The incorporation of social cohesion in an initial teacher education programme in the Western Cape
This is a qualitative study that explores social cohesion in terms of how it is understood by, teacher educators and pre-service teachers, and how it is incorporated, taught, and experienced in an initial teacher education (ITE) programme that is located within one university in the Western Cape, South Africa. It uses semi-structured interviews, observations, and a focus group interview to understand how teacher educators think about and teach social cohesion. Moreover, it focuses on how fourth year pre-service teachers experience the programme in relation to debates on social cohesion. Findings suggest that teacher educators’ understandings and pre-service teachers’ backgrounds influence their experiences of an ITE programme. It further suggests that pre-service teachers do develop attitudes and pedagogies for social cohesion, all be it unevenly so. This study contributes to better understandings of social cohesion as a priority of South African government, and how it is experienced by pre-service teachers in an ITE programme. In so doing, it contributes to how social cohesion may be realised in post-apartheid South Africa.