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Title: Curriculum reform paradigms and associated challenges in the teaching of public administration in South Africa.
Authors: Gwandure, Calvin.
Mayekiso, Tokozile Valerie.
School of Social Sciences
Office of the Vice Chancellor
Keywords: Curriculum reform.;National ideology.;Zero-based approach.;Incrementalism.;Radicalism.
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: APORTAL
Abstract: Curriculum transformation is a driving force that seeks to change the content of public administration in South Africa. All degree programmes offered in South Africa are required to transform in line with government`s policy of promoting equity and diversity in South Africa. The curriculum offered in public administration has to change to fit in with the requirements of the country. The theoretical paper explores the challenges associated with curriculum transformation. It is posited that curriculum reform should be informed by the national ideology. It is argued that government`s national ideology is not clear-cut; it advances and retreats without taking a forthright position and in some situations, it takes one step forward and two steps backward in articulating the national ideology. The back-and-forth movement without a firm stance could be linked to the diverse political views and volatile political quagmire of the tripartite relationship. The national ideology is presented as a catalyst of change. It is posited in this paper that curriculum reform initiatives should aim to resolve or address the persistent controversy bedevilling public administration that politics should not be part of public administration as an academic discipline. The compartmentalisation or separation of politics, administration and management as single entities in curriculum reform is presented as a challenge. It is indicated in this paper that curriculum reform can better be implemented within change management paradigms that were tried and tested in other countries with success. Curriculum reform failures are also highlighted to shed more light on undesirable approaches to curriculum transformation initiatives in South Africa. Zero-based approach to curriculum reform is presented as one of the approaches to consider in designing the content of public administration in South African universities. Incrementalism is an approach that could be adopted in curriculum transformation as it takes a gradual approach to change. It is argued that radicalism could be a suitable approach to the teaching of public administration in South Africa as it could act as an antidote or total renunciation of apartheid ideas in public administration. Maintaining the status quo is another approach to curriculum transformation adopted by some universities during periods of uncertainty. Future studies should focus of curriculum transformation and development.
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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