Achieving socio-cultural student engagement through curriculum responsiveness

  • Lee-Anne Lesley Harker Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Keywords: Epistemological access, Curriculum responsiveness, Pedagogy, Curriculum, Autonomy


With democracy came political pressure to promote both academic access and success in higher education in South Africa. However, increased formal access has not necessarily provided meaningful access to previously disadvantaged learners, resulting in high attrition and dropout rates. In response to this, this research proposes that life-world knowledge can enable meaningful engagement through pedagogical incorporation of real-world experiences. Therefore, this study set out to determine if curriculum responsiveness is addressed in a selected business subject to achieve epistemological access. The Autonomy concept was used as a lens to empirically show whether content can be related to a students’ socio-cultural context to bring about curriculum responsiveness for better student engagement. Thus, the epistemological stance of this research is qualitative, drawing on data collected from curriculum documentation for a selected business subject at a University of Technology as the case study, serving as a guiding principle for considering the appropriate pathways for enabling epistemological access.


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