Changing frameworks of curriculum policy, implementation and evaluation

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The course is concerned with curriculum policy, in particular change and continuity in processes of curriculum reform. There are three central ideas informing the course. The first concerns a historical analysis of curriculum identifying reform swings between two opposite poles, given the shorthand of ‘traditional’ and ‘reform’ or progressive curricula. The second idea is that these swings have implications for the three ‘message systems’ of education – curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation (or in the terms of TIMMS, the intended, the enacted and the assessed curriculum). Traditional and progressive moves change the nature of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, and the relation between them. The third tenet of the course is the centrality of knowledge in the consideration of curriculum policy, change and evaluation. Whereas the course begins with a broad scan of the political sociology and historical literature on curriculum, throughout and in conclusion it focuses on analyses within the sociology of knowledge, which draw attention to the structuring of curriculum knowledge. Fundamentally it is the nature and status of knowledge that shifts when the curriculum changes. The course aims to expose students both to the broader political context and processes of curriculum reform, as well as specific conceptual approaches to the analysis of different curriculum forms.

Course presenters: Professor Joe Muller, Dr Ursula Hoadley, A/Prof Rob Siebörger,

Guest Lecturer: Dr Cheryl Reeves (CPUT)

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-5pm, or as per alternate arrangement with lecturer
1. 26 JULY The lineage of curriculum policy change in SA

(Joe Muller, Room 503.2)

2. 31 JULY 1995-2003: Curriculum 2005, the Review, and the NCS.

(Joe Muller, Room 503.2)


(Ursula Hoadley, Room 5.11)

4. 7 AUGUST The challenge of cognitive demand

(Cheryl Reeves, Room 5.11)

5. 14 AUGUST Curriculum reform and assessment

(Rob Sieborger, Room 5.07)

6. 16 AUGUST Curriculum implementation: classroom studies 1990s to present (Ursula Hoadley, Room 5.11)

7. 21 AUGUST Studies of curricula I

(Ursula Hoadley, Room 5.11)

8. 23 AUGUST Studies of curricula II

(Joe Muller, Room 503.2)

1. 26 JULY The lineage of curriculum policy change in South Africa (JM)
Chisholm, L. (2003) ‘The state of curriculum reform in South Africa: the issue of Curriculum 2005’ in J. Daniel, A. Habib & R. Southall (eds) State of the Nation: South Africa 2003 – 2004. Pretoria, HSRC Press.
Young, M. (2002) ‘Educational reform in South Africa (1990-2000): An international perspective’ in A. Kraak & M. Young (eds) Education in Retrospect: Policy and Implementation Since 1990. Pretoria, HSRC.
Ravitch, D. (2000) ‘Conclusion’ in Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reform. New Jersey, Simon and Schuster.
Jansen, J. (1999). ‘Setting the scene: historiographies of curriculum policy in South Africa’ in J. Jansen and P. Christie (eds), Changing Curriculum : Studies on Outcomes-based Education in South Africa. Kenwyn, Juta and Co.
Cross, M., Mungadi, R. & Rouhani, S. (2002) ‘From policy to practice: curriculum reform in South African education’, Comparative Education, 38, 2: 1771-187.

2. 31 JULY 1995-2003: Curriculum 2005, the Review, and the NCS. (JM)
Ministry of Education (2000) Chapter 3 ‘Structure and design of the curriculum’, of A South African Curriculum for the 21st Century. Report of the Review Committee on C2005. Pretoria: Ministry of Education.
Fiske, E. & Ladd, H. (2003) ‘Outcomes-based education and equity’. Mimeo.
Nykiel-Herbert, B. (2004) ‘Mis-Constructing Knowledge: The Case of Learner-Centred Pedagogy in South Africa’. Perspectives, vol. XXXIV no 3, September.
Cross, M., Mungadi, R. & Rouhani, S. (2002) ‘From policy to practice: curriculum reform in South African education’, Comparative Education, 38, 2: 1771-187.
‘Overview Document’ of the National Curriculum Statement Grades 7 to 9 outcomes statements for the learning areas languages, maths, social sciences, and life orientation.
Donnelly, K. (2005) Benchmarking Australian Primary School Curricula. Canberra, Department of Education, Science and Training.
Fataar, A. (2006) ‘Policy networks in recalibrated political terrain: the case of school curriculum policy and politics in South Africa.’ Journal of Education Policy, 21:6.
Harley, K and Wedekind, V. ‘Political change, curriculum change and social formation 1990 to 2002’ in Chisholm, L. (ed) Changing Class. Pretoria: HSRC.
Muller, J. (2002) ‘Progressivism redux: ethos, policy, pathos’, in A. Kraak & M. Young (eds), Education in Retrospect. Pretoria, HSRC.
See also: Fleisch B. (2008) Primary education in crisis: Why South African School children underachieve in reading and mathematics. Cape Town: Juta.


