Investigating pedagogical paradigm shift in the 21st century teaching and learning in south african secondary schools

Munyaradzi Sikhakhane, Samantha Govender*, Mncedisi Christian Maphalala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine if any pedagogical paradigm shift has taken place in enhancing authentic teaching and learning in secondary schools. It explored the pedagogical practices currently employed in secondary schools. The theory underpinning the study was the 21st century pedagogy for teaching and learning. A qualitative research design was adopted and data was generated from three secondary schools, consisting of 30 learners through focus group discussion and six teachers using semi-structured interviews. This sample was purposively selected by virtue of having and using digital computer technologies. An observation of 6 lessons was conducted and data was analyzed using an inductive thematic framework. By adopting an interpretivist paradigm, this data was collected using participant observation, as the main data-collection instrument for this study, triangulated with semi-structured teacher-and learner-focus group and interviews. The findings revealed that ‘old’ teacher-centered pedagogies continued unabated as the common instructional style and promoted learner-passiveness. It compromised on active learner-academic performance and making a meaningful significant intellectual achievement. This resulted in production of ‘mediocre’ human capital ill-prepared to face the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) challenges. This article recommends further research in areas pertaining to pedagogical shifts in line with digitalization of the world economy and education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-719
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Education and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • 21 century pedagogy Blended learning (BL) Deep learning (DL) Fourth industrial revolution (4IR) Interpretivism


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