Instructional leadership and curriculum development in Curriculum 2005: a quality assurance perspective
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The primary aim of this research was to obtain first hand information from instructional leaders (principals, Heads of Department (HoDs) and teachers), about the ease and difficulties that they experience in interpreting C2005 guidelines and translating them into classroom programmes in the Free State. Contingent to the above aim, the research aimed to develop a quality assurance framework that could enhance the successful implementation of C2005. The aim of the research was to be achieved through a qualitative empirical study of the views, statements, opinions and meanings that instructional leaders of the GET senior phase (grades 7 to 9) give to their experiences. To inform the empirical study, an extensive literature review of instructional leadership, curriculum development and quality assurance in general and in C2005 in particular was undertaken. Functional aspects in which instructional leaders experience difficulties were analysed under design, dissemination, implementation and evaluation of C2005, or as the SA government prefers; context, inputs, process and outputs. All these were discussed in detail in chapters 2, 3 and 4. The following related difficulties were established through the research: instructional leaders stated that the “top down” approach to design, dissemination, implementation and evaluation of C2005 guidelines has alienated instructional leaders. The change to C2005 was poorly financed, rushed and had little preparation in training and resources. Furthermore in the absence of instructional leaders’ input, the task teams that the DoE selected to design C2005 guidelines did not capture the actual challenging and difficult conditions in the school and classroom in which C2005 is implemented. The failure of the DoE to take instructional leaders on board has resulted in technical and language difficulties for instructional leaders; it has prevented instructional leaders from buying into C2005 processes and co owning them and hinders quality delivery of C2005. Moreover, a quality assurance system that could have ensured that most of the problems are designed out in C2005 was not in place when C2005 was first implemented in 1998. The quality assurance structures that exist at the time of writing were only legislated in 2001. However, instructional leaders say that the IQMS and its agencies such as the WSE, DAS and PMS do not address instructional leaders’ classroom implementation problems. To address such problems, some recommendations were made. The most important recommendations that are made in chapter 7 are that besides accreditation, the DoE should consider adopting a collaborative quality culture and quality assurance systems in the further development of C2005. The research recommends that the DoE consider allocating more money for transformation, training more learning facilitators and instructional leaders thoroughly and strongly support them. The research also recommends that the DoE selectively adopt some elements of established quality assurance systems such as the Total Quality Management and International Standards Organisation system (ISO 9000) to inject quality culture into all planning and development of C2005. The DoE is advised to take more time to plan and implement well-researched and piloted recommendations resolutely. These improvements are provided for in the guidelines of a quality assurance framework that is proposed by this research and points to future research to achieve cohesive quality implementation of C2005 in its latest form as NCS.