An anatomy of curriculum innovation failure: the case of political economy in Zimbabwean secondary school sector
Madondo, Manasa M.
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The magnitude of educational reforms and change in the first decade of independence in Zimbabwe is legendary and more or less unparalleled in the history of educational provision in post-colonial Africa. By the late 1980s, it was increasingly realised that for the then guiding educational philosophy of education with production to take root, it was necessary to undergird it with the subject of political economy (PE). It was envisaged that the subject would provide an epistemological understanding of socialism among secondary pupils who would consequently champion a socialist transformation as future citizens and leaders. The attempt to introduce political economy ranks as one of the most outstanding curriculum innovation failures in Zimbabwe. This study, through documentary analysis, informant interviews ofsome protagonists of the innovation and erstwhile school pupils who encountered the curriculum in schools, proffers that the introduction of political economy failed mostly because it was a top down process of change which was not predicated on a supportive constituency of the various educational stakeholders. The study recommends that planned curriculum change and innovation should always be informed by the values, goals and expectations of the various stakeholders it seeks to serve.