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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Teachers as curriculum planners in science : a case study of a primary teaching team Platt, Rita Dalgaard


Efforts to improve the quality of schools and to create rich and productive learning environments for all children have historically been a continuous ebb and flow of planned change, innovations and reforms. The purpose of this study was to examine how a team of three teachers worked collaboratively to plan, develop and present a science unit of study to their "family grouped" students. The inferred intent of the Year 2000 initiatives seems to recognize the power and the potential in the experience of the classroom teacher. It recognizes not only the teacher's ability to work collaboratively in a team but also to be the curriculum planner and facilitator of learning experiences. This study examines three phases of curriculum development: the pre-instructional planning and creation of Science Discovery Boxes for primary children; the instructional phase of actual classroom activities; and the evaluation and reflections by the teaching team on their curriculum planning and translation experience. The findings of the study emphasize the importance these teachers place on collaborative team work as they outline numerous personal qualities that are essential for collaborative work. The findings also indicate that the teachers were involved in a change process prior to the Provincial implementation initiatives indicating the need for a shift in educational paradigms. The study suggests that greater in-service in science education be provided for teachers with the same vigor as given to other subject areas such as Language Arts, and that greater recognition be given to the role that everyone's life experiences play in personal and professional growth and change processes that are a complex and valuable component in the lives of teachers.

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