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An exploration of teacher emotions in relation to curriculum changes in grade 10 Business Studies.

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This study focuses on the emotions of five Business Studies teachers in relation to curriculum changes. The purpose of this study is to explore teacher emotions in relation to Business Studies in Grade 10. The research setting is within the KwaZulu-Natal province in the Pietermaritzburg area. The study is located within the interpretive paradigm and adopts a qualitative approach. A convenience sample of five participants was selected from three secondary schools. Data was collected from two semi-structured interviews; in addition participants were also requested to write a poem where they expressed their emotions about the changes in the Business Studies curriculum. Hargreaves’ framework of emotional geographies was used to analyse the data. His notions of emotional understanding and misunderstanding as well as socio-cultural, professional, physical and political closeness or distance served as an analytical framework. Data was coded into categories and a thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. One of the main findings of this study is that Business Studies teachers experience both pleasant and unpleasant emotions in relation to curriculum changes. Most participants experienced unpleasant emotions of stress, confusion, anger and fear while some experienced pleasant emotions of happiness. Furthermore, this study found that teacher collaboration assisted in their responding and adapting to change. This study highlights the significance of teacher emotions in relation to curriculum reform. In addition, this study draws attention to poetry as an innovative method which allows teachers to express their emotions.


Master of Education in Education Studies. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 2016.