Nature of powerful knowledge and curriculum in technical, professional and vocational training: a sociological analysis based on the Mozambican case

Nelson Casimiro Zavale About the author


This paper examines the nature of powerful knowledge and the epistemic and social processes underlying the curriculum of technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Theoretically, the paper revisits critically the concept of powerful knowledge, rooted in social realism, and makes use of Shay’s theory of curriculum differentiation. Empirically, the paper re-examines earlier sociological analysis made to TVET reform in Mozambique. The paper argues that, in TVET, the powerful curriculum may result from a combination of different forms of knowledge, namely theoretical, practical, professional and generic; the curriculum of TVET results from the recontextualisation of these forms of knowledge, through processes of social regulation.

Technical and vocational education and training; Social-realism; Powerful knowledge; Theory of curriculum differentiation; Epistemic and social processes

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