How curriculum reform trans(forms) practices in a Queensland case study school?

Year: 2016

Author: Parveen, Reshma

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper explores curriculum reform manifestation and how it (trans)forms practices within one school in Australia. Any reform is subject to individual, collective and institutional interpretations. In this study the complexity of reform enactment at the teachers’ level is explored using Bourdieu’s conceptual tools of field, habitus and capital. Factors such as teachers’ beliefs and values, their presumptions, their lived experiences of the reform, their relationship with each other, and expectations are pertinent in perceiving and meaning making in relation to and enacting the reform. Using a critical approach through a semi-ethnographic case study in one State High school in Brisbane, this study examines how the school generated its own contextual modifications considering the school’s existing practices and managing the curriculum reform at a local level. This school has proactively adopted the new national curriculum and has been enacting it over the last 4-5 years.Data has been collected through semi-structured interviews, field notes, observation of staff meetings, and school based professional development activities. Data analysis suggests that teachers bring a range of dispositions to the field while enacting the reform. Such dispositions influence actions and shape practices which leads to specifying the agents’ positions in the field. Furthermore the agents’ possession of specific capitals is pertinent in their position taking in the field. Together these factors (re)produce the structure of the field. Thus this paper develops an understanding of how teachers and school management team navigate and work within the curriculum reform agenda in their existing field of practice. This presentation will focus on teachers’ dispositions towards the reform and the implications such dispositions entail for the enactment of the reform.