A ten-year journey towards teacher collaboration and integrated curriculum: A story of leadership

Year: 2004

Author: Farley, Ann, Taylor, Peter Charles

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Whilst much current research on Middle Schooling suggests that the most effective learning environment for young adolescents is created through a combination of teaching teams and integrated curriculum, many students continue to be educated in secondary schools organised in faculties dominated by subject discreet curricula. This paper presents insights from a case study of a group of secondary school teachers who, over a period of ten years, created integrated curricula and year-level teams within a school organisational structure characterised by a discreet subject environment. The group was led by a specialist teacher (the first author) who, in the role of teacher-researcher, investigated their profound journey of curriculum transformation. This doctoral thesis research adopts an historic structure and employs narrative inquiry to present the stories and voices of both the facilitator and teachers as they struggled to establish an innovative culture of integration and negotiation. We discuss a number of emergent issues and critical incidents that appeared instrumental in shaping the teachers' journey towards a shared understanding of what constitutes an effective learning environment. In order to facilitate the full realisation of this ideal, we propose a model of team leadership for expediting the school's continuing transformation towards a fully integrated curriculum.