Perceptions of curriculum 2005 : grade one primary teachers in twenty-eight Cape Town schools

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

This study looks at teachers' perceptions of Curriculum 2005, in order (i) to understand how a group of Grade One teachers, in the Cape Town region, are reacting to the introduction of an outcomes-based-system, and (ii) to make sense of where their understandings might come from. The study holds significance because it helps to shed light on the reality of policy implementation, and the importance of the teacher in the process of policy-making and policy implementation. The study explores the patterns of teachers' thoughts within a variety of diverse school contexts. This diversity is assessed through the use of a detailed questionnaire, in-depth interviews and site visits. Forty-one Grade One teacher's perceptions of Curriculum 2005 were studied. This process involved the use of Grounded Theory principles, which guided the data collection process and analysis procedure. The outcome of this approach led to the formulation of a model, which outlines the process of understanding the personal (internal) and social (external) factors, which affect the development of teachers' perceptions towards change. The study suggests that there are three main categories of perceptions of Curriculum 2005 that teachers fall into, although each category is dynamic. Within each category both internal and external factors affect the development of teachers' perceptions of educational change. The analysis shows that within and between each category the factors of age and experience play a role in the way teachers come by their teacher knowledge and develop their teaching practice. The study also reveals the dynamic nature of teachers' understanding, consciousness and perceptions of Curriculum 2005, and seeks to show how dependent these are on a variety of internal and external factors. The development of perceptions is both a process and a product within the minds of individuals. The findings of the research suggest that both personal and -social dynamics play a major role in the development of teacher knowledge and teaching practice. The study seeks to emphasise that there is need to recognise and promote the professional development of teachers, and to achieve this there is a need to understand teachers in the process of educational change. It is suggested that each school context generates different dynamics, and in order to address the question of change it is also necessary to address the specific position of teachers within the school. At the same time the study emphasises the need to bridge the gaps between policy-making and policy implementation.

Includes bibliography.