Department of Curriculum Studies

Research focus

This department's research focus is the development of human potential in a diverse society through curriculum studies that focus on curriculum theory, on curriculum management and policy, on the community and its environment, on language and communication, and on learning and teaching.

Main areas of research

Curriculum study: This includes curriculum theory and enquiry, curriculum perspectives on transformation, democratisation of the curriculum and the identification of problem areas in curriculum implementation. The critical discussion of various approaches to teaching by means of a variety of source materials and case study evaluation, learning and the successful application of a range of assessment strategies.

Environmental education: This area encompasses research on education and sustainability, and on environmental education, professional development (before and in-service training), and the development of life skills for sustainable lifestyles.

Science education: Aspects such as misconceptions in physics and science education, the role of language in science education and curriculum development in science education are areas of study.

Language education and language in education: This area includes research on pre-school literacy education, on children's and juvenile literacy, on the development and teaching of reading, listening, oral and writing skills, managing multilingual learning, teaching a language in a multilingual context and language policy and planning.

Mathematics education: Prominent topics of research in this area are the psychology of Mathematics Education, the role of argumentation and articulation in the development of learners' comprehension of fractions, learning through communication, teachers and formative assessment, graphic calculators, and curriculum development in Mathematics Education.

Computers in education: The topics of research in this area include programme development, computer delivery systems, authoring languages and the educational use of the Internet.

Higher education: The research area encompasses an exploration of higher education as a field of study, studies of elements of curricula, teaching, learning and assessment, postgraduate supervision processes, and academic and professional staff development.

Curriculum enquiry in social context (diversity in religion teaching and learning, human rights values and belief systems): In cooperation with universities abroad we do research on teaching and learning in diverse education environments. Specific research is being undertaken to explore the impact of teaching a culture of human rights through intercultural and interreligious dialogue across different social and cultural settings in South African schools.

Geography and History teaching and learning: Research focuses on aspects such as teaching for sustainability between people and the environment as well as between people as individuals and people in group contexts; construction and mediation of geographical and history knowledge through the use of enquiry skills and techniques as well as the effective meaning making of time-spatial information; use of formative assessment underpinned by productive pedagogies in order to support quality teaching and learning.

Mentorship: The development of a mentorship system for the professional development of teaching students during teaching practice.

Postgraduate qualifications

Follow the links to view the curricula on the Faculty's Calendar.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Postgraduate Diploma* in Higher Education (Teaching and Learning) (PGDipHE (T&L))

Bachelor of Education Honours in Curriculum Studies (BEdHons) (coursework) (this honours stream is also offered by means of telematic education)

Bachelor of Education Honours in Language Education (BEdHons) (coursework) For more information

Master of Philosophy in Higher Education (MPhil) (coursework)

Master of Philosophy in Education and Training for Lifelong Learning (MPhil) (coursework)

Master of Education in Curriculum Studies (MEd) (coursework)

Master of Education (MEd) (research)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (research)

Doctor of Education (DEd)

* This programme is a new one that will be offered for the first time in 2014. Our collaborators are the University of the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.