Curriculum Reform and Learner Performance: An Obstinate Paradox in the Quest for Equality

  • Johan MullerEmail author
  • Ursula Hoadley
Part of the Policy Implications of Research in Education book series (PIRE, volume 10)


Why have learner outcomes over the last 20 years increased so modestly, despite successive waves of far reaching curriculum reform? Could the curriculum model we have be the problem? In addressing this question, this chapter surveys curriculum reform models in developed and developing countries, explores their different logics, and applies the insights gained to recent curriculum reform in South Africa. The chapter concludes by arguing that curriculum reform on its own is not enough, and that the research community in South Africa has yet to discover what the most efficacious pedagogy for learners in impoverished schools would look like.


Curriculum reform Curriculum models Competence Performance Generic models Communalising pedagogy 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa

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