula in teacher education programmes, some participants indicated that they follow an integrated approach, thereby implying that the different components of the school curriculum as outlined in the CAPS document are not specifically accommodated within their programmes. An additional finding was that there is a vast difference in the range of credits allocated to the various aspects of life skills that may restrict social mobility between various HEIs.


Life skills, foundation phase, curriculum and assessment policy statement; higher education institutions


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