Agricultural and industrial curricula for South African rural schools: colonial origins and contemporary continuities

SOURCE: Shifting understandings of skills in South Africa: overcoming the historical imprint of a low skills regime
OUTPUT TYPE: Chapter in Monograph
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2004
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.Paterson
SOURCE EDITOR(S): S.McGrath, A.Badroodien, A.Kraak, L.Unwin
KEYWORDS: HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, RURAL SCHOOLS, SKILLS DEVELOPMENT, TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING, VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Web link: http://www.hsrcpublishers.ac.za/full_title_info.asp?id=2040
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 2540

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

This chapter has two aims that seek to take the reader from that period of transition in the early twentieth century through to the modern era. The first is to focus on the articulation between notions of "industrial" education and "agricultural" education that were expressed in Cape colonial society between 1890 and 1930. It will be argued that what was characterised then as an "industrial curriculum" or as an "agricultural curriculum" were not understood to be mutually exclusive by missionaries, colonial administrators and by white colonists and employers. Both curriculum ideas referred essentially to low skill forms of education for Africans to participate in a segregated colonial society in which their roles were defined for them in a largely rural environment. In practice, it will be shown that in poorly-resources mission outstation primary schools, what might have been termed "industrial" education invariably took on a decidedly agricultural character. The second aim of the chapter is to demonstrate how this curriculum, conceived in the 1920s, endured into and even beyond the apartheid era.