A Bernsteinian Analysis of the Integration of Natural Resource Management in the Curriculum of a Rural Disadvantaged School
Knowledge integration is one of the key principles that underpin curriculum reform in post-apartheid South Africa. One form of teacher support that has been adopted in South Africa is to provide schools throughout the country with samples of pedagogic texts such as curriculum documents and examination exemplars to act as guidelines to teachers as they implement this new curriculum requirement. In the isolated and under-resourced rural schools of South Africa, these texts are the main form of curriculum guidance to teachers. Hence the knowledge integration principles and messages conveyed within these texts are of crucial importance. One contributory factor to the lack of information on knowledge integration at rural underresourced schools is the lack of simple and effective research tools by which to analyse and compare the extent of knowledge integration within pedagogic texts and classroom practices. This article reports on a Bernstein informed analysis that was carried out on three different Grade 10 Life Sciences pedagogic texts in order to assess the extent to which they integrate natural resource management (NRM). The study involved the construction of two indicator frameworks as the research tools with which the analysis was conducted. Results from the analysis showed that although the official Grade 10 Life Sciences pedagogic texts contained very high levels of NRM integration, this was not the case for the Grade 10 Life Sciences text that was produced at the school level. The study provides useful insight into curriculum recontextualisation at a rural under-resourced school through the lens of NRM integration within the Grade 10 Life Sciences pedagogic texts. Such insight has the potential to contribute to better curriculum design and implementation strategies to service schools. This will hopefully help to narrow the gap that currently exists between the official and enacted curricula.
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