01 SES 10 A, Education Reform in Wales: Professional Learning During Systemic Change
Research topic/aim: The new purpose-led ‘Curriculum for Wales’ (Donaldson, 2015) will be structured around six Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs): Expressive Arts; Health and Wellbeing; Humanities; Languages, Literacy and Communication; Mathematics and Numeracy; and Science and Technology. Wales’ approach to incorporating learning progression within curriculum design is innovative in bringing together multiple forms of evidence, for example, research on learning progression, teacher and pupil understandings of progression, and insights from other national frameworks, in order to create bespoke progression frameworks for each AoLE tailored to the needs of young people in Wales (Hayward et al., 2018). This paper draws on the authors’ experience and research from working with curriculum ‘pioneer’ schools as part of the ‘CAMAU’ project, designed to facilitate research-informed learning progressions for the new curriculum. It reports on its early findings, with particular focus on the Humanities and Mathematics AoLEs, and considers the processes and tensions that arose in the creation of progression frameworks. Theoretical framework: The paper uses the Integrity Model of Change (Hayward & Spencer, 2010) as its theoretical framework. Originally applied to formative assessment in Scotland, but adapted to consider learning progression in Wales, the Integrity Model interrogates ideas of complexity in terms of three features of integrity needed for sustainable change, namely: educational integrity, personal and professional integrity, and systematic integrity. The model was used to consider complexities in terms of what decisions must be made around developing a new curriculum in order to sustain successful engagement of learning progression. Methodological framework: The paper discusses the analysis of a sub-set of data collected for a larger study. An online survey was developed by the CAMAU project and delivered electronically, through JISC Online Surveys, to the pioneer schools at a workshop. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with the pioneers and AoLE Leads, and then transcribed and analysed. The participants were invited to share their experiences of working in pioneer workshops. The data gathered were coded and analysed using the Integrity Model of Change (Hayward & Spencer, 2010) themes. Expected outcomes and relevance to international educational research: The papers offers better understanding of the implications for curriculum planning, including the fundamental role of professional learning in curriculum development and enactment. It is presented in the context of similar curriculum reform being undertaken internationally, and adds to the growing knowledge and understanding of curriculum implementation and its impact on the teaching profession.
CAMAU Project: Research Report (April 2018). Project Report. University of Glasgow, Glasgow. Retrieved January 28, 2020 from http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/163362/1/163362.pdf Hayward, L. & Spencer, E. (2010) The Complexities of Change: Formative Assessment in Scotland. Curriculum Journal, 21(2), 161-177. Hayward, L. et al. (2020) So Far So Good: Building the Evidence Base to Promote a Successful Future for the Curriculum for Wales. Project Report. University of Glasgow & Yr Athrofa. Williams, K. (2020) ‘Huge landmark’ for Welsh education as revised curriculum guidance published with £15m commitment to support teachers with implementation Available at: https://gov.wales/huge-landmark-welsh-education-revised-curriculum-guidance-published-ps15m-commitment-support (accessed 28th January 2020).
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