A self study of curriculum design for the teaching and learning of isiZulu as an additional language in primary schools in the Maye babo! series
Soni, Sumithra Jaysooklal
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This autoethnographic self study tracks my new ways of knowing in the various roles I play from daughter (passive recipient) to curriculum designer (active analytical composer). It retells my journey in the teaching profession at a school in Durban, in South Africa. The story occurs during a period when schools were racially desegregated in order to address the anti-apartheid policies that were prevalent prior to the first democratic elections in 1994. The story captures the challenges I faced during the transformation era in education and how I went about addressing two of the main challenges I faced: 1. Cultural diversity in racially desegregated schools. 2. Teaching isiZulu as an additional language as a pioneer, non- mother tongue teacher of learners with mixed abilities in an environment deprived of resources in terms of mentorship, and teacher/learner resource material. This study reveals how the challenges I experienced were, in retrospect, the disguised opportunities that led to my growth from teacher to textbook writer. It gives an account of the “behind the scenes making”, of the Maye babo! series, with a view to offer an exemplar for curriculum development. The study uses autoethnography (Ellis 2004) as a method to bring to life the teaching of isiZulu as an additional language in South Africa. It defines some of the difficulties experienced by teachers during a transformation era in education. In this study I clarify the relationship between Outcomes Based Education and the National Curriculum Statement (NCS), as well as where the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) is located within the NCS. More importantly, I use the tacit knowledge gained from intuition and experience to demonstrate how these policies can be applied in the classroom to achieve effective learning, an aspect often ignored in in-service teacher education. Readers (particularly teachers) will resonate with the experiences described in the stories, and, in so doing, gain a better understanding of themselves and their teaching practices; this might provide the much needed optimism amongst teachers, and might motivate and inspire them to grow professionally. The personal benefit in writing this thesis is that it renewed my place in the academic world, and more importantly, it has satisfied my quest for self realisation. Through personal exploration, questions such as who am I? and how did I become? reveal my evolvement. This project has been a soul satisfying and enriching journey. It is hoped that this study will in some way contribute to the transformation in education process in post liberation South Africa.