Equity in science at South African schools: A pious platitude or an achievable goal?

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The apartheid policies in South Africa had a marked influence on the accessibility and quality of school science experienced by the different race groups. African learners in particular were seriously disadvantaged in this regard. The issues of equity and redress were foremost in transformation of the education system, and the accompanying curriculum reform. This paper reports on equity in terms of equality of outputs and equality of inputs in South African school science, with a particular focus on the implementation of practical science investigations. This was a qualitative case study of two teachers on their implementation of science investigations at two schools, one a township school, previously designated for black children, and the other a former Model C school, previously reserved for white children. My study was guided by the curriculum implementation framework by Rogan and Grayson in trying to understand the practice of these teachers at schools located in contextually diverse communities. The framework helped profile the implementation of science investigations and also enabled me to explore the factors which are able to support or hinder this implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1353-1371
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Equity
  • Inquiry
  • Inquiry-based teaching
  • Laboratory work
  • Position paper
  • Qualitative research
  • Science investigations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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