Defining Curriculum Change

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Chapter 1 provides an overview of the issue of ELT and the significance of this study. Chapter 2 will begin by defining the term curriculum as used in this study. Then the necessary work in a successful curriculum innovation will be explored and the relationship between curriculum and teachers’ perceptions will be explained with aid of a theoretical framework. Following these, the background of curriculum change in the Hong Kong context will be introduced. In chapter 3, the methodology of investigating teachers and teacher educators’ perception on the change of methodology regarding the educational change will be described and justified. Chapter 4 will present the participants’ responses on their teaching practice and their views on the curriculum…show more content…
That is to say it can imply different areas according to the nature of study involved. It may vary from the concrete definition as the subjects and content expected to be useful for students in the contemporary society (Marsh & Willis, 2003) to the more abstract idea as a product of culture and an agenda to reform society (Schubert, 1991).
The term curriculum in this study adopts the definition from Wiggins and McTighe (2006), which will cover most interested areas in this research:
Curriculum takes content and shapes it into a plan for how to conduct effective teaching and learning. It is thus more than a list of topics and lists of key facts and skills. It is a map of how to achieve the “outputs” or desired student performance, in which appropriate learning activities and assessments are suggested to make it more likely that students achieve the desired results. (p. 6)

In reality, the three key components – curriculum (knowledge, what to taught), pedagogy (how to teach) and assessment (how to assess) – are not always valued fairly (Bernstein, 1977), especially in the context of this study where the assessment inherently “washbacks” on pedagogy – or more simply put where testing influences teaching (Cheng, 1997; Andrews & Fullilove,
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When performance standards, targets and checklist of competencies are their priorities, the importance of emotions is downplayed, leaving learning as “a clinical and disengaging race towards targets” (p. 60) and preoccupying teachers with technical tasks, allowing no space and time for creativity, imagination and relationships (Hargreaves, 2003). In the view that one of the key ideas allowing for an innovation to survive is to tap into people’s dignity and sense of respect (Fullan, 2007), omitting teachers’ reliance on their positive emotion towards teaching would undoubtedly create resentment against the innovation. A more emotionally catering innovation should be flexible and engaging, encouraging “pedagogical breadth and growth rather than compliance with singular, dogmatic approaches” (Hargreaves, 2002, p. 156).
From both Fullan (2007, 2011) and Hargreaves’ (2002, 2003) viewpoint, the key word of a successful educational change would be “motivation”. Since teachers are the final implementers of any educational change, including the NSS, motivating teachers both intellectually and emotionally would be indispensable. Since passionate commitment is further contagious to others (Fullan, 2011), it may also ensure that an increasing number of teachers would cooperate during the whole
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