Teachers’ social capital as a resource for curriculum development: lessons learnt in the implementation of a Child-Friendly Schools programme
This paper reports on lessons learnt in the use of teachers’ social capital as a resource for curriculum development, in the implementation of the Child-Friendly Schools (CFS) programme in South Africa. The researchers in this study were amongst the trainers. The study followed a qualitative research approach, where a descriptive research design was adopted. Twenty teachers (two groups, of ten each) were recruited to form part of the study through a purposive sampling strategy. Data was collected through two methods: interviews and observations. The data collected was explicated using Hycner’s (1999) model of data analysis. Data transcripts were re-read until categories and themes emerged. The study found that teachers were enthusiastic about implementing the programme as they participated actively in it through the implementation of CFS principles in their Life Orientation (LO) classrooms. The findings of this study have at least two implications for policy makers and researchers. The first is that the one-day workshops that teachers attend over a weekend appear to be inadequate, and could be used to complement more structured interventions such as that described in this article. The second is that teachers’ social capital is critical in the implementation of curriculum development processes for an intervention to be effective.
Key words: child-friendly schools; curriculum implementation; curriculum improvement; teachers
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