Educators' experiences of an outcomes-based education pilot programme : a case study of Crystal Point Secondary School (Kwazulu-Natal)

Gokul, Manuj Kumar (2001-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: After the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, the transformation of the entire education system began with a plethora of new policies introduced by the Department of National Education (DNE). Among these, under the title of Curriculum 2005, the DNE introduced an outcomes-based education (OBE) curriculum for schools. Before the planned implementation of OBE in the Senior Phase of the General Education and Training (GET) band, the DNE decided to conduct a pilot programme at the beginning of 1999. The intention of the programme, among others, was to test the practical implementation of the new curriculum policy. However, this programme was aborted by the DNE in March 200 I. There has been no review of the programme since it was suspended. The aim of this study is to document the experiences of educators in an OBE pilot programme in a single school. This study is significant because it sheds light on realities faced by schools with the practical implementation of curriculum policy. The data generated from the study might therefore be useful to the broad education community. The findings of the study suggest that the shift from policy into practice is not a simple process. The educators interviewed in the study indicated that they were faced with many obstacles and challenges such as large class sizes, lack of resources and inadequate training and support that impeded the implementation of OBE. They became "frustrated" and were "relieved" when the programme was aborted. These difficulties suggest that contextual realities need to be considered in the development of curriculum policy. In addition, in order to translate policy into practice key aspects of curriculum, i.e. curriculum development, learning materials and training, must be fully in place and in alignment. The decision to follow an OBE model was made by the DNE with little participation by the broader education community. However, it is apparent that the DNE cannot achieve success on its own. Since OBE is likely to remain with us for a very long time, this study concludes with recommendations for the successful implementation of OBE. The recommendations are made on the assumption that there is a need for full participation of all stakeholders to bridge the 'gaps' between policy-making and policy implementation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die aftakeling van apartheid in Suid-Afrika het gepaard gegaan met 'n proses van transformasie in die onderwys. Dit het tot die gevolg gehad dat 'n hele aantal beleidsdokumente die lig gesien het, ev.: die Uitkoms- gebaseerde onderwys (UGO) model het in skole onder die vaandel van Kurrikulum 2005 verskyn. Voor die beplande implementering van UGO in die Senior fase van die Algemene Opvoeding en Opleidings (GET) band/ fase, het die Departement van Nasionale Onderwys (DNO) besluit om 'n loodsprogram aan die begin van 1999 in werking te stel. Die doel van die program was, onder andere, om die praktiese implementering van die nuwe kurrikulumbeleid uit te toets. Hierdie program is egter deur die DNO in Maart 2001 beeindig. Tot dusver is die program nie heroorweeg nie. Die doel van hierdie studie is om die ervarings van opvoeders in 'n UGO loodsprogram in 'n enkele skool te dokumenteer. Die studie is betekenisvol aangesien dit lig werp op die werklike uitdagings wat die skole in die gesig staar, met die praktiese implementering van kurrikulumbeleid. Die data wat tydens die studie geproduseer is, mag dus betekenisvol vir die onderwys gemeenskap wees. Die bevindinge van die studie dui daarop dat die proses van transformasie vanaf beleid na praktyk 'n gekompliseerde proses is. Die betrokke opvoeders met wie daar onderhoude gevoer is, het die volgende struikelblokke aangedui: groot getalle leerders in die klas, 'n gebrek aan hulpbronne, en ontoereikende opleiding en ondersteuning met die implementering van UGO. Van die opvoeders was gefrusteerd en was verlig toe die program misluk het. Hierdie uitdagings bring mee dat gekontekstualiseerde werklikhede in ag geneem moet word wanneer kurrikulumbeleid ontwikkel word. Om beleid in praktyk te implementer, vereis dat sleutelaspekte soos kurrikulumontwikkeling, leermateriaal en opleiding ten volle in plek wees. Die besluit om 'n UGO model te implementer was 'n eensydige besluit van die DNO sonder veel deelname van die breë onderwysgemeenskap. Dit is duidelik dat die DNO nie sukses op sy eie kan behaal nie. UGO is tans 'n realiteit wat waarskynlik nog 'n lank- deel van die stelsel gaan wees. Hierdie studie maak aanbevelings wat moontlik tot meer suksesvolle implementering van UGO kan lei. Die aanbevelings berus op die aanname dat daar 'n behoefte is aan ten volle deelname deur alle rolspelers ten einde die gaping tussen beleidsmaking en praktiese implementering te oorbrug.

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