Teachers' voices: a study of the implementation of South Africa's Curriculum 2005 through the perspectives of Atteridgeville and Saulsville educators
Tsebe, Mohlago Mary
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This study examines the understandings of twenty-eight teachers in primary schools in Atteridgeville and Saulsville in South Africa with regard to outcome-based education and how their understanding influences the manner in which they implemented Curriculum 2005 (OBE) policy initiative which the South African government mandated for implementation in 1997. Four major findings emerged from this study. First, the majority of the teachers in the study supported the implementation of Curriculum 2005. Second, teachers had varying levels of understanding of the Curriculum 2005 policy. Third, teachers lacked preparation for implementation because comprehensive staff development opportunities were not available. Fourth, structural problems relative to fiscal resources and a flawed policy development process hindered teachers' understanding and implementation of Curriculum 2005. The findings revealed there is great teacher support for the implementation of Curriculum 2005 (OBE). The teachers believed Curriculum 2005 (OBE) has the potential of changing policy direction in education for the black majority students who received a poor quality of education prior to its implementation. The findings also revealed that teachers' varying levels of understanding of the Curriculum 2005 policy initiative are due to a lack of (a) quality teacher preparation, (b) effective staff development, (c) financial resources, and (d) effective policy development and implementation. These findings partly explain the teachers lack of understanding of Curriculum 2005 (OBE) and their failure to implement it. Two major conclusions were drawn from this study. First, the variations in the levels of support and understanding of Curriculum 2005 (OBE) among primary school teachers in Atteridgeville and Saulsville resulted mainly from a lack of quality teacher preparation before the introduction of Curriculum 2005 (OBE) and effective staff development during the implementation of Curriculum 2005 (OBE).
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