03 SES 05, Curricular Capacity Building
Many curriculum development efforts, where international organisations work together with stakeholders in lower and middle-income countries, lack sustainable outcomes. Knowledge regarding curriculum revision or improvement, including design, development, implementation and evaluation of curriculum development trajectories is needed to arrive at more systemic and sustainable outcomes. Therefore, in addition to curriculum knowledge, knowledge regarding professional development of (future) teachers, education managers, etc., and inclusion of parents and other relevant stakeholders is indispensible. This knowledge is often lacking or weak, which may lead to disappointing results and weak reforms. A more solid curricular capacity development knowledge base could help in shaping international initiatives supporting curriculum development. The Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO and The Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development (SLO) initiated research into enhancing the sustainability of curriculum development efforts in developing countries, in order to make a contribution to the education knowledge base and to more successful interventions in this area. The research specifically focuses on curricular capacity development in developing countries and aims to answer the question how curriculum development processes can be optimised in order to develop the curricular capacity of stakeholders and strengthen sustainable curriculum reforms. In order to answer this question, two major challenges will be addressed:
- What curricular capacity development approaches are effective in strengthening curriculum expertise and professional capacity of stakeholders, and what are their characteristics?
- How could international joint curriculum development efforts lead to more sustainable curricular capacity development?
The research consists of three stages: 1: mapping and articulating the existing academic and professional knowledge base regarding educational capacity development efforts in such contexts, 2: relating the knowledge base to curricular reforms and capacity development practice in selected countries and 3: thinking about the implications for sustainable international cooperation in relation to curricular capacity development.
The outcomes of the literature and context analysis (stage one) were presented at last year’s ECER conference in Istanbul. The findings led to a framework, consisting of 5 pillars of capacity development and related design principles. The research has now entered the stage of formative evaluation through expert appraisal. During this research workshop curriculum experts (scholars and peers) are invited to evaluate this conceptual framework for curricular guidance. The main question is how experts think the framework would work in curricular capacity development trajectories. The five identified pillars and the subsequent design principles for sustainable curricular capacity development are discussed as well. Based on the outcomes of this research workshop the framework will be improved and tested in the field for further validation.
Presenting and submitting the first part of stage two of this research contributes to one of the main objectives: articulation of sustainable curricular capacity development principles, which could contribute to the knowledge base through academic publications and presentations.
Akker, J. van den (2010). Building Bridges: how research may improve curriculum policies and classroom practices. Beyond Lisbon 2010: perspectives from research and development for education policy in Europe. Berkshire: The National Foundation for Educational Research. Coburn, C.E. (2003). Rethinking Scale: Moving Beyond Numbers to Deep and Lasting Change. Educational Researcher, Vol. 32, No. 6, pp. 3–12. Sage Publications Guskey, T.R. (2000). Evaluating professional development. California: Corwin Press. Nieveen, N.M. (1999). Prototyping to reach product quality. In J. van den Akker, R. Branch, K. Gustavson, N. Nieveen, & Tj. Plomp (Eds.) Design approaches and tools in education and training (pp. 125-136). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Nieveen, N.M. (2009). Formative evaluation in educational design research. In Tj. Plomp & N. Nieveen (Eds.), An introduction to educational design research (pp. 89-101). Enschede: SLO.
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