Challenges for curriculum in a contemporary South Africa

Le Grange, Lesley (2011)

CITATION: Le Grange, L. 2011. Challenges for Curriculum in a Contemporary South Africa, in E. Bitzer & N. Botha (eds.). Curriculum Inquiry in South African Higher Education: Some Scholarly Affirmations and Challenges. Stellenbosch: SUN MeDIA. 79-91. doi:10.18820/9781920338671/03.

The original publication is available from AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, Stellenbosch: South Africa.

Chapters in Books

INTRODUCTION: Curriculum is a complex and contested terrain that is variously described based on disparate philosophical lenses through which it is viewed. When the word ‘curriculum’ is used it is generally understood as applying to school education, that is to the prescribed learning programmes of schools or more broadly to the learning opportunities provided to school learners, rather than to higher education. A survey of articles published in prominent curriculum journals such as the Journal of Curriculum Studies and Curriculum Inquiry, for instance, shows that very little space is given to articles on higher education. Ironically, the term was first used in relation to higher education rather than school education. It was Ramus, the sixteenth-century master at the University of Paris, who first worked on ‘methodising’ knowledge and teaching. It was in Ramus’s work, a taxonomy of knowledge, the Professio Regia (1576), which was published posthumously, that the word ‘curriculum’ first appears, referring to “a sequential course of study” (for more detail see Doll 2002:31). According to Doll (2002:31), Ramus’s idea of a general codification of knowledge (curriculum) flourished among universities that were strongly influenced by Calvinism, ostensibly because of their affinity for discipline, order and control.

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