Exploring Post-Apartheid Pedagogy in Multiracial Classrooms in South Africa

2008 2008

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

The focus of this study is post-apartheid pedagogy in South Africa It addresses the questions: What is the nature of post-apartheid pedagogy? What factors have influenced the development and changes in post-apartheid pedagogy? What factors have contributed to the actual implementation of educational reform principles and ideals? Through an exploration of pedagogy this study provides a view of educational practice in the midst of historical, political, social, and cultural transformation. It illuminates the pedagogy of four educators by describing exactly what they are doing to help learners learn.

The principles and guidelines of the Revised National Curriculum Statement (RNCS), aimed to promote co-operation, critical thinking, social responsibility, and the empowerment of learners to participate in all aspects of society, while considered, do not drive the inquiry. However, given the context, the RNCS is relevant and used as an analytical mirror to reflect upon post-apartheid pedagogy within the historical, political, social, and cultural context.

The sites for exploration were four Intermediate multiracial classrooms located in schools throughout Johannesburg. The nature of inquiry for this study is a hybrid of grounded theory and principles consistent with ethnography. Using the constant comparative method data were simultaneously analyzed while collected through methods of observation, conversational interviews, focus group interviews with learners, photographs, video, document analysis, and field notes.

Reading across multiple and 'thick' datasets, patterns emerged with respect to various themes. Categorizing themes as deep, according to the source, opened new doors to the analysis by uncovering another layer in the complex world of post-apartheid pedagogy. Particularized themes also emerged from the data A theme was considered particularized when it was not found to be consistent or common across each of the four participants. Particularized themes include: (a) human rights; (b) accepting and respecting diversity; (c) ubuntu – humanity to others; (d) being proudly South African; and (e) inclusion and differentiated instruction. Although particularized themes are not included as part of the final theory on post-apartheid pedagogy, they play a critical role within the story. The three theoretical tenets that emerged from this research include the following: (a) learner-centeredness; (b) multilingualism; and (c) content relevance.

Indexing (details)

Multicultural Education;
South African Studies;
Curriculum development;
Multicultural education;
0455: Multicultural Education
0654: South African Studies
0727: Curriculum development
Identifier / keyword
Education; Social sciences; Ethnography; Grounded theory; Multiracial; Pedagogy; Postapartheid; Reform; South Africa
Exploring Post-Apartheid Pedagogy in Multiracial Classrooms in South Africa
Johnstone, Jerika Robinson
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Fry, Gerry W.
University of Minnesota
University location
United States -- Minnesota
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.