A capabilities perspective on education quality: implications for foundation phase teacher education programme design
Botha, Liz Johanson
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While governments and communities across the globe are faced with the challenge of providing their citizens with good-quality education, there is lack of consensus on how education quality should be defined. Whereas a great deal has been written about the human capital and human rights approaches, which currently dominate the debate, the potential value of the capabilities approach to the field of education quality policy and practice is yet to be fully explored. This article aims to advance discussions on education quality, through critical engagement with discourses on the capabilities approach and its implications for education quality thinking, and offer an example of what implementation of this approach might mean in a South African teacher education context. The article outlines the core concepts underpinning the capabilities approach to education quality against the background of critiques of the human capital and human rights approaches. It then critically explores what a capabilities approach has to offer to education quality thinking, and describes how these concepts and principles are being interpreted within the new Rhodes B.Ed. (Foundation Phase) programme, currently being developed.