Classroom managers implementing curriculum policy : the Life Orientation teacher.
The rationale of the study was to examine the experiences of Life Orientation teachers during curriculum implementation. The uniqueness of an efficient classroom manager is apparent and to some extent obvious. However, what may not be clear is how you develop into an effective classroom manager. Research evidence supports the assertion that good quality classroom managers are made, not born. Effective classroom managers are teachers who can identify with their learners and use definite teaching techniques. Education management is an organised, interconnected process used by professionals who manage education and training at schools. Leadership does not only involve the principal; teachers are leaders and managers of their own classrooms. They must also ensure that all management tasks are implemented such as: planning, organising, leading, controlling, monitoring and co-ordinating. School principals and school management teams should be actively involved in the Life Orientation programmes. This study provided valuable insight into the challenges experienced by the Life Orientation teacher and further makes recommendations in order to improve on curriculum implementation within the classroom. The theoretical framework for this study was based on Bronfenbrenner’s Ecosystemic theory. According to this theory the Life Orientation teacher cannot teach this subject in isolation. The micro, meso, macro and chrono systems have to be taken into consideration during curriculum implementation. This research was located within an interpretive paradigm and the methodology of this study was qualitative in nature. Purposive sampling was used in order to nominate the two schools for this study. The participants for this study consisted of two Life Orientation teachers from each school and their Heads of Department responsible for this subject. The data collection involved semistructured interviews with four Life Orientation teachers and two Heads of Department members. During the deductive analysis process five themes emerged. The research findings indicated that Life Orientation teachers experience various challenges during curriculum implementation. Challenges ranged from teacher’s personal competencies, learners with learning difficulties, problems with the Department not meeting the expected demands, lack of resources, curriculum being too broad and the teaching of sensitive issues. This study further makes some recommendations such as allowing teachers to become masters in Life Orientation (allow teachers to teach the subject for more than three years), allocate the subject to teachers who have a flair for the subject, try to attain help from the community, use the Health Department facilities to come in and educate learners on sensitive topics, fundraising activities could assist in generating sufficient income in order to purchase equipment. It was also highlighted that any school can succeed if they have a strong School Management Team who can assist and be able to support their teachers all the way.