Title page for ETD etd-11132008-105448

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Bremner, Leonard Peter
URN etd-11132008-105448
Document Title The effects of policy and curriculum change on the morale of educators in the North West Province
Degree MEd
Department Education Management and Policy Studies
Advisor Name Title
Mr S J Chalufu Supervisor
  • phenomenological study
  • experiences
  • perceptions
  • attrition
  • policy
  • rapid change
  • curriculum change
  • effects
  • educator morale
Date 2008-09-03
Availability restricted

This study investigates the effects of policy and curriculum change on educator morale in the North West Province since the change to a democratic dispensation in South Africa (S.A.). Factors that affect the morale of educators have always been prevalent in schools throughout the world and this has affected the attrition of educators in general. This is clear from the literature from other countries as well as in South Africa.

However, these factors as well as others appear to have a profound effect on the morale of educators in this time of rapid policy and curriculum change in the new S.A. Studies conducted in S.A. have spelt out dire consequences of teacher shortages in the foreseeable future, which appears to have brought on a new dimension which affects educators and specifically their morale.

The study explores the effects of these factors from the basis of real life experiences of primary school educators using a phenomenological research design. The study was guided by the work of Alfred Schutz who calls for the concern of understanding the meaning structure of everyday life of the respondents. This was used to give a lived experience which emphasizes textual descriptions of what happened and how the phenomenon was experienced.

In-depth interviews were conducted in three schools in the North West Province, with three educators in each school. The principal and two educators who had been teaching prior to and after the change to a democratic dispensation were selected at each of the three schools. The schools were specifically selected on the basis of an urban, township and rural school with differing levels of resources.

The data analysis and interpretation of the findings revealed concerns around the following issues: a) serious issues of morale with factors already identified as well as that of rapid policy and curriculum change, coupled with a lack of proper training; b) the implementation of a top-down approach in implementing policy, while a disregard for input from experienced educators on the ground appeared to be prevalent; c) a lack of support for educators struggling with change in policy; d) organizational concerns around implementation of policy, work load of educators at schools as well as the viability of teaching in an inclusive education environment.

University of Pretoria 2008

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