ABSTRACT

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of the book. This book considers the developments and the contestations around the reform of the national curriculum in relation to both national and international dynamics. It draws out two features that exemplify the forms of life in classrooms over the 20-year period that have remained resistant to change. The first is a communalizing orientation to instruction, where, similar to the introductory description, the teacher works with the whole class as a homogeneous group, with little or no differentiation of tasks or attention to individual performances. The second enduring feature of classrooms is the emphasis on the outer form of task demands. The process of curriculum reform in South Africa offers a kind of natural experiment in relation to curriculum and pedagogic change, describing the three post-apartheid curriculum reforms and three parallel analyses of pedagogy.