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Additional resources for Curriculum Studies in South Africa: Intellectual Histories & Present Circumstances
Without advocating a slavish following of the curricula requirements of European schools, they have insisted upon the necessity for constructing our curricula in such a way that all children can, in accordance with their varying talents, be led into the common heritage of man in all fields of human knowledge and skill. (Molteno 1984, 86) The significance of these “native” responses, which the protohistoriography of conservatism and liberalism misses, is the alertness of the local people to what is going on around them.
Little of this work sees how, importantly, the politics of subordination, both of the Cape’s slaves and the Khoisan, yields an agency that the totalizing Dutch colonial curriculum itself—the paradox described above—ignites. The nature of the curriculum that was first deployed at the slave school, with its emphasis on religiosity, provided the template that was to be used for the next 200 years for all the schools that were to be established. Important for this discussion is how limited education historians’ engagement with this curriculum is.
WHAT TO TEACH THE NATIVES 21 Colonialism, Modernity, and the Curriculum Questions of the curriculum—how it is conceptualized, designed, and delivered—take on a particular dynamic in social settings in which issues such as race, class, gender, language, and religion are matters of public contention. They are even more so in the generalized inequality of the colonial world. Characteristic of this generalized inequality are simultaneous and multiple tensions: the tensions within the metropole itself between various fractions of political opinion and classes; tensions between the metropole and its surrogates in the colonies; tensions between the metropole’s surrogates and the local people, and, finally the tensions within local groups themselves.