n Journal of Educational Studies - Exploring the teachers’ experiences of implementing a high school curriculum : a South Africa view

Volume 17 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1680-7456


This paper explores teachers’ experiences of implementing the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) in KwaZulu-Natal high schools. Since the dawn of democracy in 1994, the South African education system has undergone radical and rapid curriculum transformation. Changes include, among others, the Nated Report 550, the introduction of Curriculum 2005 (C2005), the revision of C2005, which produced the Revised National Curriculum Statement (RNCS), the refinement of the RNCS, which produced the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) and, currently, the CAPS. However, even with all these changes to the school curriculum, few studies have been carried out to understand teachers’ experiences in putting the curriculum into practice. Theoretically, this study was underpinned by an eclectic approach that integrated the adaptive-evolutionary, programmed and enactment approaches to frame our worldview. In addition, a qualitative phenomenological design was employed to explore the teachers’ experiences of implementing the CAPS. Data were collected using focused group discussions from 20 purposively selected teachers from five high schools. The data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. From the findings, the teachers’ experiences are evidenced in their perceptions of the curriculum, teacher development, monitoring, parental involvement, overcrowding in their classrooms, as well as the CAPS teaching, learning and assessment. A synthesis of the findings indicates that teachers have positive generally experiences of implementing the CAPS, despite a few areas that still need to be addressed.

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