Educators enacting non-formal education policy: case of three schools in Masvingo District, Zimbabwe-an exploration.
Mabuto, Morgan Peter.
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The Zimbabwean school model for the enactment of teaching and learning of Non-Formal Education Policy (NFEP) programmes is a recent development. The policy mandated the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE), the powers to promote an alternative pathway, in order to increase access and quality education. The school- model offers new opportunities to out-of-school children, youths and adults, coupled with new insights to researchers and educators, its enactment has largely remained unexplored, against a background of resources shortages that include the lack of the discipline’s curriculum and trained educators. The ministry imposed a formal education curriculum and hired educators who are deficient in Non-Formal Education’s (NFE) technical, pedagogic and content knowledge (TPACK). The study sought to analyse the educators’ forms of enactment in the teaching and learning of the NFEP; programmes in order to contribute to debates on improving NFE. Literature on the study’s phenomenon produced three forms of enactment: the acknowledged, the communal, and the committed. The study used the three forms of enactment as an analytic lens through which to understand how educators’ enacted teaching and learning and accounted for their particular enactments. From the literature also emerged the cultural historical activity theory (CHAT), which underpinned the study and facilitated access to in-depth exploration of the data. The key formal education curriculum concepts were incorporated in CHAT, in order to invigorate in-depth explorations of the educators’ influence in teaching and learning. The case-study approach facilitated access to in-depth data, guided by the qualitative research methodology and interpretive research paradigm. A purposive, convenience sample of seven participants was used to generate data, using semi-structured interviews, participant observations, and document analysis methods. The guided analysis process that was hedged on the curriculum concepts in the CHAT produced eight themes that framed data generation, presentation, analysis, and interpretation. A modified version of the CHAT, the enactment activity theory (EAT), later emerged, emphasising the economic factors to enactments. The study’s findings suggested that the three forms of enactment were instrumental in guiding the teaching and learning, in the context of teaching goals, where different programmes had divergent goals that demanded unique forms of enactment. The findings revealed educators’ limited understanding of key enactment concepts, due to deficient TPACK, limited material resources and financial incentives. Hence, there were contradictions and inconsistencies in enactment practices. The study recommends the continued use of forms of enactments. The MoPSE should adopt an integrated curriculum that harmonises curriculum issues in order to diffuse tensions regarding the curriculum in-use, educators’ TPACK and working conditions. Further research, founded on this explorative study should be conducted, in order to increase measures of transferability of the findings.