SA Journal of Education, Vol 35, No 3 (2015)

Teaching problem-solving competency in Business Studies at secondary school level

Aloe Meintjes, Alfred Henrico, Japie Kroon


The high unemployment rate in South Africa compels potential entrepreneurs to start their own businesses in order to
survive. Often this is with little or no formal training or education in entrepreneurship. Since problem recognition and
problem-solving are amongst the most crucial competencies required for a successful entrepreneurial career, this study
aimed to determine whether the application of an extended curriculum with a strong focus on active learning in a business-
simulated set-up will enhance this competency. The performance of a specific group of Grade 11 Business Studies learners
in this study was measured, both before and after they had been exposed to such an extended curriculum in different
experimental settings (intervention). Assessments were done qualitatively through observations and interviews, and
quantitatively, by means of question-based scenarios. The findings revealed that the intervention enhanced learners’
entrepreneurial competencies concerning problem recognition and problem-solving considerably. This also contributed to
these learners’ positive approach towards Business Studies. In this article, it is argued that practical exposure in a business-
simulated set-up will not only result in enhanced entrepreneurial proficiency in school learners, but also contribute to an
accelerated pace of economic growth and job creation in our country.

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