Sciences Teacher Education Curriculum Re-alignment: Science Education Lecturers’ Perspectives of Knowledge Integration at South African Universities

Kwanele Booi, Mamsie Ethel Khuzwayo


A qualitative case study was conducted at six purposively sampled universities; out of a population of approximately
23 universities. This sampling strategy was based on selecting some universities that became Universities of
Technology during the process of merging Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) while other universities kept their
identity; currently being referred to as Traditional Universities. In-depth interviews and analysis of curriculum
documents were used as sources of data acquisition to address the aim and questions explored by this study explored;
necessitated by the need to implement Minimum Requirements for Teaching Education Qualification (MRTEQ)
policy guidelines. The sampled universities’ identities were concealed and pseudonyms were assigned to participants
for ethical reasons. Qualitative methods were applied for data analysis. Findings revealed that for some institutions’
integration of sub-disciples of science curriculum led to contestations and debates resulting from different
philosophical perceptions held by subject specialists in the curriculum design process. Knowledge integration
continues to be a contested field in universities that typifies resistance to change. Some participants demonstrated a
positive disposition towards knowledge integration models which they used in curriculum development. This study
concludes that a collaborative and collegial deliberation among science education lecturers and experts in various
knowledge domains could be a way to find common ground on issues highlighted in this study. Re-thinking and
re-conceptualising knowledge organisation for science academic knowledge are appropriate to the needs of school
curriculum and benefit science teachers with knowledge and competences for knowledge impartation, skills and
values in the subject.

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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