History teachers’ experiences of the implementation of the Eswatini (Swaziland) general certificate of secondary education (SGCSE) history curriculum.
Dlamini, Rejoice Khanyisile.
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This study is a qualitative interpretive multiple case study. It aimed to investigate history teachers’ experiences of the implementation of the SGCSE history curriculum in eight senior secondary schools in the Manzini region in Eswatini. It further sought to understand why history teachers experienced the implementation of this curriculum the way they experienced it. Purposive sampling was used to select participants who helped generate data. The participants were selected based on their location and their involvement in the implementation of the SGCSE history curriculum as well as on the type of school in which they taught. Data was collected through the use of semi-structured interviews, group interviews and document analysis. Pinar’s (2004) curriculum theory and Gross, Giacquinta and Bernstein’s (1971) theory on implementation of educational change were used to theorise that since curriculum is a social construction, curriculum implementation should be a product of teacher reflection on his work. Teachers’ constant interaction with the learners positions teachers well in coming up with informed decisions on the best learning experiences and implementation strategies that can constitute the curriculum since they are familiar with both the learner and the school context. The findings revealed that the school context was not considered before rolling out the new curriculum. Schools were presumed to be the same yet they are not. It emerged from the data that some history teachers still had negative experiences of the implementation of this curriculum despite receiving training before the implementation process because of inadequate training and the lack of congruence between the teachers’ contextual factors and the reform. It also emerged that the country was severely constrained financially to change the school context. It also became clear from the study that history teachers need to be entrusted with the work of developing learning experiences and the means of transmitting these experiences to learners as they are better placed to do that since such an exercise would be informed by their knowledge of the learner and their contextual realities.