1st Edition

Pedagogy in Poverty Lessons from Twenty Years of Curriculum Reform in South Africa

By Ursula Hoadley Copyright 2018
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    As South Africa transitioned from apartheid to democracy, changes in the political landscape, as well as educational agendas and discourse on both a national and international level, shaped successive waves of curriculum reform over a relatively short period of time. Using South Africa as a germane example of how curriculum and pedagogy can interact and affect educational outcomes, Pedagogy in Poverty explores the potential of curricula to improve education in developing and emerging economies worldwide, and, ultimately, to reduce inequality. 

    Incorporating detailed, empirical accounts of life inside South African classrooms, this book is a much-needed contribution to international debate surrounding optimal curriculum and pedagogic forms for children in poor schools. Classroom-level responses to curriculum policy reforms reveal some implications of the shifts between a radical, progressive approach and traditional curriculum forms. Hoadley focuses on the crucial role of teachers as mediators between curriculum and pedagogy, and explores key issues related to teacher knowledge by examining the teaching of reading and numeracy at the foundational levels of schooling. 

    Offering a data-rich historical sociology of curriculum and pedagogic change, this book will appeal to academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of education, sociology of education, curriculum studies, educational equality and school reform, and the policy and politics of education.



    1. Introduction

    2. Curriculum and Pedagogy in Developing Country Contexts

    3. From Tribalism to Technicism: Curriculum Policy under Apartheid

    4. The Formal Frame: Pedagogy under Apartheid

    5. Knowledge, Curriculum, Pedagogy: Theoretical Framings

    6. Curriculum 2005 and the Dissolution of Boundaries

    7. Waiting to Learn: Pedagogy under Curriculum 2005

    8. One Step Forward: the Compromise National Curriculum Statement

    9. The Communalised Classroom: Pedagogy under the National Curriculum Statement

    10. Reclaiming Knowledge: The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement

    11. Form and Substance: Pedagogy under the CAPS Reform

    12. Conclusion: Knowledge in Pedagogy

    Appendix A: The 66 Specific Outcomes of Curriculum 2005

    Appendix B: Theory into Data


    Ursula Hoadley is Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She has a particular interest in curriculum, teachers’ work and the sociological study of pedagogy.

    ‘Ursula Hoadley is one of the very best of the new generation of writers on curriculum and pedagogy.  She is a creative and rigorous researcher with an interest in making a difference - and her research on South African schools and their challenges in the post-Apartheid era is confronting. This book brings together vivid depictions of classrooms, teachers, students and failed education reforms – and it develops fresh thinking about curriculum, pedagogy and place in moving forward. It deserves to be widely read.’ - Lyn Yates, Foundation Chair of Curriculum, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia.

    ‘Ursula Hoadley examines the complex and revealing relationship between societal structuring, the three South African curriculum reforms, and pedagogic practices in classrooms, detailing its implications for theory, policy and research. Key among these is the reciprocal relation between reform and teacher development. Without "a significant shift in the cognitive horizons of those teaching in our schools," Hoadley concludes, reform must fail. Hoadley makes a compelling argument for a relational conception of curriculum and pedagogy (or knowledge in pedagogy) in thinking about curriculum change. It is argument curriculum studies scholars not only in South Africa but worldwide will want to address.’ - William F. Pinar, Canada Research Chair in Curriculum Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.