Journal of Consumer Sciences

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Pedagogical guidance for Consumer Studies reflected in the South African Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS): An international benchmarking

A du Toit, C Booyse


Pedagogy involves more than merely teaching (or learning) methods, since it also includes the approach to how a subject is taught (or learned), as well as the principles fundamental to learning in that subject.  The pedagogy of a certain subject consequently involves the “how” of the learning of that subject – that is how learning is and should be constructed.

The preliminary research findings pertaining to pedagogy point to limited subject-specific pedagogical guidance in the South African curriculum for Consumer Studies. These findings necessitate further research in this regard.  Research results regarding the benchmarking of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for South African subject Consumer Studies, together with the curricula of similar subjects in British Columbia, Singapore and Kenya indicate that the inclusion of subject-specific pedagogical guidance in curriculum documents is considered to be of utmost importance, since teachers’ knowledge, regarding subject-appropriate pedagogy, could foster more productive learning.  Though the focus in this paper is on pedagogy, the research also included the analysis of the broad curriculum design, user-friendliness of documents, content and skill coverage, and central design principles.

The preliminary findings of what pedagogy entails, together with the benchmarking of the CAPS for Consumer Studies with the curricula of similar subjects in British Columbia, Singapore and Kenya, brought some insight regarding the kind of pedagogical guidance that should be included in the South African Consumer Studies curriculum.  

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