Shannon Morreira, University of Cape Town and Kathy Luckett, University of Cape Town
The curriculum is not just the “stuff” that students must learn to be knowledgeable and skilled in a particular discipline. It’s about more than just content.
Sociologists of education argue that “curriculum” is a highly ideological hybrid discourse. This means that it includes implicit ways of knowing, ways of doing and ways of being – as well as content.
In South African universities, curriculum issues came to the fore during a series of nationwide student protests between 2015 and 2017. Students have argued that what’s being taught in university courses is imported from the global North and doesn’t draw enough on African-based research and the work of academics from the global South. Students have also argued that course materials don’t take the backgrounds of most South African learners into account in terms of culture, language or method.