The challenges of curriculum change challenges of curriculum change teachers in Limpopo province

Marneweck, Lorraine Veronica
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This thesis focuses on the challenges a particular group of rural primary school teachers experienced as they implemented a national outcomes-based curriculum through the support of an external agent. It uses Fairclough’s (1991) model of critical discourse analysis and his theory of critical language study as a framework to explore the discourses and practices of this group of South African teachers. Methodologically, this thesis is located in the qualitative paradigm, and uses interviews and observations to systematically probe teachers’ understandings of curriculum and change. Three themes are developed in this thesis. First, the theme of teacher collaboration is presented as a new social practice that the teachers creatively took up during a school development project. It shows that while social and institutional process determined the nature of the project as a social practice, at a situational level, the teachers played a much more determinative role as they shaped the project and its practices in several intriguing ways. Second, the curriculum roles that were discursively produced by the teachers as they struggled to transform their practice from isolation to collaboration are revealed. This demonstrates that while many of these roles were common to all schools, the role of the teacher as leader emerged in only two of the schools. And third, through analysing the lessons taught by this group of teachers in their classrooms, the tacit knowledge of pedagogy and content on which their practice was based is made explicit. These themes provide opportunities for certain common sense assumptions about teacher collaboration, leadership, learning and practice to be interrogated in terms of their applicability to the schools in the project. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the possibilities that still exist for teacher educators to enhance understanding of what happens inside traditional rural schools.
Student Number : 9407325P - PhD thesis - Faculty of Human and Social Sciences
challenges, rural primary school teachers, national outcomes-based curriculum, Fairclough’s model of critical discourse analysis, teacher collaboration, curriculum roles, pedagogy and content, enhance understanding