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Co-construction of a national curriculum: the role of teachers as curriculum policy makers in Wales / Tom, Crick
4th European Conference on Curriculum Studies
Swansea University Author: Tom, Crick
This paper examines the role of teachers as macro-level curriculum policy makers in Wales, addressing two research questions:i) To what extent has the development of curriculum policy been shaped by teachers’ involvement in the process?ii) How has teachers’ professional agency as curriculum makers b...
|Published in:||4th European Conference on Curriculum Studies|
Maynooth, Republic of Ireland
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This paper examines the role of teachers as macro-level curriculum policy makers in Wales, addressing two research questions:i) To what extent has the development of curriculum policy been shaped by teachers’ involvement in the process?ii) How has teachers’ professional agency as curriculum makers been enhanced as a result of their engagement?The paper is based upon empirical research, focusing on a small number of Pioneer teachers who have been involved in the process, as well as the documentation produced by the groups writing subject area specifications. Data generation methods include semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Data will be analysed using the ecological approach to understanding teacher agency (Priestley, Biesta & Robinson, 2015), a temporal-relational methodology for analysing factors that shape teachers’ agency and its manifestations in practice.Data collection is ongoing. Early indications suggest that: i] teacher agency has previously been limited, in terms of both teachers’ professional knowledge of curriculum development and the affordances that the system offered them as curriculum makers; ii] engagement in the process has significantly enhanced the capacity of these teachers as curriculum makers; iii] a particular benefit with significant implications for teacher agency has been the development of strong professional networks and associated relational resources; and iv] these teachers have played a significant role in shaping the forms taken by the new curriculum in Wales.The study casts light on the processes and conditions that can foster teacher engagement with the formulation of education policy, the potential weaknesses of such approaches and the benefits for teachers. In particular, the study suggests that this approach has long-term implications in the development of a cadre of expert teachers able to support colleagues in the subsequent enactment of policy in schools, through the building of system capacity for curriculum making.
Part of a symposium entitled: "Teachers as curriculum makers: the central role of teachers in curriculum reform in Wales"