Consumer Studies has the potential to have a positive impact on learners and
communities in South Africa. It has been taught in schools for a number of years but
the standing of Consumer Studies curriculum as a subject in the National Senior
Certificate (an NQF Level 4 qualification) has not yet been established. An embedded,
mixed-methods design was used to analyse and compare curriculum documents
qualitatively, as well as quantitatively in some cases to expand the qualitative data.
The instrument used in the investigation is theoretically framed by Bernstein‟s theories
on curriculum and education (1990; 1996) and draws on research undertaken by
Donnelly (1999, 2002, 2005) to identify characteristics of those education systems that
consistently perform well in international benchmarking tests. The findings of the
research point to the standing of the current Consumer Studies curriculum and its
perceived impact in the South African context. Recommendations are made regarding
the strengthening of the curriculum and its implementation.
Article based on a paper read at the joint 11th International SAAFECS Conference and the 6th IHEA Regional African Conference, Pretoria, South Africa. 27 February 2013 – 1 March 2013.