n South African Journal of Education - Professionalisation as a social regularity : the policy process in South Africa's Natural Science curriculum

Volume 26, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



Curriculum 2005 (C2005) in 1997 and the Revised National Curriculum Statements (RNCS) in 2002 have been two major curriculum policy developments in South Africa. In this study, our aim was to unravel the processes by which they developed as they did, and determine how these policy processes are best researched and understood. In this article we use the concept of professionalisation to analyse the policy process for the two reform periods. In addition we attempt to show how professionalisation acts as a social regularity: professionals brought in to write the policy documents for the two reform periods, through their socialization into the profession, have in many ways worked towards the maintenance of a particular social order, rather than changing the social order. This is evident especially in the concept of 'scientific literacy' that emerged, which is strongly consistent with similar policies in developed countries, even though conditions in South Africa are unique.

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