Title page for ETD etd-12192006-141508


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Mahlangu, Thoko Poppy
URN etd-12192006-141508
Document Title Teacher agency and the new curriculum reforms in South Africa
Degree MED(Curriculum and Instructional Design and Development)
Department Curriculum Studies
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Dr L T Jita
Keywords
  • autonomy
  • empowerment
  • ownership
  • structures
  • non-victim
  • creative
  • innovative
  • intellectual engagement
  • reform
  • identity
  • curriculum
  • agency
  • Tacher
Date 2006-05-03
Availability restricted
Abstract
Teaching is a profession that has a practical component that relies on the skilful application of knowledge. For the past ten years (1996 - 2005) and with the advent of Curriculum 2005, major changes have taken place in the underlying philosophy of education in South Africa. Curriculum 2005, which replaced the old traditional curriculum, encourages teachers to become more innovative and an emphasis is placed on the acquisition of skills, the application of knowledge and problem solving. In this study, the researcher considers teacher agency within the South African context. Teacher agency needs to be the priority of the National Department of Education. By teacher agency, the researcher refers to teachers having initiative, being innovative and also becoming responsible for their actions. Furthermore, this study also considers the influence of some educational structures on the exercising of teacher-agency. By structures, the researcher means both human and non-human structures, like circuits, district managers or documents in the form of circulars or policies.

This study presents work on the life histories of two South African teachers. These teachers are an example of those teachers who, despite all forms of problematic structures, managed to pave their way into the exercising of teacher agency. The key concepts that were used to guide this study are: Empowerment, Autonomy and Ownership.

Besides using the concepts mentioned above, the researcher also adopted Brubaker’s 1994 concept of “Non-Victim”, which also addresses a situation of a positive attitude of agency in difficult situations.

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