Education in democratic South Africa has been saddled with the extraordinary task of sanitising a once dehumanising and splintered education system into a singular narrative of social justice and creative, problem-solving individuals. This extraordinary effort has witnessed a pendulum swing from the openness of outcomes-based education, to a less flexible National Curriculum Statement, and recently, to what has been criticised as a too restrictive Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement. In its narrow focus on ‘assessment for learning’, CAPS appears to be trapped in a particular understanding of teaching and learning that can be understood only in terms of measurement, thereby discounting education as happening outside that which can be measured. In this article, I contend, firstly, that while education is not averse to measurement, it cannot be allowed to dominate the educative process. Instead, it is possible to reconcile measurement, as expressed through a ‘language of needs’ with a language of ‘coming into presence’, which recognises that learners enter the education arena with their own ideas of what is known and yet to be known. Secondly, I argue, that if a post-apartheid education system hopes to re-humanise its citizens and society, then this will only be possible through cultivating a curriculum, which is understood as a process of socially just encounters—one which is always in becoming, and therefore not necessarily measurable.
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DOI 10.1080/00131857.2015.1068682
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