UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Integrating school reform and school-community development : four case studies from South African schools : April 1994-June 2000 Schofield, Andrew Mark.


By 1994 education in South Africa had collapsed (TRC, 1998; CCOLT, 1996). In response, South Africa's first non-racial government initiated a wide ranging School Reform (SR) program. However, almost a decade after the reforms commenced there have been very few substantial changes in the majority of South African schools: The Education Rights Project (2003a) and the South African Human Rights Commission argue that SR is failing the majority of South Africans. This thesis explores an alternative, School-Community Development (SCD), that integrates school reforms with programs that draw members of the school's neighbouring community (the "school-community") into the process of changing schools. I argue that SR is an inadequate response to the problems that confront schools. Using the case study method I show that SR is enhanced when integrated with locally developed social, cultural, economic, and school development programs. The thesis makes two contributions to the literature. First, the thesis challenges the "simplistic solutions to educational problems" (Anyon, 1997, p. 12) that constitute SR. Second, the thesis presents a materially grounded critique of SR in South Africa that evokes the "multiple voices" (Sayed, 2002, p. 32) from the four case study schools. Accordingly, our understanding of "making change work at the micro level", a neglected area of South African educational research (Sayed and Jansen, 2001, p. 7), is enhanced.

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