The “Integrated Curriculum” for Primary Schools in Lesotho: Where Is the ‘Integration’?

Lerato Matilda Ralebese


In the era of reforms, the text of curriculum policy and its supporting documents provide a blueprint that drives the teaching and learning processes in the new directions envisaged by policymakers. One dominant narrative within new curriculum policies is ‘integration.’ However, education systems have embraced this narrative without much unpacking of what it means for the agents and their extant practices. The dominant narrative in Lesotho’s ‘new’ curriculum suggests that it was designed to foster integration in the country’s primary schools. This study sought to uncover evidence of integration and or lack thereof through the deconstruction of this narrative and by unpacking the curriculum discourse and its implications for practice. The paper uses Derrida’s deconstruction theory to read and engage with the discourse on curriculum integration in these documents: Curriculum and Assessment Policy (2009), Guide to Continuous Assessment and Integrated Curriculum (Grade 1-7 syllabi). By deconstructing the integration narrative in these policy documents, the study's findings reveal contradictory messages about integration within the curriculum policy and its supporting documents. The policy advocates for a ‘holistic view and treatment of issues', yet the syllabi promote compartmentalisation of subjects. The policy also espouses different integration models within the new curriculum. Therefore, this paper argues that the contradictory messages and the unclear integration model followed can lead to multiple interpretations by the implementing agents, which ultimately cripples the implementation at the classroom level. This deconstruction and unpacking of discourse may contribute to scholarship, curriculum evaluation and policy implementation during educational reforms.

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International Journal of Education ISSN 1948-5476


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