The emerging consensus is that the education system in South Africa is in crisis.
Understanding how this happened is crucial to finding a way in which all South Africans, especially the poorest of the poor, can have meaningful access to quality schooling and improving the professional practice of teaching in South Africa.
This book engages critically with some of the dominant conceptions of teaching that have given rise to the crisis, and evaluates the enabling conditions for a viable practice.
The book is written in honour of Wally Morrow and as a dialogue with his project around the learning and teaching in post-apartheid South Africa.
A substantial part of Wally Morrows work -- in papers and chapters, working groups and advisory committees -- has been devoted to retrieving the primacy of the practice of professional teaching in our thinking about the transformation of schooling and education.
Together, the chapters in this volume advance the project of retrieval, hence its title, "Retrieving Teaching".
It is in this spirit that the contributors to this volume engage in a critical debate with Morrows ideas and arguments. The authors have committed themselves to Morrows insistence that critique of knowledge claims, premises, reasoning, evidence and conclusions are the very grounds of critical thinking, rational argument and debate.
Each chapter takes up an idea from Morrows framework of thinking and explains, extends or criticises it.
Several of the chapters were first presented, in earlier versions, as part of the Symposium on Learning to Teach in South Africa at the Kenton Conference (Kenton at P[h]umula Olwandlein) -- an event in which lively critical debate at times stretched the principle of charity to its limits.
While South Africa is the context and focus of this volume, the issues it addresses -- curriculum, pedagogy and learning -- are perennials in the field of teaching, teacher education and curriculum in many parts of the world.