The grade 11 life orientation curriculum: towards preparation for active citizenship in a democratic South Africa
The general aim of this study was to explore the extent to which the Grade 11 LO curriculum prepares learners for active citizenship in a democratic South Africa. The main research question that the study addresses is: To what extent does the Grade 11 LO curriculum prepare learners for active citizenship in a democratic South Africa? The main objective of the study is to explore the extent to which the Grade 11 LO curriculum prepares learners for active citizenship in a democracy in the South African context. Even though democratic structures and participation forms a small component of the broader topic of active citizenship in the Grade 11 LO curriculum, the study examines the public participation initiatives of Parliament, as a democratic structure with the intention to increase active citizenship in a democratic South Africa. The theoretical framework of this study considers Paulo Freire's educational theory in the context of critical theory and models of public participation in preparation for active citizenship. As such, the literature was used in order to come to an understanding of concepts relating to active citizenship in a democracy, the concepts, namely, "education for "public participation‟, "citizenship‟, "democracy‟, "inclusivity‟ and "human rights‟. The study adopted a mainly qualitative research approach to explore the extent to which the Grade 11 LO curriculum prepares learners for active citizenship in a democracy. In order to gain an in-depth understanding of learners' perceptions, a case study method was employed and data collection techniques included questionnaires and focus group interviews. The sample in this study comprised 461 Grade 12 learners, who completed the Grade 11 LO curriculum during 2012, and seven LO educators from five selected schools in Metro South Education District in the Western Cape. Even though the total number of participating educators was seven, four completed the questionnaires and four participated in the focus group interviews. The data collection process encompassed three phases. Phase one included a literature review and document study. Phase two included the administration of questionnaires and phase three included the facilitation of focus group interviews. Thematic and document analyses were applied in order to undertake a detailed examination of documents and interviews.