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Comparative cases of curriculum policy-practice gaps in Botswana and South Africa

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Abstract:

We compare gaps in the 6th grade mathematics curriculum and teaching practices of Botswana and South Africa respectively. Our objective is to highlight how policy-practice processes differed in two contexts, with divergence between curricula developed and their implementation by teachers. We draw parallels between each country’s national curriculum committees and classrooms, conceptualizing them as organizational settings that are embedded in local, national and global contexts. We build on political and sociological frameworks to show how local politics and global norms interact in policy-practice processes. Our mixed-method study design utilizes interviews and surveys of policymakers and implementers, reviews of policy and curriculum documents, and data from classroom observations. We show that in a relatively more diverse, less centralized and newly de-segregated, democratic South Africa, teacher union representatives, academics and other policymakers focused on the curriculum as a socio-political tool to address Apartheid-era inequities. On the other hand, in the relatively more homogenous, centralized country of Botswana, which has been a democracy for longer, practicing teachers and other experts developed more specified curriculum documents focusing on subject content and organization, reflecting on different teaching practices in the two countries. Our work especially contributes to knowledge about how teachers’ roles in policy-making shape the curriculum, and in turn affect classroom practices and outcomes in different contexts.

Author's Keywords:

Comparative, Curriculum, Policy
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486354_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Addy, Nii. and Mokgosi, Lillian. "Comparative cases of curriculum policy-practice gaps in Botswana and South Africa" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486354_index.html>

APA Citation:

Addy, N. A. and Mokgosi, L. Z. , 2011-04-30 "Comparative cases of curriculum policy-practice gaps in Botswana and South Africa" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486354_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: We compare gaps in the 6th grade mathematics curriculum and teaching practices of Botswana and South Africa respectively. Our objective is to highlight how policy-practice processes differed in two contexts, with divergence between curricula developed and their implementation by teachers. We draw parallels between each country’s national curriculum committees and classrooms, conceptualizing them as organizational settings that are embedded in local, national and global contexts. We build on political and sociological frameworks to show how local politics and global norms interact in policy-practice processes. Our mixed-method study design utilizes interviews and surveys of policymakers and implementers, reviews of policy and curriculum documents, and data from classroom observations. We show that in a relatively more diverse, less centralized and newly de-segregated, democratic South Africa, teacher union representatives, academics and other policymakers focused on the curriculum as a socio-political tool to address Apartheid-era inequities. On the other hand, in the relatively more homogenous, centralized country of Botswana, which has been a democracy for longer, practicing teachers and other experts developed more specified curriculum documents focusing on subject content and organization, reflecting on different teaching practices in the two countries. Our work especially contributes to knowledge about how teachers’ roles in policy-making shape the curriculum, and in turn affect classroom practices and outcomes in different contexts.


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