The standing of the curriculum for consumer studies as school subject in the South African context
Consumer Studies has the potential to have a positive impact on learners and communities in South Africa. It has been taught in schools for a number of years but the standing of Consumer Studies curriculum as a subject in the National Senior Certificate (an NQF Level 4 qualification) has not yet been established. An embedded, mixed-methods design was used to analyse and compare curriculum documents qualitatively, as well as quantitatively in some cases to expand the qualitative data. The instrument used in the investigation is theoretically framed by Bernstein’s theories on curriculum and education (1990; 1996) and draws on research undertaken by Donnelly (1999, 2002, 2005) to identify characteristics of those education systems that consistently perform well in international benchmarking tests. The findings of the research point to the standing of the current Consumer Studies curriculum and its perceived impact in the South African context. Recommendations are made regarding the strengthening of the curriculum and its implementation.