Department of Education (2009) Report of the Task Team for the Review of the Implementation of the National Curriculum Statement.
Taylor, N (2009) OBE, knowledge and politics Curriculum reform in South Africa 1994-2009. Comment on Draft Report of the Review Panel Strengthening the Implementation of the NCS. Department of Basic Education.
Hoadley, U. (2011). Knowledge, knowers and knowing: Curriculum reform in South Africa (pp. 139-154). In L. Yates & M. Grumet (eds.) Curriculum in Today’s World: configuring knowledge, identities, work and politics. Routledge.

4. 7 AUGUST The challenge of cognitive demand (CR)

Umalusi (2007) Cognitive challenge. A report on Umalusi’s research on judging standards of intended and examined curricula. Pretoria: Umalusi.
Reeves, C & Muller, J. (2005). Picking up the pace: variation in the structure and organization of learning school mathematics. Journal of Education, 37.
Hugo, W, Bertram, C, Green, W and Naidoo, D. (2008). Bernstein, Bloom and the analysis of pedagogy in South African Schools. Journal of Education, 43.

5. 14 AUGUST Assessment and the structuring of curriculum (RS)

Hevey, D. (1997). The UK national (and Scottish) vocational qualification system: state of the art or in a state? International Journal of Training and Development, 1, 4, pp. 242-258
Vandeyar, S. & Killen, R. (2003). Has curriculum reform in South Africa really changed assessment practices, and what promise does the revised National Curriculum Statement hold? Perspectives in Education, 21, 1, pp. 119-134.
SAQA (2001). Criteria and guidelines for assessment of NQF registered unit standards and qualifications. Pretoria: SAQA.
DBE (2011) National protocol for assessment Grades R-12. Pretoria: DBE.

7. 16 AUGUST Curriculum implementation: Classroom studies 1990s to present (UH)
Chick, J. K. (1996). Safe-talk: Collusion in apaprtheid education. In: H. Coleman (Ed.), Society and the language classroom, pp. 21-39. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Taylor, N. & Vinjevold, P. (1999). Teaching and learning in South African schools. In: Getting learning right. JET: Johannesburg.
Hoadley, U. (2008). Pedagogy and social class: a model for the analysis of pedagogic variation. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29,1, pp. 63-78.
Reeves, C. & McAuliffe, S. (2012). Is curricular incoherence slowing down the pace of school mathematics in South Africa? A methodology for assessing coherence in the implemented curriculum and some implications for teacher education. Journal of Education, 53, pp. 9-36.
Fleisch, B. (2008). Teaching and knowing, in: Primary education in crisis. Cape Town: Juta.
Hoadley, U. (2012, forthcoming). What do we know about teaching and learning in South Afrcan primary schools? Education as Change.

7. 21 AUGUST Studies of curricula I (UH)

Christie, F. & Macken-Horarik, M. (2007) Building verticality in subject English. In: F. Christie & J.R. Martin (Eds.), Language, knowledge and pedagogy: Functional linguistic and sociological perspectives. London & New York: Continuum.
Dempster, E and Hugo, W. (2005) Introducing the concept of evolution into South African schools.
Pinar, W. (2010) Curriculum Studies in South Africa: Intellectual histories and present circumstances. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

8. 23 AUGUST Studies of curricula II (JM)
Firth, R. (2011). Making geography visible as an object of study in the secondary school curriculum, The Curriculum Journal , Special issue on Geographical Education.
Martin, J., Maton, K. & Matruglio, E. (2011) Knowledge and knowers: epistemology and axiology in Australian secondary school history. Department of Linguistics, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Education, University of Sydney, Australia.
Bertram, C. (2007) ‘Doing history?’: and analysis of Grade 10 assessment tasks in the new history curriculum. South African Socieety for History Teaching conference, 21-22 September 2007. And Lee, P and Howson, J. “Two out of Five did not know that Henry VIII had six wives”. History educaiotn, historical literacy and historical consciousness. In Symcox, L. and Wilshut, A. (eds. ) National History Standards. Information Age Publishing: Charlotte NC.
Bertram, C. (2012) Exploring an historical gaze: a language of description for the practice of school history. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 44, 3, pp. 429 - 442.
Kataloq: 2013
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