The role of Nepali teachers’ beliefs in pedological change.

Year: 2018

Author: Ham, Miriam

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The previous decade of educational reforms of the Nepali education system have been largely driven by international policy based on a learner centered approach to education. Research conducted as part of a PhD study aimed to identify Nepali teachers’ beliefs about a learner centered approach and explore the role played by beliefs and the teachers limited implementation in pedagogy. The research examined teachers’ beliefs about their pedological practice through a mixed methods methodology including a survey, classroom observations and focus group discussions.
It was found that Nepali teachers strongly agreed with the flexible, individualized approach underpinning the learner centered teaching practices introduced in the reform. However, in  discussions about their enactment of reform, teachers readily acknowledged that their implementation of the new practices was limited. Their comments were supported by the results of the classroom observations. The study identified that teachers discussed a range of sociocultural factors within their teaching context that impacted their practice. These factors were differentiated as having a direct impact and an indirect impact. Those that impacted directly stemmed from systemic structures or routines, like high stakes testing, within the Nepali educational context.  The factors identified as having an indirect impact on teachers’ practice also stemmed from their context, for example commensuration, however the impact came from the teachers’ beliefs about the factor that rather than the factor itself.
This presentation discusses the emerging conceptual framework that was useful to examine the role played by teachers’ beliefs in the process of pedagogical change. The framework is useful for the designers of teacher training, policy makers and school leadership as it highlights specific aspects that need to be explicitly addressed to assist teachers to make pedagogical change.