Original Research

Work-integrated learning within the reading literacy component of foundation phase teacher preparation programmes

Zelda Barends, Carisma Nel
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 7, No 1 | a435 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v7i1.435 | © 2017 Zelda Barends, Carisma Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 April 2016 | Published: 23 March 2017

About the author(s)

Zelda Barends, Foundation Phase and Early Childhood Education Department, Faculty of Education and Social Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Carisma Nel, School for Human and Social Sciences Education, North-West University, South Africa

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Research confirms that the quality of instruction learners experience day-to-day matters for learner achievement more than any other school-based factor. Yet teachers beginning their careers across a range of contexts routinely report that they are unprepared to enact high-quality instruction on day one. Thus, the quality and content of pre-service teacher preparation programmes features prominently in learner success. Research reveals that purposeful coordination between teacher preparation programmes and the school districts with which they partner, tightly aligned curricula and field experiences, and extensive clinical practice can improve teacher preparedness (Darling-Hammond & Bransford 2007). The purpose of this article was to conduct a survey among selected universities offering Bachelor of Education (BEd) foundation phase programmes, to determine the role of work-integrated learning (WIL) in facilitating the preparedness of pre-service teachers to teach reading literacy. The results indicate that there is an urgent need to focus on the following aspects as they relate to WIL and its integration with reading literacy-specific content: the purpose of WIL as it relates to reading literacy; the degree of integration between coursework, specifically reading literacy and practice-based experiences (i.e. practice teaching); the relationship and partnerships between university lecturers and teachers and district officials; and the training of teachers to support the pre-service teachers.


reading literacy; work-integrated learning (WIL); foundation phase; teacher preparation programmes; theory and practice divide


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