Impact of national curriculum initiatives on teachers' practical theories

Year: 1997

Author: Marland, Perc, Sturman, Andrew, Forlin, Chris, Kennedy, Kerry

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

A number of changes linked to National Curriculum Frameworks and Profiling have occurred throughout Australian schools in the last few years. Attempts have been made to monitor, in broad terms, the progress of these developments across State and Territory jurisdictions and to identify factors which have facilitated or impeded such progress. Teacher reactions to these developments have also been mapped but no study has yet examined the impact of such developments on the practical theories of teachers, that is, the notions about teaching and learning which shape the actual classroom practices of teachers. Yet the success of any classroom reform depends on teachers developing a commitment to the reform and changing the ways they conceptualise their work and the values, beliefs and principles which underlie their practices.

This study examines changes to the practical theories of twelve teachers of English and Mathematics in three state schools in Queensland and relates those changes (or lack of change) to aspects of the institutional contexts in which they served.