A critical perspective on the role of outcomes based education in the democratic transformation of education in South Africa

Linderts, Theodore Ian (2003-12)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa had its first democratic elections in April 1994. This achievement was the start of a bold break from the apartheid era and was signified by a new wave of optimism that swept the country. Democratic rule and practice has been hailed as the goal so long fought for and this has finally been realised. In an effort to sustain the optimism and to widen the cleavage between the old and the new, South African policy makers set out on a course of major policy changes that affected all spheres of South African life. Education is but one sphere that did not get spared and on 24 March 1997 the break from the past was achieved with the adoption of Outcomes-based Education as the official educational approach through the introduction of Curriculum 2005. In this study I will argue the concept of democracy and highlight some of the different interpretations that people hold. This is done to establish a conceptual framework against which the South African democracy can be measured. Further issues related to the implementation of democracy in South Africa are debated to give a clear indication of which direction the South African government is steering this process. I will also discuss the introduction of Outcomes-based Education and focus on the reasons why policy makers decided to adopt this particular educational approach. Various concepts that tie in with Outcomes based Education are explained and offer the reader a opportunity to form an understanding of how the system functions. The research consists of six chapters, with each chapter offering a different perspective on the research topic. Chapter 2 contains a conceptual clarification of various concepts relating to the study and these clarifications are informed by the views of various authors. Chapter 3 deals with the issue of democracy and has two objectives. Firstly, the construction of a common understanding of what is meant by the term democracy, and secondly, the formation of a framework against which the South African society could be assessed. The main theme of Chapter 4 is the advent of Outcomes-based Education in South Africa, and reference to the North American experience is made for the purpose of comparison. In the discussion on the criticisms of Outcomes-based Education the researcher highlights an alternative perspective and discusses the proponents' point of view. This is offered for the purposes of presenting an informed discussion, but also for the sake of comparison. In Chapter 5 the researcher presents a view of South African Society against the framework set out in Chapter 3. The second section of the chapter deals with Outcomes-based Education and its possibilities for the deepening of democracy in South Africa. The study concludes with a summary of the various issues that were dealt with and suggestions offered. Lastly, recommendations on how this process can be taken forward are offered which includes suggestions for further research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid Afrika het sy eerste demokratiese verkiesing in April 1994 gehad. Hierdie mylpaal was die begin van 'n bepalende breek met die apartheid era en was gekenmerk aan 'n flaag van optimisme wat die land gesweep het. Die bereiking van demokrasie was lank voorgehou as die ideaal waarvoor gestreef was en dit het nou finaal gerealiseer. In 'n poging om die optimisme te behou en om die gaping tussen die ou en nuwe te verbreed, het Suid Afrikaanse beleidsmakers nuwe wetgewing geproklameer wat alle vlakke van die Suid Afrikaanse samelewing geaffekteer het. Onderwys is in die proses nie gespaar nie en op 24 Maart 1997 is die toekoms betree met die aanvaarding van Uitkomsgebasseerde Onderwys as die amptelike metodologiese benadering deur middle van Kurrikulum 2005. Ek is van voorneme om in hierdie studie die konsep demokrasie toe te lig asook om die verskeie interpretasies van die konsep te illumineer. Dit word gedoen om 'n konseptuele mraamwerk daar te stel waarteen Suid Afrikaanse demokrasie gemeet kan word. Verder, aspekte rakende die implementering van demokrasie work ook bespreek om as duidelike rigtingwyser te dien ten opsigte van die rigting wat die huidige regering die proses instuur. Die bekendstelling van Uitkomsgebasserde Onderwys word ook bespreek met die fokus op die beweegredes waarom beleidsmakers op hierdie besondere onderwysbenadering besluit het. Verskeie konsepte wat Uitkomsgebasseerde Onderwys toelig word verduidelik en dit bied aan die leser die geleentheid om die werkinge van die stelsel te begryp. Die ondersoek beslaan 6 hoofstukke, met elke hoofstuk wat die leser 'n verskillende perspektief op die tema van ondersoek bied. Hoofstuk 2 bied 'n konseptuele analise van verskeie konsepte relevant tot die studie vanuit die oogpunt van verskeie skrywers. Hoofstuk 3 handeloor demokrasie en het twee doelstellings. Eerstens, die daarstelling van 'n gemeenskaplike verstaan wat met die term demokrasie bedoel word,en tweedens, die ontwikkeling van 'n raamwerk waarteen die huidige Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap beoordeel kan word. The tema van Hoofstuk 4 is die opkoms van Uitkomsgebasseerde Onderwys (UGO) in Suid-Afrika met verwysing na die Noord Amerikaanse ondervinding as 'n vergelyking.Tydens die bespreking van die kritiek teen UGO, bied die skrywer 'n alternatiewe sienswyse en word die ondersteuners-seining gestel. Dit word gedoen om 'n ingeligte asook vergelykende diskussie daar te stel. In Hoofstuk 5 word die Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap teen die raamwerk vervat in Hoofstuk 3 voorgehou. Die tweede gedeelte van die hoofstuk bespreek UGO en die moontlikheid tot die daarstelling van 'n verdiepte demokrasie in Suid-Afrika Die ondersoek word afgesluit met 'n opsomming van die aspekte rakende die onderwerp asook sekere voorstelle. Laastens, bied die skywer aanbevelings van hoe die proses voort geneem kan word wat voorstelle vir verdere ondersoek.

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