Research Article Open Access

Opening Up a ‘Third Space’ To Innovate Curricula

Hannelize Jacobs1 and Cama Brandt2
  • 1 Monash University, Australia
  • 2 University of Limpopo, Australia


Problem statement: Against the background of innovating learner experiences in South African schools and higher learning institutions in the 21st century, it is crucial to determine, in the analogy to the words, ‘what holds a place together’. It is necessary to know how to create that sense of belonging, what the vision and mission are, what is valued and expected, what one can identify with and what will make educators move collectively towards taking united ownership of the future and create the next best learning and teaching practice. Approach: Appreciate inquiry, as research method for this study, searches for the identification and enhancement of the life-giving forces as it explores what should be present or need to be present in a uniquely constructed third space. Appreciative inquiry is crafted in a post-positivist tradition grounded in affirmation and appreciation. True to the vision of the creators of this method who regard it as an inquiry to uncover profound knowledge entities of human systems in order to co-construct the best and highest future of that system, this investigation focuses on uncovering past, present and future learning and teaching practices to innovate the next curricula. Conclusion/Recommendations: In this study we argue that when innovating curricula, South African educators have to elicit local pre-knowledge and experiences to shape them into a leveled playing field before they can add on global international knowledge. South African educators have to construct the next practice in learning and teaching by integrating local and global knowledge in a unique space (what Bhabha refers to as a ‘third’ space).

Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 8 No. 3, 2012, 420-428


Submitted On: 18 January 2012 Published On: 17 July 2012

How to Cite: Jacobs, H. & Brandt, C. (2012). Opening Up a ‘Third Space’ To Innovate Curricula. Journal of Social Sciences, 8(3), 420-428.

  • 1 Citations



  • Curriculum innovation
  • third space
  • south africa
  • appreciative inquiry
  • next practice of learning and teaching