Whose Voice Dominates? Teacher Education Curricula in a Changing a Environment

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Goduka (1996) claimed that the curricula followed at tertiary institutions are heavily based on the European tradition. Furthermore, she stated that what is expected of students, is largely determined by the experience of white males, who are seldom prepared to address diversity in the curriculum. Dalamba (2000: 63) echoes similar sentiments by asserting that “all forms of learning are largely biased in that they favour European knowledge based on European systems of knowledge production.” The transformation initiatives in South Africa, specifically in the education system, have given rise to the development of policies that are aimed at considering and adding the “other voices”. One of the initiatives is captured in the Education White Paper 3 of 1997 that calls for the generation of new curricula and flexible modes of teaching and learning in higher education institutions (HEI’s) to accommodate a larger and more diverse student population. Nakusera (2004) alludes to this by stating that “the dismissal of African ‘voices’ in higher education discourse would be detrimental to the achievement of transformation in higher education.” This paper examines how we moved from a Eurocentric male-dominated curriculum to an inclusive curriculum that addresses the different voices emerging in our diverse classrooms.


Keywords: Education, Pre-service, Curriculum
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Noluthando Toni

Head of Department, Foundation Phase Studies
Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Noluthando Toni and Les Meiring are senior lecturers at a newly merged tertiary institution in South Africa. Over the past few years they have been challenging each other and debating the roles that they play as lecturers and curriculum designers in pre-service teacher education at their institution.

Leslie Frank Meiring

Head of Department, Intermediate Phase Studies, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa


Ref: L08P0336