03 SES 01 A, Curriculum Making and Subject Traditions
Research topic Ideals of curriculum innovations often get watered down in the various stages of design and execution. Nevertheless, there is still a lot going on in classroom practice as it was once intended. For physics education in secondary education in the Netherlands, we investigate the dynamics between curriculum innovations since 1970 and today’s teaching practice. We compare the practices and goals of physics teachers with the intentions of five renewals. And we search for actors and factors that have influenced teachers in their development as professionals. Aim The purpose of this study is to find or develop a model for the dynamics between the intended and the realized curriculum that can help make next curriculum innovations more effective. The study may be relevant to other subjects, with comparable issues, or with a similar status in society. And the study may help understand the role of elements of the education system, such as national examinations, the position of textbooks, the role of teacher training and in-service professional development and the organization of curriculum renewals. Theoretical framework and method At the basis of the conceptual framework is Van den Akker’s distinction of curriculum representations (Van den Akker, 1998). For characterizing the curricula we use categories of intentions typical for science education innovation, such as using contexts (Gilbert, 2006) and combining curriculum emphases (Van Driel et al., 2008). For studying teachers' practices, we use these categories of intentions and combine them with the concept of goal systems (Janssen et al., 2013). For understanding the dynamics leading from what the renewals intended to the operational curriculum, we use Fullan’s perspective of teachers’ involvement in the ideas and design of renewals (Fullan, 2007), the extent to which renewals took into account teachers' concerns (Anderson, 1997), and the practicality of innovations for teachers (Janssen et al., 2015). The study is organized in three sub-studies. First, reports were investigated on the intentions of five physics curriculum renewals since 1970. A draft characterization was validated by leading persons from all investigated renewals. Secondly, teachers were interviewed to reconstruct their practices and goal systems, and to interpret these in terms of renewal intentions. A third study explores the dynamics leading from the renewals to the currently operational curriculum. It uses biographical interviews with the teachers, analyses of subsequent editions of physics textbooks, and interviews with researchers, developers and teacher educators who were active in the period since 1980.
Anderson, S.E. (1997). Understanding Teacher Change: Revisiting the Concerns Based Adoption Model. Curriculum Inquiry 27 (3), 331-367 Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change. Fourth edition. New York: Teachers College Press. Gilbert, John K. (2006). On the Nature of “Context” in Chemical Education, International Journal of Science Education, 28, 957-976. Janssen, F. J. J. M., Westbroek, H. B., Doyle, W., & van Driel, J. H. (2013). How to make innovations practical. Teachers College Record, 115(7), 1-43. Janssen, F., Westbroek. H. & Doyle, W. (2015) Practicality Studies: How to Move From What Works in Principle to What Works in Practice, Journal of the Learning Sciences, 24:1, 176-186. Lijnse, P. (2014). Omzien in verwarring. Utrecht: Freudenthal Institute for Science and Mathematics Education. Van den Akker, J. (1998). The science curriculum: Between ideals and outcomes. In B.J. Fraser, & K.G. Tobin (Eds.), International handbook of science education (pp. 421-447). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 3 Van Driel, J.H, Bulte, M.W., Verloop N. (2008). Using the curriculum emphasis concept to investigate teachers’ curricular beliefs in the context of educational reform. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(1), 107–122.
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