n South African Journal of Education - The "voice of the teacher" in curriculum development : a voice crying in the wilderness?




Education in South Africa is facing great challenges, especially with regard to curriculum development. Teachers are principal role-players in the process of addressing these challenges. The question is: Are they allowed to participate in the process, and if they do participate, what is the nature of their involvement? Within the context of the current curriculum changes in education in South Africa, stringent demands are being made on teachers. This process of continuous change has not yet stabilised and therefore it is imperative that there should be dialogue about what is expected of teachers when it is suggested that they should be "more involved in curriculum development". An attempt is made to contribute to this discourse by focusing on what is meant by teacher involvement in brief, the possible viewpoints regarding this concept, and the real nature and extent of possible involvement within a specific South African context. Results of the research project indicated that teachers were for the most part excluded from participation in curriculum development at curriculum levels outside the classroom. Their perception was that, although they were the subject and/or learning area specialists, little attention, if any, was given to their "voice" - they were only involved in the implementation of the new curriculum.


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