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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Curriculum orientations and program realities: negotiated agendas? Mossman, Timothy Norman


The purpose of this classroom-based case study was to explore the process by which institutional values are translated into teaching and learning. A content-based course, Translating and Interpreting 200 (TT 200), offered in the second year of a two-year program at a Canadian college for Japanese ESL students was the focus of the study. The mission of this institution was to educate students to develop a global perspective. The study involved four groups of participants: 1) three senior management members, 2) three "junior management" members, 3) four IT 200 faculty and 4) forty-two students. Data were collected through document analysis and ethnographic interviewing. The study investigated A) the intended program, identifying the curriculum orientations (McNeil, 1990) in the mission statement, in senior management's interpretation of the mission statement, and in IT 200 faculty definitions of globalism and B) the enacted curriculum, examining the extent to which the orientations were evident in IT 200 curriculum documents and in students' perceptions of their learning. Results indicated that the mission statement, in addition to the curriculum orientations identified by McNeil (1990), was based on a processual form of humanism containing key moments of reconceptualization-- self-actualization, perspective building and global impact—through which students were able to view themselves and their relationships with other people anew. Faculty definitions of globalism were congruent with the intended orientations, supporting a match between the intended and implemented curriculum. Administrative constraints and faculty perceptions of students were perceived to limit the implementability of humanistic and social orientations underlying globalism. The intended orientations emerged in the IT 200 curriculum document, giving students exposure to a variety of learning experiences which worked in unity to bring about the intended aims of the mission statement Students' perceptions of their learning in IT 200 reflected the intended orientations. Social (26%), Technical-Academic (17%) and a Technological-Academic / Humanistic (17%) combination emerged dominant An analysis of the data from three students revealed a unifying themetransformation, supporting Mezirow's (1978; 1981; 1990) theory of perspective transformation and the Reconceptual approach (Heubner, 1963) that stresses learning through lived experience and particular perspectives.

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