Original Research

Foundation phase pre-service teachers’ experiences of teaching life skills during teaching practice

Deborah A. Arasomwan, Nontokozo Mashiya
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 11, No 1 | a700 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v11i1.700 | © 2021 Deborah Avosuahi Arasomwan, Nontokozo Mashiya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 September 2018 | Published: 11 March 2021

About the author(s)

Deborah A. Arasomwan, Discipline of Early Childhood Education, School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Nontokozo Mashiya, Discipline of Early Childhood Education, School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: In South Africa socio-economic problems such as poor health conditions, juvenile delinquency, high rates of school dropout and teenage pregnancy are increasing. Therefore, it is vital to prepare foundation phase (FP) pre-service teachers to fortify children with basic life skills (LS) that will help them to cope with real-world challenges and demands.

Aim: The study is aimed to explore the experiences of pre-service FPLS teachers during their teaching practice.

Setting: This qualitative case study was conducted in the FP department of a teacher-training institution at a South African university.

Methods: Twenty final-year pre-service teachers were purposively selected to participate in semi-structured interviews and reflective writing exercises. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data, and the classification of the emerging themes was informed by Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory.

Results: The findings revealed pre-service teachers’ experience of support from mentors, a struggle with implementation of FP curriculum, realities of classroom interaction, inefficient language of interaction for the FP classroom, and a lack of awareness of the importance of LS as a subject.

Conclusion: The study argues that to improve the pedagogy of future LS teachers, a review and reform of the LS teacher-training curriculum are necessary. This curriculum needs to provide more extensive micro-teaching that promotes teachers’ general proficiency in the home languages of their learners and equips them with effective teaching strategies. The implementation of the LS curriculum needs to be regularly evaluated to ensure that these skills are imparted to young learners for their individual benefit and for the benefit of society.


Keywords

pre-service teachers; life skills curriculum; teaching practice; foundation phase; South Africa

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