n South African Journal of Education - Continuity and progression : the Achilles' heel of the National Curriculum Statement for Geography?

Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



As has happened in many western democracies over the past few decades, post-apartheid South Africa is undergoing educational reform resulting from, among other things, the specification of assessment standards within the school sector. The soon-to-be-replaced syllabi provided some description of what could be taught in a specific subject (the content) as well as broad intentions regarding the aims and objectives of teaching and learning. However, what these syllabi lack(ed) are subject specific assessment standards on which curriculum planning and teaching practice could be based, and from which learner progress might be monitored. The newly formulated National Curriculum Statement (NCS) for Geography in the Further Education and Training (FET) band concerned with Grades 10, 11, and 12, provides the learning outcomes for the band, the assessment standards for each grade as well as broad outlines of content to be covered. Whether these assessment standards will in fact enhance Geography teaching in each of the relevant grades and lead to improved learner achievement will depend on a number of factors. Continuity and progression are two important factors. Recent developments in the area of subject specific assessment standards are described and reflected on and an analysis of the FET Geography assessment standards and their implications for assessment are provided.

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