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Tobephobia: Teachers- Ineptitude to Manage Curriculum Change

Authors: P. Singh


In this paper, Tobephobia (TBP) alludes to the fear of failure experienced by teachers to manage curriculum change. TBP is an emerging concept and it extends the boundaries of research in terms of how we view achievement and failure in education. Outcomes-based education (OBE) was introduced fifteen years ago in South African schools without simultaneously upgrading teachers- professional competencies. This exploratory research, therefore examines a simple question: What is the impact of TBP and OBE on teachers? Teacher ineptitude to cope with the OBE curriculum in the classroom is a serious problem affecting large numbers of South African teachers. This exploratory study sought to determine the perceived negative impact of OBE and TBP on teachers. A survey was conducted amongst 311 teachers in Port Elizabeth and Durban, South Africa. The results confirm the very negative impact of TBP and OBE on teachers. This exploratory study authenticates the existence of TBP.

Keywords: Curriculum change, fear of failure in education, outcomes-based education, Tobephobia.

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