A study of practices used to select curriculum materials in Australian schools

Year: 1994

Author: Watt, Michael G.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports a study of the practices and perceptions of school administrators, classroom teachers, and information professionals about a range of issues relating to the selection of curriculum materials. Research literature relating to studies on the sources of curriculum information, the selection of curriculum materials, the use of electronic information systems in schools, and the use and curriculum role of curriculum materials were reviewed. The findings of the study were based on the responses by personnel surveyed in a stratified random sample of 200 schools across Australia.

The subjects relied more heavily on using print materials than non- print materials, and indicated that other staff members formed the preferred sources for information on curriculum materials, although publishers and printed sources were important. Most schools had definable materials selection procedures, which were generally school- based relying on either group or individual decision-making. Most subjects believed that school-based selection committees formed the best means to improve selections of curriculum materials, in spite of greater conformity being accomplished through national curricular standards. Whilst many schools had on-line and CD-ROM facilities, few subjects used these facilities to access information on curriculum materials. The subjects believed the most important features of a prospective electronic service would be its quality of information on curriculum materials and its ease of use. Subjects favoured a system that would present evaluative, rather than descriptive, information on curriculum materials.