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The didactics tradition in South Africa: a reply to Richard Kruger

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Abstract:

There has been a growing interest in the European Didaktik tradition as part of a process of 'internationalizing' curriculum studies. Kruger provides useful insights into some aspects of Didaktiek in South Africa. However, the essay does not contextualize this tradition within the broader history of South African education. This reply contends that Didaktiek was interwoven with 'fundamental pedagogics' and as a consequence played a role in reproducing apartheid ideology—it did not provide a language of critique or possibility. This is one reason why the tradition has seen its demise in post-apartheid South Africa. I argue that curriculum theory, which crucially deals with the relationship between schooling and society and highlights the socially constructed nature of schooling, offers a more useful alternative for critiquing apartheid education policy and for charting a process of transformation of education in South Africa.

Keywords: South African education; didactic theory; fundamental pedagogics; history of education; radical curriculum theory

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220270701832498

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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