Feminist perspectives on integration, progression and infusion as principles of curriculum design in life orientation
Kutu, Mercy Olajumoke
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This study explores teachers' beliefs, views and experiences of the design principles of integration, progression and infusion in the Life Orientation (LO) curriculum at the Intermediate Phase level. Integration, progression and infusion are integral to the South Africa Curriculum Statement and the LO curriculum in particular, as they serve the connection, sequence and technique of linking different learning contents. The aims of the study were: (i) to determine to which extent if any can the principles of feminism be used to influence curriculum integration, progression and infusion in the LO curriculum; (ii) to use different theories of feminism to enhance our understanding of curriculum integration, progression and infusion in the LO curriculum; (iii) to determine teachers' beliefs and experiences of curriculum integration, progression and infusion in the LO curriculum. To achieve these aims, on a theoretical level, I synthesised and analysed different theories of feminist discourses into different themes such as location, caring relations, knowing and thinking. These themes were related to the principles of curriculum integration, progression and infusion and these were used as a frame of reference to make suggestions on the various ways to enhance LO teachers' classroom practice of integration, progression and infusion at the Intermediate Phase. Empirically, I explored the LO teachers' views, beliefs and experiences. Consequently, I situated the study in an interpretative paradigm. I used qualitative research design and methodology with a phenomenological approach, by means of unstructured interviews, classroom observations and focus-group interviews. Three primary schools were purposefully selected for the study. The three principals of the schools were interviewed for the unstructured interviews while nine teachers were interviewed in three focus groups. To strengthen the interviews, I observed nine LO classrooms. The data that I generated as a result of the study were analysed by means of content analyses. The themes that emerged were categorised into different classes, namely: lack of adequate consultation, learning content repetition, learning content outdatedness, learning content irrelevancy, among others. It was deduced that these themes which formed the participants' experiences of integration, progression and infusion in the LO curriculum were arrived at as a result of their inherent approach which was described as a one-dimensional approach. A one-dimensional approach is that which stipulates a step-by- step approach to the design of curriculum. The Multi-dimensional approach embedded in multiple realities underpinning feminist discourses was suggested as an alternative. A multi-dimensional approach to the design of the curriculum includes the active contribution of various individuals to curriculum design.
- Education