This study deals with the extent to which the South African education and training system reflects in principle, perception and practice, the ideal of an integrated national qualifications framework. It examines the uses and meaning of ‘integration’ through a number of lenses. These lenses include policy symbolism and a guiding philosophy for the emerging system; pragmatic and technical considerations; communities of practice; the complementarity of education and training; and curricular integration. In relation to the first two lenses, it is evident that an integrated framework is a powerful symbol of the break from a past system characterised by inequality, unfairness and deliberate mediocrity, to the extent that ‘integration’ has become the underpinning guiding philosophy for a new education and training system. However, such socio-political aspirations tend to place unreasonable demands on the system. The second set of lenses indicate that the ‘comprehensiveness’ of the system could work against the notion of integration, and in South Africa, has led to acute paralysis of the system. The strongest evidence of integration emerges from the last set of lenses namely, the grounded, meaningful practice through principled partnerships, as reflected in the development of sub-frameworks and communities of practice and the necessary collaboration needed for curricular integration and education and training delivery. Thus, it seems, to make integration meaningful, the persuasive logic of innovative, grounded practice, could be enabled and facilitated by less, not more, regulation and could be enhanced by structures that reflect the grounded practice. Copyright 2006, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. Please cite as follows: Blom, JP 2006, The ideal of an integrated national qualifications framework, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06192007-123414 / >
Thesis (PhD (Education Management and Policy Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2007.