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Journal of Consumer Sciences

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Foundations in the South African senior phase curriculum for entrepreneurship education in consumer studies

A du Toit

Abstract


The entrepreneurship education embedded in Consumer Studies can contribute positively to the lives of South African learners. However, this subject is only offered in the final phase of learners’ education in the South African school curriculum. From a constructivist viewpoint, this is undesirable since appropriate prior knowledge regarding entrepreneurship is required to serve as a scaffold for the construction of new, more complex entrepreneurship education that transpires in Consumer Studies. A qualitative curriculum content analysis was undertaken to investigate the content and structure of prior knowledge of entrepreneurship that learners are expected to have when they complete the Senior Phase (learners are generally aged between 13 and15 years in this phase) and before they enter Grade 10 (approximately aged 16). It became apparent that only one subject in the Senior Phase, namely Economic and Management Sciences, has the potential to contribute significantly to learners' prior knowledge on the subject of entrepreneurship. Though the curriculum for Economic and Management Sciences in the Senior Phase contain some content about entrepreneurship, it was determined that such content is more focussed on business management than on the development of entrepreneurship. The findings further indicate that skills development embedded in entrepreneurship education in the Senior Phase is quite limited. Interviews were conducted with two entrepreneurship education experts in order to augment the findings and to add to the reliability and validity of the data. A number of concerns regarding entrepreneurship education emerged from the findings. These concerns were used to put forward recommendations that could be implemented by the Department of Basic Education to advance entrepreneurship education in the South African curriculum. 




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