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Jia Xu and Colin Marsh Curtin University. Is it necessary and possible to have SBCD at schools in Australia? Is it necessary and possible to use conceptual.

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Presentation on theme: "Jia Xu and Colin Marsh Curtin University. Is it necessary and possible to have SBCD at schools in Australia? Is it necessary and possible to use conceptual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jia Xu and Colin Marsh Curtin University

2 Is it necessary and possible to have SBCD at schools in Australia? Is it necessary and possible to use conceptual frameworks to help us understand and develop more effective SBCD?

3 SBCD in China SBCD has been a highlight of China’s new curriculum reform since A curriculum policy change towards devolving partial power in curriculum decision-making to teachers. 10% of curriculum is decided by local regions and individual schools. Transforming teachers’ role from “book-knowledge transmitters” to curriculum developers.

4 Defining school-based curriculum development (SBCD) as: a slogan, a democratic philosophy, a practical series of steps.

5 Caveats SBCD is a constantly evolving term. It is very difficult to come up with a perfect form of SBCD. Although it is a desirable process for teachers to become involved in SBCD yet the hard realities of systems and governments necessitate limitations.

6 What is a conceptual framework? It provides a structure for curriculum planning. It provides a coherent grouping of terms or values. It provides ideal goals.

7 Some preliminary questions Is school-based curriculum development alive and well in 2011 in Australia? Is there a perfect type of school-based curriculum development and has it ever existed in a pure form? Do ideas about school-based planning change over the decades, for better or worse?

8 Some different priorities of SBCD A democratic vision to have more teacher involvement A way of supplementing student resource materials A way of addressing critical problems in an education system A way to support systemic reforms and to enhance the professional skills of teachers

9 How successful are current efforts to do SBCD in Asian countries ? An example from Hong Kong An example from Singapore

10 SBCD in action in Hong Kong Innovative teachers are selected to be seed teachers and given special training at head office. Creation of new promotional positions of curriculum leader in each primary school Setting up of school-based support team in each education district Celebration of exemplary efforts

11 SBCD in Singapore Intensive workshops on SBCD provided for all primary schools Research activists appointed for each school to support a specific SBCD project Learning journeys to other schools locally & overseas Celebration of successes through public presentations/workshops

12 The Australian scene in 2011 Teaching has always been a complicated process. Teachers need to be able to do a number of things almost simultaneously, including unpacking knowledge and ideas, making this accessible to others within a caring productive environment.

13 New pressures for teachers New external pressures & ongoing internal, school level pressures. New external pressures: Australian Curriculum, NAPLAN, MY SCHOOL website, Professional standards for teachers. School-based planning and central planning working towards educational reform.

14 General problems for doing SBCD Lack of time Lack of expertise Lack of finance Externally imposed restrictions Threatening school climate (resistors or lack of effective leadership) (Marsh,1992).

15 The arrival of the National Curriculum Materials produced so far for the first four subjects indicate that what ACARA is requiring is more than just general principles and outcomes for each subject area. There will be a major emphasis upon content and specifying of what is taught at each grade level. This will be reinforced through NAPLAN results in terms of literacy and numeracy. This will flow over into other subjects.

16 Likely impacts Teaching will become more teacher- directed and focussed on content coverage. Teachers will try new initiatives enthused by the content and structures of the Australian Curriculum. OR

17 Curriculum planning models These models are typically general and apply across various subjects and teaching levels. Models provide simple procedures for teachers to go about planning of lessons. prescriptive models (Tyler, 1949; Taba, 1962). Naturalistic Model (Walker, 1970). Understanding by Design model (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998).

18 SBCD planning models In situations where teachers want to get involved in school-based planning SBCD models need to be considered. It is important to remember that each school situation is very different and so it makes the task of developing SBCD planning models all the more difficult.

19 Models that create typologies of different variations of SBCD Brady (1987) Marsh et al (1990) Models that develop interlinked explanatory factors for successful SBCD Wong Yu Lai Wah (2008) Lo Yiu Chun (1999) Lee (2008) Marsh (2009) Major categories of school-based models

20 Figure 1: Brady's matrix for analysis of SBCD in practice (Brady, 1987) Models that create typologies of different variations of SBCD

21 Advantages It indicates a number of combinations; It seems to indicate that any combination is possible; It illustrates three main processes well. Disadvantages It doesn’t show the influence of head office and how they could limit choices; It is a static model – just a list of categories; It doesn’t show which factors are more important than others. Figure 1: Brady's matrix for analysis of SBCD in practice (Brady, 1987)

22 Figure 2: A three-dimensional model of SBCD (Marsh, 1990) Models that create typologies of different variations of SBCD

23 Advantages It creates a dynamic, 3D picture; It shows a lot of different combinations; It seems to indicate that any combination is possible. Disadvantages It doesn't include all the important factors, only includes three; It doesn't show which factors are more important than others; It doesn't show the influence of head office and how this could limit choices. Figure 2: A three-dimensional model of SBCD (Marsh, 1990)

24 Models that develop interlinked explanatory factors Figure 3: School-Based Curriculum Project Scheme, Hong Kong (Lo, 1999)

25 Advantages It demonstrates clear focus of centrally controlled SBCD; It includes a celebration of successful efforts. Disadvantages Only limited SBCD can occur; Teacher empowerment is limited within planning and evaluation. Figure 3: School-Based Curriculum Project Scheme, Hong Kong (Lo, 1999)

26 Models that develop interlinked explanatory factors Figure 4: Lee ’ s model of SBCD (2008)

27 Advantages It is teacher focused and encourages empowerment It is pragmatic - finding spaces/ opportunities. Disadvantages It underestimates influences of head office; It doesn’t clearly establish constraints. Figure 4: Lee ’ s model of SBCD (2008)

28 Models that develop interlinked explanatory factors Figure 5: A model of implementing school-based curriculum in a subject (Wong, 2008)

29 Advantages Highlights importance of government initiatives; Includes a number of major factors; Indicates outcomes wanted for SBCD; Highlights the need for professional development; Disadvantages Processes depicted are complicated to understand; Over-emphasis on government initiatives. Figure 5: A model of implementing school-based curriculum in a subject (Wong, 2008)

30 Models that develop interlinked explanatory factors Figure 6: A Conceptual Model of SBCD (Marsh, 2009)

31 Advantages It highlights major factors, processes and desired outcomes; It includes a number of major elements; It gives clear indication of steps involved; It highlights the need for celebration of successful efforts. Disadvantages It under-estimates government constraints; Some factors listed are complex to understand. Figure 6: A Conceptual Model of SBCD (Marsh, 2009)

32 Concluding comment Making curriculum space available for SBCD is a major issue and it depends upon levels of cooperation between centralised and decentralised forms of curriculum development. There are a variety of SBCD approaches. The conceptual models outlined here provide just some of the possibilities. Because SBCD is closely related to local needs and priorities it is not possible to come up with one conceptual model which fits all.


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