Contemplative education as a response to the contradictions between neoliberalism and social justice in the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS)

Bekker, Petrus (2020-03)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT : South African educational policy after 1994, and in particular, the current Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), express a very ambitious and wide range of aims and goals, with some relating to education for economic progress, and others relating to education pertaining to human rights, responsible and ‘good’ citizenship, and social justice – what might be termed ‘values education’. Of concern is the realisation that CAPS is unaware of and negligent about its strong neoliberal leanings – that is, it emphasises skills-oriented education, which stifles the implementation of values education. What follows is a report on a conceptual study of how neoliberalism, as espoused by CAPS, influences the ethical adeptness and enthusiasm of individuals and their ability to maintain a healthy relationality with the ‘other’. It was found that neoliberalism leads to exclusionary identity formation, hyper-individuality and the avoidance of ethical responsibilities. As a response, I argue for a consideration of contemplative education, underscored by an ethics of care (both of which contain values like empathy, compassion and responsibility). In this regard, the study challenges the neoliberal tone of CAPS and makes suggestions for new roadmaps unto values education. Bringing contemplative education to stand against neoliberalism in the South African context represents a new area of study, and I make recommendations for further research. Keywords: contemplative education, neoliberalism, values, values education, care ethics, Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), South African educational policy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Geen opsomming beskikbaar.

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