Curriculum Research Methods: Studying Curriculum in Its Different Forms and Across Levels

  • Booking Name: Tuesday Morning WS 4
  • Time: 9:00 - 12:00
  • Organisers: Dominik Dvorak, Sinem Hizli Alkan, Stephen Edgar, Natasha Ziebell, Nienke Nieveen, Majella Dempsey

The renaissance of both curriculum making and curriculum theorisig could be seen across Europe. It is highly desirable that this renewed interest in curriculum is accompanied by empirical research into different forms of curriculum existence. This workshop will introduce several methods for analysing curriculum at different levels – from transnational to national, regional, school and classroom level. A brief plenary introductions of individual methods will be followed by a series of roundtable carousels that provide the opportunity to discuss the methods with the experienced researchers in small group sessions. Each participant will have chance to attend up to three sessions as each presenter will run three consecutive sessions.

Stephen Edgar will show how approaches from Corpus Linguistics (CL) could be used to analyse curriculum policy texts. CL uses computer software to analyse naturally-occurring language, including written texts. CL has a number of advantages, including the ability to deal with large amounts of text and the potential to identify linguistic features which may not be apparent using other, more qualitative, approaches. Stephen is using CL as part of a mixed-methods research project, which explores concepts of equality within Scottish curriculum policy. Some of the benefits and challenges of using CL to analyse a corpus of curriculum policy texts will be reflected.

Natasha Ziebell will focus her tutorial on the use of Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) for analysing how the intended curriculum is enacted in classroom settings.  The strategies for ‘assembling data’ will be demonstrated, including the compilation and familiarisation process in preparation for qualitative analyses.  We will address the affordances of CAQDAS for ‘disassembling’ the data when conducting inductive and deductive analyses of classroom documents and video/audio recordings.  Studiocode™ and NVivo™ will be used to show illustrative examples of how CAQDAS can support efficient and sophisticated analysis of classroom data to complement manual processes. (Yin, 2011; Ziebell & Clarke, 2018).

Sinem Hizli Alkan will introduce ego-nets (one of the network research methods) as a tool for exploration of curriculum making by teachers. Ego-nets offer an opportunity to understand the structural and relational features of an individual teacher's network. In the context of curriculum, this is important as teachers make sense through their social interactions, which in turn may influence their engagement with curriculum depending on the nature and the dynamics of the formal and informal networks (e.g. strength, trust, the kinds of information flow, etc.). (Bellotti, 2015; Crossley et al., 2015)

Design-based research will be presented by Nienke Nieveen as the systematic analysis, design and evaluation of curriculum artefacts or interventions with the dual aim of generating research-based solutions for complex problems in educational practice, and advancing our knowledge about the characteristics of these interventions and the processes of designing and developing them. Formative evaluation is a crucial feature of design-based research. The empirical data give ground for both outputs of a design research study: a high-quality and completed artefact and accompanying design principles. (Nieveen, Folmer, & Vliegen, 2012; Plomp & Nieveen, 2013a, 2013b)

The item-oriented approach to international large scale assessments (ILSA) data can inform the attained curriculum analysis. Dominik Dvořák will show that the vast amount of data collected in ILSA of pupils' achievement is underused and can inform the curricular frameworks evaluation. To understand deeply the problems of curricula, however, the analyses need to go beyond the mean PISA or TIMSS scores and study the pupils’ relative success rates in individual items (country subject profiles). This could identify the problematic curriculum areas for the subsequent scrutiny (e.g. by comparative analysis). Data sources and available tools will be demonstrated. (Olsen, 2006; Rutkowski & Rutkowski, 2009)

Requirements - IMPORTANT:

  • You are only eligible to attend this workshop if you are registered as participant of ECER.
  • Should you not be able to attend, please cancel your reservation, as there might be a waiting list.

EERA Going Green

As part of the commitment of EERA to ensuring that our annual European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) is as sustainable as possible, we were delighted to work with the local organisers of our Hamburg 2019 conference to develop our 'Green Agenda'.  Watch this videoto learn more!

To cover and document the conference from a student’s perspective, Josephine Hohberg, a masterstudent in Hamburg, will blog and report on her #ECER2019 experience.
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ECER'26, Tampere
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