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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X


MAISTRY, Suriamurthee Moonsamy  and  DAVID, Roshnee. The school economics textbook as programmatic curriculum: An exploited conduit for neoliberal globalisation discourses. Journal of Education [online]. 2018, n.74, pp.32-46. ISSN 2520-9868.

In South African schools, the textbook serves as an indispensable trustworthy source of disciplinary content knowledge. While the constitution and vetting of such knowledge is subject to the state's textbook publication protocols as they relate to screening for discrimination and prejudice in relation to race, gender, sexuality etc., there is a dearth of understanding of covert ideological hegemony embedded in the textbook as revered artefact. This programmatic curriculum, the school textbook, has received minimal attention from local curriculum theorists and researchers, so it is likely to masquerade as innocent purveyor of selected (or subversive) ideology. In an attempt to unveil the subtext, we report on a study that set out to examine the discourses of globalisation that manifest in selected contemporary high school economics textbooks. The study draws on the tenets of Fairclough's Critical Discourse Analysis to reveal how particular knowledge selections romanticise globalisation through the discourses of financescapes, presenting and perpetuating a neoliberal discourse as normal and acceptable. We present reflections on how critical curriculum theory might offer insights for classroom pedagogy, especially as it relates to re-embracing the critical pedagogy project in South African schools.

Keywords : critical discourse analysis; globalisation; neoliberalism; textbooks.

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