An investigation into the implementation of curriculum 2005 in grade nine (09) : a case study of two schools.
This small but in-depth comparative study sought to explore the extent to which a rural ex-farm school and an urban ex-model C school were in a position to implement C2005. It was acknowledged that a small-scale study could not address the question of whether the two schools actually were implementing the new curriculum. The question was rather whether their circumstances were conducive to C2005 implementation. Bernstein's (1971) definition of curriculum as comprising content, pedagogy, and evaluation was found to be useful categories for analysing classroom practice in relation to C2005 design features, namely the outcomes based approach, an integrated curriculum, and learner centred teaching. The social relationships associated with weak classification (or the Integrated Code) directed the study towards forms of school organisation that would be necessary for the reception of C2005. Bernstein's concept of framing was useful in that its related concepts of sequencing and pacing of lessons provided a means of analysing classroom practices. Data collection tools included semi structured interviews and observations in the two schools. While both schools experienced difficulty in implementing C2005 in grade 9, findings indicated that the rural ex-farm experienced significantly greater difficulty. Historical disadvantage, poverty, lack of resources and lack of adequate departmental support seemed to combine with a lack of will on the part of educators to develop the kinds of lessons and materials on which C2005 depends. While teachers at this school supported the idea of C2005, they felt it could not be implemented in their context. The former model C school was advantaged by its relatively favourable situation with respect to both human and physical resources, and was making impressive progress towards C2005 implementation. Despite the fact that C2005 aimed at achieving equity, the evidence from this study suggests that the gap that had previously existed between these different schools was in fact widening. The gulf separating policymakers and their planners on the one hand, and teachers and their classrooms on the other, was particularly great in the case of the ex-farm school. Implications arising from this are discussed in terms of forms of teacher development that might alleviate the difficulties experienced in disadvantaged schools.