From OBE to CAPS : educators' experiences of the new life skills curriculum in the foundation phase.
South Africa has undergone many changes in the past decade in terms of political, economic and educational transformations. The year 1994 was the turning point in which our education system underwent a major paradigm shift. The sands have been shifting in education ever since, beginning with the National Curriculum Statement, then the introduction of OBE and Curriculum 2005 and the most recent, CAPS. The question that intrigued me about curriculum change was how educators experienced these changes. This study therefore explored how educators experienced curriculum change in South Africa, particularly how they experienced the new Life Skills curriculum in the Foundation Phase. The following research questions were addressed in this study: 1) What are grade one educators’ experiences of the new CAPS Life Skills curriculum? 2) Why do educators experience the new curriculum the way they do? A qualitative research approach was used, making use of a case study design. Participants were purposely selected using non-probability sampling. Semi-structured interviews and diaries were used as data collection methods. The data from this study revealed that educators experienced challenges in terms of the content, planning and preparation, assessment and dealing with contextual factors in the classroom. It was also found that educators experienced a lack of training and support in implementing the new Life Skills curriculum. A positive experience was that educators enjoyed teaching Life Skills. It was also found that educators welcomed and embraced curriculum change.