College of Humanities

Research into SA Grade 12 Business Studies Textbooks Pays Required Dividend

Research that analysed how South African Grade 12 Business Studies textbooks portray contemporary legislation paid Mr Thandokuhle Magwanyana a highly valuable dividend of a PhD in Social Sciences (Commerce Education).

Magwanyana, who is a teacher, believes his research will contribute positively to the collection of knowledge for the development of Grade 12 Business Studies textbooks in South Africa.

His study applied a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a contemporary theoretical approach to qualitative research with a view to examining the use of words and sentences. Employing a qualitative approach allowed for the extraction of rich data from the diverse meanings that different textbooks assign to current legislation, as portrayed in Grade 12 Business Studies textbooks.

He noted that society would benefit from this study because it raised awareness for policymakers, textbook creators, textbook users, facilitators, teachers, learners, schools, and critical discourse students to be conscious that there is no universal or single truth.

‘The significant findings of this suggest that the South African Grade 12 Business Studies textbooks are overloaded with issues of power, control and hidden messages, even though no explicit linguistic features are articulated at the surface level,’ said Magwanyana.

Although he encountered some challenges, he is grateful to his family and supervisors who were his support system throughout his academic journey, ‘Studying while working is hard. Both were a priority and I had to make a lot of sacrifices to submit assignments on time. While I was in my second year of study in 2020, I was hospitalised for two weeks because of COVID-19,’ said Magwanyana.

Through his research, Magwanyana says his ability to communicate with and present work to University academic staff, cohort peers, and supervisors, Dr M Mtshali and Dr J Ramdhani, had improved considerably.

He encouraged his peers ‘to never give up: the journey may seem long and lonely, but the end results are always worth it’.