Freirean principles and critical literacy to counter retrograde impulses in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement

20 Jul 2016

Inherent in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) document are inferences of transmission and reproduction that run counter to the emancipatory imperatives of core educational policy documents enacted after democracy in 1994. Some structural inadequacies in implementation of the first curricular changes to outcomes-based education have opened the way to reactionary and retrograde pedagogy which appears to privilege the teacher and textbook as sole authorities in the classroom. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to warn against teacher-centred pedagogy and restate the significance of Freirean principles in the establishment of a student-centred educational environment, specifically in the field of critical literacy. In defence of Freirean thought, a re-consideration of literacy and critical literacy grant legitimacy to the learner and demonstrate that individual experience is foundational to knowledge construction in a participatory manner which accords with the vision and original principles of education in the new South Africa.