Leading curriculum change: Reflections on how Abakhwezeli stoked the fire
Curriculum leadership is a complex and demanding practice, which goes beyond the research and disciplinary expertise of the curriculum leader. Engaging and leading educators in a process of curriculum change is not easy: it can be a difficult, and sometimes chaotic journey which is often characterised by philosophical debate, the calling into question of current practices, fear, and even openly acknowledged resistance. In order for change to succeed, leaders of curriculum change must facilitate a shared ownership of the change process. This will require the bringing together of individuals with different personal priorities and rallying them around a common goal, e.g. designing quality Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) programmes. Our curriculum renewal journey involved the use of problem-posing pedagogies and required us to employ transformative types of leadership strategies. In this paper, we reflect critically, on our roles, as members of the ‘Abakhwezeli’, in stoking the fires of curriculum change in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Faculty of Education. Furthermore, this paper will highlight particular defining moments during the curriculum renewal journey, where stakeholder consultation and the use of transformative methodologies assisted in prompting deep, critical reflection on the (re)designing of our B.Ed programmes.
Keywords: critical approach; critical pedagogy; curriculum renewal; dialogical spaces; problem-posing strategies; transformational leadership; transformative methodologies