Education policy in South Africa since 1948
The aim of this study is to provide an account of the policy-making process in South African education since the coming to power of the Nationalist Party in 1948. The intention will be to a) better understand the nature and extent of the influence of different groups and individuals on the policy-making process, and b) to explain how and why educational change has occurred. Given the very large area of possible research implied by a topic of this nature, the study will concentrate on one area of education policy, namely schooling, although reference will be made to other areas where relevant. Primary sources in the form of policy documents and selected interviews with key policy actors have been used in conjunction with the secondary literature. Chapter one will locate the present study in relation to the existing literature. The chapter will focus on how different scholarly traditions conceptualise the education/society relationship and the nature of educational change. This will provide a necessary basis for the development, in chapter two, of a suitable theoretical framework for this study. An attempt will be made to combine a liberal emphasis on interest group interaction in policy making with a more neo-marxist concern with how such interactions are linked to wider economic and political interests. Further, an attempt will be made to integrate a structuralist concern with economic and political processes with a post-structuralist emphasis on the discursive construction of policy. Consequently three distinct but related levels of analysis will be developed, each one informing the approach of the remaining chapters. Thus chapter three will use the work of the French Regulation School to analyse the changing relationship between schooling and the accumulation process in the apartheid economy. Also drawing on the work of Gramsci, educational change will be understood as an aspect of a basic contradiction between capitalist accumulation strategies and the hegemonic project of apartheid.