The preoccupation with two dialectic responses to curriculum, “ deferral” and “empowerment” signified a curriculum enterprise that sought resolution to some real contradictions in secondary schooling in Jamaica, chiefly the gross underachievement at this level in particular types of schools .This study reopens discussions on the approach to closing achievement gaps . It investigates three interventions: two voluntary grade ten experimental programmes that gave students an additional year after completing Grade 9 and an empowerment programme that granted automatic placement based on The Grade Nine Achievement Test allowing learners to repeat grade nine. The self -studies and storied experiences of students and teachers revealed anomalies and practices that stultified empowerment and achievement. These disclosures have engendered the transformative pedagogy that is necessary for curriculum renewal that leads to Alternative Pathways to Secondary Education Curriculum solutions that are currently being explored in Jamaica. This alternative curriculum pedagogy is informed by philosophies and experiences of students and the practices of teachers whose art of teaching is engendered from the heart.