Discrimination Practices During Workplace Learning: Their Extent and Impact on Student Learning and Lives
Workplace learning is currently a crucial component of most programmes leading to professional and technical careers. Universities of Technologies expect their students to spend up to a year of their training programme at the site of envisaged work, while professional programmes in, e.g. teaching, are requiring a longer period of time to be spent in schools. The new framework for teacher education in South Africa gazetted in 2007 requires a student teacher to be in schools for up to a year. In fact, the length of school-based placement within teacher development programmes is central to the conceptualizations of theoretical models (e.g. master-apprentice model, applied science model and professional model fo teacher development) that frame teacher development across the centuries. This signals that workplace learning, either through internships or bouts of school placements spread across the programme, is now being conceptualized as a crucial component of learning.
Currently, the major focus on workplace learning is on curriculum, policy and process issues. Little research has focused on discriminatory practices that impact on students learning and lives when students go on these workplace learning activities. This paper draws on empirical evidence from two different occupational specific training programme (Hospitality training and teaching), using surveys and narrative enquiry with students and staff of industries and schools, to identify the major forms of discriminatory practices that students are exposed to during their workplace learning and its resultant impact on their learning and lives. The paper finally alludes to curriculum intervention in the learning programme to help address theses gaps in training programmes.
Keywords: Workplace Learning, Discriminatory Practices
Prof. Labby Ramrathan
Senior Lecturer, School of Education and Development
Career Counsellor, School Liaison and Career Counselling, Durban University of Technology