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From individual intuition to collective design : teacher involvement in an emerging curriculum project Bryant, Darren A.

Abstract

Increasingly around the world, teachers are required to balance instructional independence with schoolwide curricular coherence and accountability to local stakeholders (i.e., parents), political authorities, and accreditation agencies. One way of achieving such a balance is through teacher collaboration in curriculum development around locally defined goals. International Christian School:—Hong Kong is at an early stage of aligning its curriculum with Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs) and academic standards. Through examining the curriculum context, tasks and processes, this case study uncovers key features of collaborative teacher involvement that impact coherence and curriculum development: reliance on teacher intuition, mandated participation in multiple, interrelated tasks, and engagement at multiple organizational levels. Taken together, these features of involvement yield in teachers an increasingly coherent understanding of the purpose, need and function of ESLRs and standards in the curriculum. Yet, challenges to a coherent understanding are faced with implementation. Further, curriculum tasks and processes develop and emerge in tandem with teacher understanding and alignment of curriculum elements. This study, therefore, is located in the theoretical literature on curriculum development and educational change.

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