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Investigating the relevance of the diploma in educare with regard to meeting the needs of the workplace
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Within the broad theoretical context provided by debates on the importance of focussing on programme teaching towards workplace-orientated goals and greater cooperation between the world ofwork and the higher education sector in order to develop work integrated curricula, this study attempted to investigate the relevance of the diploma in educare with regard to meeting the needs ofeducare centres. The study as a whole is set against the general literature on the development of the transdisciplinary curriculum that integrates the world of work with academic programmes and the development oftransdisciplinary curriculum in educare in particular. The literature that was surveyed covered the following aspects: The needs ofthe educare practitioner in the workplace, important aspects that need to be present in the Early Childhood curriculum in order for the child to learn effectively and how could the higher education sector and the workplace, work together to develop a balanced curriculum that is offered to the educare practitioners at the institutions. Along with this investigation quantitative as well as qualitative data were collected about the curriculum that is offered to potential educare practitioners by means of questionnaires, interviews and focus group interviews. The conclusion drawn from the findings of the literature survey and the investigation is that the integration of theory and practice in the teaching and learning processes should be encouraged if the development and professional growth of students are to be achieved, and more interaction should take place between the higher education sector and the workplace in order to increase the performance levels of students and their employability in the workplace. The present study therefore, is an attempt to encourage the integration oftheory and practice and collaborative efforts between higher education institutions and the worklllace in curriculum development and is in line with the new South African curriculum that places emphasis on the relevance of education to the needs ofthe workplace and to the lives of South Africans.
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