Original Research

Teologie kroniek/Theology Chronicle: The Politics of Salvation: Values, Ideology and the South African National Curriculum

J Jansen
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 25, No 2 | a287 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v25i2.287 | © 2004 J Jansen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 October 2004 | Published: 06 October 2004

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J Jansen, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The South African experience offers dramatic examples of how the curriculum remains a lightning rod for the values contestation in divided societies. Despite its overwhelming election mandate, the ruling party found that changing the curriculum required the consent of powerful and less powerful sections of society - whose opposition extended across racial lines. This essay reports on research into attempts  by the post- apartheid state to introduce values explicitly into the school curriculum, and how communities - mobilised  primarily on the common front of religious values - combined to decelerate if not reverse radical curriculum reforms. The most important finding from this work is that underestimating the power of faith-based communities is likely to undermine curriculum reforms that touch on matters of values, conscience and religious commitment.

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