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South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7682
Print version ISSN 2223-7674


CLASQUIN-JOHNSON, Mary G.. Now and then: Revisiting early childhood teachers' reactions to curriculum change. SAJCE [online]. 2016, vol.6, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2223-7682.

This article reports on the findings of a study consisting of two phases. Both phases aimed at investigating how professional development, physical resources and instructional support influenced teachers' responses to curriculum change. Despite more than 90% of Grade R teachers being under-qualified, they have had to implement two radically different curricula over the past decade. The initial study ('Phase 1'), conducted in 2007-2010, investigated teachers' responses to the National Curriculum Statement. The 2015 follow-up study ('Phase 2') focused on the same teachers, but the focus fell on the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements. The latter occurred in a drastically different context because of the improved monitoring and support systems. A qualitative case study design was employed within an interpretive paradigm. The findings of Phase 1 suggested that the teachers ignored, resisted, adopted and adapted curriculum change. Their highly individualised responses could be attributed to their professional isolation. In contrast, the findings of Phase 2 reveal policy fidelity because of their enhanced capacity to adopt curriculum change. Notably, curriculum implementation is presently occurring within a community of practice. This has the potential to be a catalyst for effecting curriculum change.

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