n South African Journal of Education - The inception phase of a case study of outcomes - based education assessment policy in the Human and Social Sciences Learning Area of C2005




This article describes the Inception Phase (January to December 2002) of an ongoing research project focused on the Grade 9 Learning Area of Human and Social Sciences of Curriculum 2005. The case study involves a dynamic interaction between a university lecturer, playing the role of 'outside facilitator', and the History and Geography teachers at two independent schools. The article describes how teachers in a given context respond to outcomes-based education assessment policy, and the tools and processes they use to develop the deep understanding inferred by policy (Republic of South Africa, 2000) to implement change in a meaningful way. The article consists of three sections. The first contextualises significant events which foregrounded and provided the impetus for the research project. It provides an overview of the theory informing the research and the goals of the research. The second analyses in narrative form the various stages of the Inception Phase. It describes a process of curriculum development which has involved the development of criterion- referenced assessment rubrics, a Learner and Curriculum Profile, and an audit of current assessment practices in History and Geography at the two schools. The article illuminates the time and effort necessary for creative and systemic curriculum innovation. The final section synthesizes the information gathered.


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