OBE and Teaching Practice: Can Teachers Change Their Spots?

By Lyn Manson and Willy Mwakapenda.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The philosophy of Outcomes-Based Education (OBE), implemented in a new approach to teaching and learning in the South African National Curriculum Statement (NCS), was a response to the injustices of apartheid education. Teachers and learners were given the opportunity for personal empowerment, via the development of subject knowledge and skills, largely through radical changes to envisaged teaching practices. The responses of two practicing teachers to two questions concerning a course entitled, “Functions in the Curriculum and Beyond” were analysed with respect to whether or not their personal subject, and hence pedagogic, identities mirrored those envisaged in the National Curriculum Statement. These observations were informed partly by theoretical concepts from Bernstein (1996) and the principles of the South African National Curriculum Statement. Naidoo and Parker’s (2005) analysis of the official versus personal subject identities of South African teachers provided a contextualised frame for our observations. Our analysis shows that the two teachers demonstrated a development of a prospective identity that has resonance with the kind of teacher envisaged by OBE.

Keywords: Mathematics Teacher, South Africa, Outcomes-Based Education, National Curriculum Statement, Subject Identity, Pedagogic Identity

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp.89-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 978.458KB).

Lyn Manson

Lecturer, Foundation Programme, Monash South Africa, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Monash University, South Africa. I am currently completing a Master's degree in mathematics education at the Marang Centre for mathematics and science at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. I hold an honours degree in microbiology and a professional teaching diploma in biology, mathematics and science. My teaching experience has been predominantly with English Additional Language students who have needed to upgrade their grade 12 mathematics marks, and also with under-qualified primary and secondary school mathematics teachers in South Africa.I currently teach pre-undergraduate students mathematics at Monash University South Africa.

Dr. Willy Mwakapenda

Marang Centre for Science and mathematics education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. I hold a doctorate from Deakin University (Australia), and I am currently working in the Marang Centre for Mathematics and Science Education at Wits University (Johannesburg). I have worked in various positions in school mathematics teaching, teacher education, graduate and postdoctoral research in South Africa and at the University of Malawi. My areas of interest are in mathematics and contextualization, students’ conceptual understanding and the use of concept mapping to think about and understand learning and student identities and explore links within mathematics and across curriculum disciplines.


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