Why is there a lack of active teacher participation in curriculum development?
ED359 RESEARCH PROJECT
Dharmendra .P. Sharma
Introduction and background
In Fiji and in many Pacific Island countries there is a serious lack of active teacher participation in the curriculum development and implementation process. While there are some practicing teachers who write the curriculum in certain subject areas they are merely excluded from the decision making process regarding what is to be taught in schools and how it is taught. Curriculum development is considered a dynamic process and curriculum can be constructed through the work of the main stakeholders who are the teachers. However in most Pacific Island countries this may not be the case as the curriculum is sometimes referred to as a “Teacher proof” and “ready to teach” curriculum meaning that they do not have the liberty to choose from and modify certain aspects of the material given to better suit the classroom situation. From most of the research conducted in the past three decades it is clearly identified there is a serious concern regarding their involvement in setting the objectives, determining the teaching /learning approaches and the evaluation process .These aspects are largely taken care off by the Curriculum Development Unit. Aim
With this is mind the aim of this research project is to investigate the reasons for the lack of active teacher participation in curriculum development and also to investigate strategies that would encourage more participation in every level of the decision making process when it comes to the development and implementation of curriculum in this country. After all teachers play a pivotal role in implementing the curriculum. At present the development and implementation are carried out by two different sets of people. The main research question therefore is why there is a lack of active teacher participation in curriculum development. This research project is justified as curriculum development is a universal issue and is of major importance in the pacific region as we try and adopt a curriculum which is suitable and relevant. The focus and the limitations
The focus is mainly on the curriculum practices in Fiji with a few examples from around the region and some developed countries such as Australia and the United States. This provides a basis for comparison with the issues that we are facing. Studies from developed countries are also important in the sense that teachers in these countries have the liberty to choose from a given curriculum to be applied in the classroom. The main limitation of this research project is that curriculum change is a long term process and with the ongoing research in the areas of curriculum development there are many questions that are still unanswered. With the limited time and resources it may be difficult to look into all the areas of curriculum development. Another limitation for this project is in regards to the Data collection. Getting views from all the Heads Of departments who are currently involved in curriculum development will not be possible as a result of time and financial constraints. Delimitations
The study is delimited to Heads of Departments, Teachers with at least 5 years experience, Senior C.D.U officials and Principals of secondary schools. The research question
The Main research question for this project is “Why is there a lack of active teacher Participation in Curriculum Development?” Since this is a sensitive issue in Pacific Education there are some prominent Pacific Academics Who have already looked into this Problem .Some of the issues that are highlighted in most of the available literature can be clearly divided into the following subtopics. Inadequate Training, The lack of Incentives, The role of principals and administrators, the role of the CDU and the school based...
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