Exploring Curriculum Transformation in Higher Education Institutions: A Critical Analysis of Equity and Social Justice Perspectives
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Curriculum transformation
Higher education
Fraser's framework
Equity Access
Structural inequalities

How to Cite

Ajani, O. (2024). Exploring Curriculum Transformation in Higher Education Institutions: A Critical Analysis of Equity and Social Justice Perspectives. Research in Educational Policy and Management, 6(1), 217-237. https://doi.org/10.46303/repam.2024.14


This paper addresses the imperative of curriculum transformation within higher education in South Africa to confront and mitigate structural inequalities and promote equitable access and outcomes. Drawing upon Fraser's multi-dimensional framework for social justice, the study critically examines the efficacy of curriculum interventions, particularly Education Development initiatives in South Africa. Fraser's framework enables assessing how these interventions address justice dimensions: redistribution, misrecognition, and representation. The analysis reveals that existing interventions predominantly adopt an affirmative rather than transformative approach, primarily focusing on redistributive justice while neglecting misrecognition and representation issues. The study underscores the necessity of embracing a transformative paradigm in curriculum development within South African higher education institutions. A transformative approach necessitates a fundamental reframing of the curriculum, involving reassessing the scale of existing challenges, interrogating underlying assumptions shaping curriculum norms, and re-evaluating the delineation between 'mainstream' and 'other' students. Moreover, it advocates for revisiting the appropriateness of the curriculum for a diverse and pluralistic society. In conclusion, the paper advocates for a comprehensive reframing of the South African higher education curriculum, emphasising the imperative of transformative practices. It proposes recommendations for reformulating the curriculum to address better social justice issues, including embracing inclusivity, challenging prevailing norms, and fostering a curriculum that reflects the diversity and complexities of contemporary society.

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