Exploring the determinants of curriculum change at Sekusile Adult Education Centre 1998-2000.
Sekusile Adult Education Centre is owned and operated by the Assemblies of God Association. Initial funding was provided for three years by the Swedish Government. Sekusile was modelled on the Swedish concept of the Folk High School. Strong ideological and pedagogical inferences inhered within the curriculum as envisaged by the founders. As a Non Government Organisation (NGO) operating within the Adult Education (AE) and Adult Basic Education and Training field (ABET), it did not escape the debilitating effects of reduced funding that have characterised this field since 1994. Like many other adult education providers, Sekusile had to redefine itself in terms of the educational programmes it offered, and in terms of its intended learner market. Economic, political and social realities forced changes in curriculum. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that led to curriculum change at Sekusile, in order that planned satellite centres may possibly improve on the performance of Sekusile. Literature review revealed numerous sources that informed the study. Particularly, literature dealing with Swedish Folk High Schools (Titmus1981; Abrahamsson 1996), South Africa (Mather and Amos 1996; Asmal 1999; Aitchison 1999) and Kwa Zulu Natal (Wallace 2000) were useful in providing a background to the research.· Some silences were identified concerning curriculum and funding. This literature was essential for setting the Sekusile study into both a global and local context. Literature on case study approaches included Bless and Higson-Smith (1995), Deshler and Hagan (1988), McNamara (1999) and Stenhouse (1988). The theoretical framework for the study was drawn from the work of Bhola (1989) for his work on the Configurational Theory of Systems Development and Change, and Knowles (1981) for his process theory of andragogy. The research site is located in Newlands East, Durban. The population consisted of the key role players who contributed towards curriculum design and implementation at Sekusile. This included management, facilitators and learners. Data was drawn from archival (founding) documents as well as other documents on file, such as minutes of meetings. This was a qualitative case study, using non standardised interviews with key informants, the purpose being to allow the voices of informants to be heard and for their contribution to provide data that have some texture over those derived from documentary sources. Data was categorised in terms of the research questions and in analysis, a narrative was allowed to emerge.