Implementation of project-based learning in pre-service consumer studies teacher preparation to promote self-directed learning
Consumer Studies is a valuable and multifaceted subject in South African schools, requiring that teachers in the subject are well prepared. Pre-service Consumer Studies teachers need to be prepared to become lifelong learners to cope with the dynamic nature of the subject, as well as to develop various 21st century skills to be able to deal with the demands of these times. Structured guidance, however, could not be uncovered for the preparation of pre-service Consumer Studies teachers to empower them with the requirements for Consumer Studies education. Sett-directed learning is a process that supports the developn1ent of various 21st century skills, including lifelong learning, and could thus contribute to the development of preservice Consumer Studies teachers, if included in their preparation. A suitable teaching-leaming strategy that could be utilised in the preparation module for Consumer Studies teachers, as well as a vehicle to promote self-directed learning as part of such preparation, was identified in the form of project-based learning. A qualitative case study was employed to investigate how project-based learning as a teaching-learning strategy could promote self-directed learning in a pre-service Consumer Studies teacher preparation module. Project-based learning was found to foster the development of various skills as part of the process, including planning and collaboration skills. Subject content, consistent with what is required to be taught in Consumer Studies education on high school level, was developed and self-directed learning was promoted in participants using project-based learning. Recommendations were suggested for the preparation of pre-service Consumer Studies teachers, as well as for the effective structuring of projects and project-based learning in Consumer Studies.
- Education 
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