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A climate for change? Vertical and horizontal collegial relations in TVET colleges

Wedekind, Volker; Buthelezi, Zanele


Zanele Buthelezi


There is little argument that technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges have increasingly moved to centre stage of education and development agendas in South Africa. Where the first two decades of democratic South Africa’s education debate focused on the schooling system and, to a lesser extent, the university system, current policy and public discourse sees the post-school system and particularly the TVET colleges as central to addressing a range of social issues, including skills shortages, skills gaps, and youth unemployment. While the institutional setting, the resources, the curriculum, and the governance structures have all been researched, there has been very little focus on the lecturers in the institutions. Where there has been some attention on lecturers, it has tended to focus on their qualifications (or lack thereof) or their work experience. What is not discussed are the daily interactions that make up the quotidian of life in the colleges, and how this may assist or hinder the development of the post-school system and the colleges in particular. This chapter attempts to add to the literature by focusing on the issue of collegial relations and collegiality in colleges and highlight the complexities of working life that shape the climate within which change occurs. The chapter draws on biographical interview data collected as part of a larger research project into the lives and careers of TVET teachers. The lecturers who were interviewed were selected because they had more than 10 years’ experience in the college system and had experienced many of the key reforms during the period 2000–2010. The particular focus of this chapter is on the collegial relations in colleges and their impact on the work of lecturers. The interviews were not explicitly focused on this issue, but it was a major recurring theme that emerged from the data analysis. The chapter starts by providing clarification of terms such as ‘colleague’, ‘collegial relations’, and ‘collegiality’. This is followed by a brief discussion on the conceptual framework and methodology, after which the data from the interviews is presented.


Wedekind, V., & Buthelezi, Z. (2016). A climate for change? Vertical and horizontal collegial relations in TVET colleges. Change Management in TVET Colleges: Lessons Learnt from the Field of Practice, 64-82. African Minds

Acceptance Date Jan 12, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 22, 2016
Publication Date Jun 22, 2016
Deposit Date Sep 13, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 11, 2019
Publisher African Minds
Pages 64-82
Book Title Change Management in TVET Colleges: Lessons Learnt from the Field of Practice
Chapter Number 4
ISBN 978-1-928331-33-9
Public URL
Publisher URL


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