03 SES 06 A, Optimizing Sustainable Curriculum Reform
Many curriculum development efforts, where international organisations work together with stakeholders in developing countries, seem to be less sustainable than envisioned, or even unsustainable. The apparent lack of sustainability of both products and process leads to a waste of resources, which does not contribute to the envisaged curricular improvements. Although endeavours are sometimes evaluated, a workable set of guiding principles remains lacking. A more solid curricular capacity development knowledge base could help in shaping international initiatives supporting curriculum development.
This research focuses on the question how to optimise curriculum development processes in aforementioned settings, in order to establish sustainable curriculum reforms, through capacity development of stakeholders. 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 adopted design and development research approach consists of three stages: 1: mapping and articulating the existing knowledge base of curricular reforms and 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.
This paper will present the outcomes of the first stage: mapping and articulating the existing knowledge base, from both academic and experiential sources. During this stage, the main principles for success and failure in curricular and broader educational capacity development practices are identified based on lessons learnt from recent endeavours, literature and other relevant documents. The outcomes, which are validated in an expert group consisting of international experts, eventually lead to the design of a working paper involving a set of design principles for curricular capacity development, which will be used to examine and analyse selected case studies in different low and middle income countries.
Presenting the first part of this study contributes to one of the main objectives of this research: articulation of sustainable curricular capacity development principles, which could contribute to the knowledge base through academic publications and presentations.
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. Grauwe, A. (2009). Without capacity, there is no development. Paris: International Institute for Educational Planning. 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. Smits, M.C. (2010). Spelend Leren, een praktisch curriculum voor kleuters – handleiding voor leerkrachten. [A practical curriculum for pre-primary school, manual for teachers] Paramaribo: MINOV.
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