Curriculum change in the classroom : a teacher-based inquiry / by Connie Morrice.
SubjectCurriculum change Ontario
Elementary schools Ontario Curricula
Elementary school teachers Ontario Attitudes
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This is an enthnographic study of six elementary classroom teachers in a large southern Ontario school board of over 100 schools. The study addresses the problem of reconciling commonly assumed theories in the field and the theories-inaction that guide the daily practice of teachers in their classrooms by attempting to ascertain what teachers' practical and theoretical knowledge looks like, and how it is applied in the arena of educational change. The main purpose of the study is to develop an in depth understanding of the teachers' personal and professional stance with regard to curriculum change in the classroom. Qualitative methods are employed for exploring the teachers' perceptions of change. Interviews are used primarily for data collection. The study indicates that the teachers deal with multiple changes within commonly-defined elements of program. They approach change through four dispositions or frames of mind: the procedural, practical, personal and perceptional. A conceptual framework is developed that represents an organizer that is immediately applicable and relevant to the classroom. Implications for teacher-practitioners are to build capacities for focussing on the manageable aspects of change through the four dispositions. Theorists need to acknowledge an expanded role for teachers as decision-makers, self-directed learners and leaders. Therefore, implications for the field include support through resource allocation, personalization of staff development, flexibility of choice and structure, and integration of theory with practice.