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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Structures of curriculum change as experienced by teachers Pike, Margaret Louise


The purpose of this study was to make explicit some meanings teachers give to the process of curriculum implementation, in order to understand how they typically experience this change. From their experiences and meanings, some typical structures of curriculum change were defined. The major question asked was: What are the typical structures of curriculum change? Methodologically this major question was divided into the following questions: 1. How is curriculum change experienced by teachers? 2. What commonalities (i.e typical structures) underlie these experiences? 3. What ideal type of curriculum change emerges from these typical structures? Through taped interviews and subsequent transcript analysis, three structures of change emerged. The first structure was 'actual use', what teachers did during daily activities when working with the new curriculum. The second structure was their experience of 'time', how teachers perceived and organized their time during implementation. The third structure consisted of various 'influences' upon the teachers' experience of implementation. These 'influences' included their beliefs about teaching, their talking with other educators, the kinds of support they received during the change, and the student responses towards the new curriculum. Included in the study were twenty primary teachers within two school districts who were implementing the Ginn 720 Reading Program during the 1979-80 school year. Fourteen teachers were individually interviewed three times: first, to elicit their experiences of change; second to validate the researcher's interpretations of transcript conversations; and third to validate the researcher's conclusions regarding curriculum change as experienced by teachers. Six others who were not involved in the data gathering interviews, also participated in individual interviews as a final validation of the study's conclusions.

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